Juniors give back to community, create new connections


Photo credit: Hayley Miller

Arianna Miller ’20 volunteers with other students at Cedars Sinai Hospital. Miller said she has created bonds with many of the patients.

Junior year may be full of studying for tests, touring colleges and writing papers, but throughout all the tasks that students must face during their penultimate year of high school, a priority for Archer juniors is giving back to their communities. Students complete service in many different ways, such as volunteering at Los Angeles hospitals like Cedars Sinai, which offer programs that allow high school students to volunteer and assist hospital patients and staff. The Oracle sat down with juniors Arianna Miller and Dylan Marmur, both of whom volunteer in the healthcare field, to discuss their work.

“I am a clinical teen volunteer, so my everyday volunteering position includes rounding on patients. I basically round on patients and provide anything for comfort and care. So if anyone needs a magazine or any food I bring that for them,” Miller, who volunteers at Cedars Sinai, said. “After that, my nurses will usually give me any administrative work to do or I’ll answer phone calls.”

Throughout her time at Cedars, Miller has gained more than just community service hours. 

“My first year at Cedars was the summer going into ninth grade, so I’ve been volunteering for a really long time now,” Miller said. ”I’ve stuck with it because I’ve made some really interesting bonds with patients and the conversations I have with them are really inspiring. It’s an interaction with someone that you generally wouldn’t have in your everyday life.”

Although many of the volunteer programs are located in hospitals, junior Dylan Marmur helps those affected by medical diseases in other ways.

“For the last two years, I have been working at a camp called The Painted Turtle, which provides an authentic sleep-away camp experience for kids from in and outpatient hospitals with medical diseases,” Marmur said.  

Although the children at Painted Turtle have a variety of diseases and health issues, the camp aims to create as normal of an experience as possible.

“One of the mottos that Painted Turtle has is that none of their activities are limited based on ability,” Marmur said. “I’ve gotten to watch kids in wheelchairs who have never walked before horseback ride or go on ropes courses or do arts and crafts.”

Through volunteer work, Marmur says she connected with many of the campers and has adopted a “new perspective” on life.

“I have such a sense of gratitude for being able to do little things like walk or even go to school,” Marmur said. “It has shown me how regardless of our differences, I am able to connect with these kids but also how strong and resilient these kids can be while keeping a smile on their face.”

Junior Class Dean Jennifer Dohr also notes how “proud” she is of the junior class for their commitment to service.

I am so impressed by the energy of the juniors. We have so many students who commit countless hours to serving groups that they care about, and whether students are going for the awards or recognition that Archer offers or not doesn’t matter. What matters is their investment of time and their sense of giving back beyond the walls of Archer,” Dohr said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”