2023 Summer Student Volunteer Program

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Summer Student Volunteer Program. Applications will be accepted until May 1st or until the program reaches capacity.

What is the Summer Student Volunteer Program?

This year’s Summer Student Volunteer Program is an 8-week program running from July 10 - September 1. High school students from Buffalo and surrounding communities are encouraged to apply. Students will do worthwhile work within Roswell Park that truly makes a difference in the overall care of our patients.

What are the benefits of being a Summer Student Volunteer?

  • Satisfaction and fulfillment from making a difference in someone’s life
  • Fostering a connection to the community
  • Gain hospital work-related experience
  • Documentation of community service hours
  • Polish your soft skills
  • Meet other volunteers and develop friendships
  • A $6 cafeteria meal discount every shift you volunteer
  • Free parking in the Roswell Park ramp

What we are unable to provide:

  • Shadowing opportunities
  • Medical or clinical training
  • Course credits or internships

What are the requirements?

  • Between 15-18 years old
  • A minimum GPA of 85
  • A letter of reference from a guidance counselor, teacher, or coach
  • A brief essay explaining why you would like to volunteer at Roswell Park
  • Able to commit for the full 8-week program, understanding there is only one excused absence.
  • Attend an orientation offered either June 17 or June 27
  • Vaccinated against COVID-19

What volunteer positions are available for Summer Student Volunteers?

These are just some of the ways in which summer students can become an integral part of Roswell Park's volunteer programs:

Craft cart

A volunteer prepares the craft cart with arts and crafts provided by the Patient Advocacy Department. The varieties of available crafts provide patients and family members in the clinical waiting areas of the hospital with pleasant diversions to pass the time, as well as allowing the volunteer to be a friendly visitor lending support and hospitality. The volunteer will restock the cart after each shift.

Coffee cart

Volunteers have an opportunity to visit with patients and families while making their wait time in the clinical areas easier. With a partner, the volunteer stocks the necessary essentials on the cart and travels to and from clinics and waiting areas to offer beverages and snacks to patients and visitors. When their shift is completed, the volunteer returns the cart to the kitchen and readies the essentials for the next volunteer. Volunteers must be self-motivated, have a congenial personality, good communication skills, have patience and the ability to walk and travel with the cart.


Volunteers assist staff/departments by completing errands and escorting/transporting patients according to policies and procedures. Tasks may include answering phones to assign tasks, organizing mailings, assembling packets, and transporting medical records from one area to another. Volunteers must have good communication skills in English, a working knowledge of the hospital’s layout, and the ability to walk distances. A seasoned volunteer acts as a mentor for new volunteers.

Front door greeter

The front door greeter is the first and last person our patients and their family members see when they are at Roswell. A smiling face and warm personality are requirements for this position. This job sets the tone for a visit. The job is one where you may help to transport our patients to their appointments and offer a smile to a scared individual. Volunteers must have good communication skills in English, a working knowledge of the hospital’s layout, and the ability to walk distances.

Gift Shop

Volunteers provide assistance in the hospital’s busy retail shop. Responsibilities include assisting customers, cashiering, providing information about the store’s stock and assisting with inventory, marking goods, keeping the display tidy and attractive, dusting and vacuuming. Volunteers receive training and are required to have excellent customer service skills. Proceeds from sales support the Institute.

Hospitality Room

The Hospitality Room serves as a place for patients, visitors and family members to relax and escape from the harsh realities of the reason they are here: cancer. It is a kitchen/dinette/living room/recreation room equipped with coffee, hot and cold running water (for tea), as well as store-bought donations brought in by the volunteers who staff the room as well as a television. Typically, two (at most) volunteers man the room and consistently dispense coffee and refreshments while maintaining a positive demeanor as they facilitate friendly conversation among the visitors. It is open Monday through Friday.

Market in the Park

Volunteers will work with our Market vendors to assist with setting up and helping with tasks that they may need. Volunteers need to be able to walk varying distances. Volunteers will receive training and are required to have excellent customer service skills.

Resource Center

The 11 Day Power Play Resource Center is a special place at Roswell Park, it is a place for patients to learn more about their new cancer diagnoses and the resources that Roswell Park has available for their cancer journey. The individual who volunteers in this room need to be empathetic and a good listener.

Special projects

During the year we receive many project requests that may take a large amount of time or special training. These requests range from scanning to providing assistance in different areas throughout the hospital. No two jobs are the same, but they are all are important to the mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and its patients.

To hold a spot for this program the following items should be submitted:

  • A completed volunteer application due May 1 or when program reaches capacity - Download Here
  • Signed parental consent form - Download Here
  • A brief essay explaining why you would like to volunteer at Roswell Park
  • Completed and signed Summer Student interest form (reference chart below) - Download Here

What positions are open?

Below you will find the list of open and filled volunteer opportunities for this program. This list is updated weekly so please be sure to check this page prior to sending in your application and other required forms.

  Mon AM Mon PM Tues AM Tues PM Wed AM Wed PM Thurs AM Thurs PM Fri AM Fri PM
Craft cart 9-1 X Filled X 9-1 X 9-1 X 9-1 X
Coffee cart 9-1 X Filled X Filled X Filled X 9-1 X
Errand & escort Filled 12-4 Filled 12-4 Filled Filled Filled Filled Filled 12-4
Front door 9-1 X 9-1 X 9-1 X Filled X X X
Gift shop X X X X X X Filled X X X
Hospitality room Filled 12-4 Filled 12-4 Filled 12-4 Filled 12-4 Filled 12-4
Market in the Park X X X X Filled X X X X X
Resource Center X X X X X X Filled X X X
Special projects X X Filled X X X 9-1 X X X

Once you receive a confirmation letter (within two weeks of applying), please be aware the following must be completed and returned by June 10th:

  • Proof of a GPA of 85 percent or higher with supporting documentation from a school counselor
  • A letter of reference from a guidance counselor, a teacher, or a coach
  • Roswell Park Volunteer Medical Certification form, including immunization records/ PPDS and medical provider’s signature (form will be emailed to you upon acceptance into the program.)
  • Provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination

General information

Volunteer placements and assignments will be determined based on application information and one-on-one phone interview with students. Volunteers will be notified of their acceptance or denial within two weeks of their application.

The student volunteer dress code is as follows:

  • Khaki pants, knee-length shorts/capris only - no denim, leggings or yoga pants
  • Roswell Park volunteer shirt (provided)
  • Sneakers or other closed-toe shoes only, no sandals or flip-flops are allowed

Important dates to remember

  • May 1: Application is due
  • June 23: Medical certification is due
  • June 17: Orientation - 10 a.m.-noon
  • June 27: Orientation - 4-6 p.m.
    (All students must attend one orientation)

For more information or to receive a mailed application packet, please email Ryan.St.Louis@RoswellPark.org or call our office at 716-845-5708.