RUMFORD — Rumford Hospital Junior Volunteer, Colby Volkernick, was selected as the exemplary honoree of Maine’s 2017 Youth Volunteer of the Year Award. Volkernick was honored in a ceremony at the State House in Augusta, on April 24, as part of the Governor’s Awards for Service and Volunteerism.

Volkernick was inspired to volunteer at Rumford Hospital after being a patient at the facility, following a severe skiing accident. During his hospital stay he decided he wanted to pursue a career as a family nurse practitioner and has dedicated his school and summer vacations to helping out at Rumford Hospital in any way he can.

While at the hospital, Volkernick assists the Environmental Services team with keeping the hospital clean and orderly. From folding bedding to sweeping and dusting the stairwells, there is nothing that Volkernick won’t do.

“[Volkernick] was such a big help that when he had to go back to school I thought, ‘now who is going to do everything he has been doing?’ He has been missed since he returned to school; not just because of all the work he was doing but also because he is a part of our team,” said Tracey Milledge, Environmental Services supervisor.

Since starting as a volunteer in the spring of 2016, Volkernick has volunteered 320 hours of his time and is one of the first junior volunteers to break the 100-hour mark.

“Colby is someone who will put others first. He’s always holding doors or the elevators open for anyone. He’s the type of person who if someone else needs help, he’ll drop what he is doing to help them and then return to his task,” said Pam Wilkins, Environmental Services aide.

“His attitude is very contagious and there isn’t a doubt in my mind that whatever he decides to do in his life he will do with a can-do spirit,” Wilkins continued.

Outside of school and volunteering, Volkernick is active in golf, alpine skiing and soccer. He is a member of the Mountain Valley Middle School Student Council and will soon take cooking classes after school to learn more about nutrition.

“He is truly a young man with superb customer service qualities, and we all respect him for that,” said Susan Hedrich, director of Volunteer Services at Central Maine Healthcare, in Volkernick’s nomination letter.

FMI: www.rumfordhospital.org.

Pictured from left at the State House ceremony are First Lady Ann LePage, Colby Volkernick and Susan Hedrich.


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