The inaugural Spotlight on Service of 2019-20 features sophomore Tejul and his dedication to caring for the elderly in both the United States and the United Kingdom. During the summer, Tejul volunteered at the Good Samaritan Society in North Dakota and at Sunrise Senior Living in Virginia Water, reading books, playing piano, and assisting with daily activities. Here, he talks with Upper School Service Ambassador Deniz about his work with the elderly:
Deniz: What initially drew you to this area of service, and what has motivated you to continue?
Tejul: I first signed up to gain experience after learning that working at elderly homes offers the practical expertise that is crucial to medicine and healthcare. What kept me volunteering in this field was how much I enjoyed learning about the lives of the elderly, listening to the stories of their childhoods, and hearing about their interests and dreams. Another factor was the atmosphere, as it was incredible to sense their happiness and gratefulness. For example, there was a man who had dementia, yet he made bread every day and remembered the recipe. It is thrilling to observe these people’s lives and their unique perspectives, and I felt very good that I had a positive influence on their lives.
Deniz: Can you tell us about a special moment from your service experiences?
Tejul: Playing the piano for the last time at the Good Samaritan Society is the most special moment I remember. Since it was the final chance that summer for the elderly residents to listen to me play, I decided to change it up slightly and started playing different, more exciting songs. I felt the impact of the pleasant tunes I played when I saw everyone’s smiling faces, and I saw how music could incredibly impact and glorify a moment. I was once again fascinated by how music arouses emotions, and I felt a strong connection to the elderly, seeing the important impact I had on them, even within a short while. It was a moment when I fully understood the expression, “Every little helps.”
Deniz: How has your service changed you?
Tejul: These experiences have led to an internal change in me, as I have started to understand how to appreciate actions that once seemed normal or “every day” to me. Working in the elderly homes has been great, I think for both the people there and for me, as I have gained patience and understanding that will help me in studying medicine.
Deniz: What are your plans for continued service with the elderly?
Tejul: I truly love this service, and I will continue to visit Sunrise Senior Living in our local community. In the future, I want to further develop my practical knowledge in healthcare. I seek to observe the unique perspectives in different parts of the industry, as well as to gain both theoretical and practical experience. Serving the elderly was a special honor, and I hope to continue having opportunities to change lives for the better.