Yuki Inaba, an outdoors enthusiast, has been a volunteer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 2012, where she began volunteering as a high school student at St. Jude through the Volunteen Program.
“I love interacting with children, and I hope to bring smiles to their days in the hospital through casual conversations, play and crafts,” Inaba said.
Inaba has volunteered in several different capacities throughout the hospital, including Prime Time and the Pediatric Oncology Education Program. She currently works at St. Jude as a research technologist but still spends a few hours each week volunteering in the Imagine Room.
This room features an interactive video screen that covers one wall and curves into the ceiling. In this high-tech room, Inaba plays games with inpatients, leads arts and crafts, plays movies or helps patients visit with friends and family through a webcam.
Inaba said her time spent volunteering at St. Jude ignites her passion for working with children. She said this also encourages her to continue striving toward her long-term goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist.
Inaba said she feels she is a better person for having volunteered in so many ways at St. Jude. She said the conversations she has with patients and families remain with her and brighten her day.
“The patients and families I have met through volunteering at St. Jude have been so thankful and resilient in ways I haven’t seen when volunteering in other hospital settings,” she said. “The people I’ve interacted with here at St. Jude make the time I’ve spent volunteering so worth it.”