UnityPoint Health’s volunteer program made Kieley Johnson who she is today. Kieley went from being a high school student to a radiology technician intern at UnityPoint Health® in a short amount of time. Kieley says during her junior year of high school, she struggled with her mental health, and it was difficult for her to attend school for a full week. After talking with her school counselor, she got involved in the Work Based Learning program at Pekin Community High School.
The Work Based Learning program is for high school seniors who have maintained a 2.7 GPA or higher. The program puts enrollees on a working path while still in high school. Kieley was contacted by Rob Hancock, Volunteer Coordinator for UnityPoint Health. She soon began working in Pekin’s radiology department as a volunteer.
“I have been interested in radiology since I broke my wrist in the first grade. I ended up at the emergency department at UnityPoint Health in Pekin. They used the portable x-ray and that’s what really set me off to being interested in Radiology,” says Kieley.
Victoria Smith, Operational Imaging Manager at UnityPoint Health Pekin, says she was impressed with Kieley from the start. “She came off to me as an amazing 17-year-old. She was very well spoken, and she is very focused on her future. She is somebody that I wanted to mentor and watch as she pursues a career in radiology.”
Not long into volunteering, Rob Hancock let Kieley know there was a radiology tech intern position available. He told her it was a good idea for her to apply for it. About a week later, Kieley got the intern job.
“Truly, I think that had I not volunteered first, I wouldn’t have gotten the job as soon as I did. I am grateful that I found a solution to my mental health my junior year and decided to do the Work Based Learning program,” says Kieley.
Kieley says the UnityPoint Health team was very personable when she was a patient in the past and that pushed her to apply for the intern job. “I really wanted the intern job at UnityPoint Health because I remember years later coming back to the hospital for something entirely unrelated to me and the doctors who did my surgery remembered me! That really set a good impression on me, and I want to be that person for someone else,” she says.
Victoria says this is a perfect opportunity for Kieley and she’s great for the job. “She’s a good team member to our radiology team. She has a lot of compassion, and she has the drive and wants to succeed. You can tell she wants to help people, and this was just a perfect fit for her.”
If you’re interested in volunteering at UnityPoint Health, you can visit this website.