Healthcare Starts At Home

By Alice Maggiore

May 18, 2011 Updated May 19, 2011 at 3:32 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) A Broome County teenager splits her school day between Broome-Tioga BOCES and Union Endicott.

One of 31 winners of the Student Community Service Award presented by Senator Libous, BOCES and WBNG-TV, she also divvies up her service to a handful of organizations.

Safia Dandia likes to help people, so much so that she's working to be a doctor, getting started young and early.

"...Very involved in the Medical Pathways program, New Visions program, at the end of her junior year. She's a really a giving and kind young lady who likes to give back to others," says Angela Sementelli, a Guidance Counselor at Union-Endicott High School.

As treasurer of U-E's Key Club, Safia says lending a hand to the world starts here at home.

"We have recycling bins set up all around the school, to um, fund relief in Japan. We have CHOW bins all around the school.. Locally, we have lots of walks coming up. We always try to participate in a lot of walks, like CHOW Walks, Relay For Life," says Safia.

Outside of school, Safia gives an additional 200 hours of service during the summer. It's time spent between volunteering in a neurosurgeon's office, a nursing home, and UHS.

"Safia came to us in the summer of 2008, she was just going into 9th grade -- First coming in as a little bit shy, not sure what to do... And now, she's really grown into a fine young woman," says Jeannie Carangelo, the UHS Volunteer Coordinator.

From running errands, to clerical work, transporting patients or helping out in the ER... it's an experience that has helped her prepare for her future.

"I think it's really important to get involved in our community and throughout the entire world because there are so many underprivileged families just in our local area. And I think it's our duty to help them out. It's so important," Safia says.

The fall will take her to the University of Buffalo. It's where she'll double major in biology and psychology to jump start her career in healthcare.

But those that know her say her nuturing nature has already given her a big head start.

Each of the student winners gets a $1,000 scholarship to a college or university in New York State.

To learn more about all the winners, Click here .

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