Jamie Erkoboni - Girls Gone Great Recipient 2018


My mission statement for a better future: I want to volunteer my time to share my passion, knowledge, and resources to improve the quality of life for children internationally and locally, who lack access to immediate medical attention. To reach this goal, I participate in numerous activities that will advance both my desire and insight regarding this objective. I find myself volunteering in events solely for the happiness of others, and for the better part of the world. My most significant volunteer experience began during the conclusion of my treatment plan from my past diagnosis of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. Throughout this six-week period, I became full of ambition and determination to impact my community in a positive way. I began by selling head and neck themed cancer ribbons to raise money for the Pediatric Oncology Center. Raising approximately $1400, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia matched the donation resulting in a total of $2800. With the time I spent in and out of hospitals, I discovered that I wanted to study nursing after I graduated from high school.

I was introduced to the organization, Operation Smile, through my cousins and immediately partook in their courageous events. I attended my first International Leadership Conference in San Diego, CA. I had the opportunity to listen to multiple keynote speakers with incredible stories of how they took control of their life and developed a lifestyle with their passion. I left the conference having made myself a new promise; take control of my life and pursue my dedication to be the best nurse imaginable, and impact patients’ lives the way my nurses impacted mine. A year later, I attended my first medical mission with Operation Smile as a student educator in Lima, Peru. I had the opportunity to teach families about life-saving basic health care information such as handwashing, how to effectively brush their teeth, how to create clean water, hands-only CPR, etc. It was truly incredible to see how their faces lit up when they realized there was a way to solve their life-threatening problems. I loved being able to volunteer my time internationally, but I also volunteer locally, as well.

Through my Early Childhood Program in High School, the class designs holiday ornaments with inspirational messages attached to them. Those who choose to attend are asked to volunteer their time after school to deliver them to the local cancer center, where we are asked to carol and give ornaments to the patients receiving treatment. Each year I look forward to this event because it brings such joy to the patients, as they undergo a difficult time in their life. The Early Childhood Program has also introduced me to The Judy Center, where I enjoy volunteering my time to as well. The Judy Center is a program that teaches low-income parents how to effectively give their child adequate care and education. As I feel it is a great program for the parents, I enjoy playing with their kids during this informational session to distract them from any additional problems they experience at home.

 I feel simple acts such as mine are extremely important to help make the world a more united and peaceful place.  I look forward to continuing my volunteering and soulful experiences to reach my mission in life, and influence those around me to better themselves through the power of compassion.