‘When Action Meets Compassion’: Maimonides celebrates Summer Youth Employment Program volunteers

maimonides summer youth program ceremony
Maimonides Medical Center officials gathered to celebrate their 400 summer youth program volunteers on Aug. 8.
Photo courtesy of Maimonides Medical Center

As the first day of school draws closer, Maimonides Health recognized the work of its 400 young summer volunteers in a special ceremony on Aug. 8.

For two decades, Maimonides— the largest healthcare system in Brooklyn — has also been the largest healthcare participant in the city’s Department of Youth and Community Development Summer Youth Employment Program. Hundreds of young people spend their summers at Maimonides each year, learning about hospital operations, patient care, and more. 

volunteers at maimonides summer youth program ceremony
Maimonides is the largest participant in the city’s SYEP program, and welcomes about 400 volunteers each year. Photo courtesy of Maimonides Medical Center

At the end of every summer, Maimonides celebrates the hours those volunteers have put in — the theme of the 2023 celebration was “When Action Meets Compassion, Lives Change!”

The ceremony began with a rousing entrance and performance by the NYPD Police Band, followed by speeches from some of Maimonides’ most important people — Ken Gibbs, the medical center’s president and CEO; Nancy Hagans, a resource nurse and president of the New York Nurses Association; and more. 

“We are proud that the Maimonides’ Summer Youth Program has provided young people with the opportunity to gain important skills and invaluable work experience for close to thirty years,” says Ken Gibbs, President and CEO, Maimonides Health. “Our hope is that this experience boosts them in their future careers, as their presence at the hospital and contributions give us all a boost of inspiration.”

ken gibbs maimonides
Maimonides President and CEO Ken Gibbs praised volunteers and said he hopes the program boosts their future careers. Photo courtesy of Maimonides Medical Center

In addition to giving students hands-on learning and work opportunities, the Summer Youth Program also provides workshops for future success in the workforce – including résumé writing, budget planning, and workplace readiness.

To cap off the ceremony, director of volunteer and student services Alla Zats and Youth Program Coordinator Gabriella Carbonaro presented special awards to some of the summer’s most accomplished volunteers. All told, 15 young people took home “Outstanding Achievement” awards for their hard work and dedication.