2021 Summer Student Volunteer Program

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has taken a number of proactive measures to minimize risks to our patients and staff related to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Given our vulnerable patient population and recent efforts to limit visitors on campus, we have made the decision to cancel the 2021 summer High School volunteer program.

Please check our website in January 2022 for information regarding 2022 Summer Student program application process.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. 2022 Promises to be another exciting year in our program. Below you will all the information regarding openings and the requirements to participate in this year’s summer student volunteer program.

What is the Summer Student Volunteer Program?

The Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center Summer Student Volunteer Program consists of high school students from Buffalo and surrounding communities who carry out specific duties within the Roswell Park campus. Students will do worthwhile work that truly makes a difference in the overall care of patients who are suffering from cancer. This is an invaluable opportunity to gain work-related experience, build a résumé, and explore the different aspects of the health care industry.

Each student will volunteer for two weeks throughout the hospital during their scheduled sessions.

What are the benefits of being a Summer Student Volunteer?

  • Personal satisfaction and fulfillment from making a difference in other people’s lives
  • Gain hospital work-related experience
  • The opportunity to include on your résumé that you attended the Summer Student Volunteer Program at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • A $5 cafeteria meal discount every day that you are here to volunteer
  • Documentation of community service hours
  • Develop new interests and explore different career opportunities in the health care field
  • Meet other volunteers and develop long-lasting friendships.

What we do not provide:

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

When do Summer Student Volunteers volunteer?

We offer three Summer Student Volunteer Programs, every two weeks in length. During each session, students volunteer for four hours per day, generally from 8 a.m.–12 p.m. or 12–4 p.m., Monday–Friday for a total of 40 hours of volunteer service over the two-week period. (Students may only apply for one volunteer session.)

What are the requirements?

Volunteer opportunities are available to high school students ages 15–18 years old.

To hold a spot for this program the following items may be summited prior to the completion of the entire packet.

  • A completed volunteer application - Download Here
  • Signed parental consent form - Download Here
  • A brief essay explaining why you would like to volunteer at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
  • Completed and signed summer student volunteer checklist - Download Here
  • Proof Minimum of an 80 percent grade point average with supporting documentation from a school counselor
  • A letter of reference from a guidance counselor, a teacher or a coach
  • Instructions for completing the Roswell Park volunteer medical certification - Download Here
  • Roswell Park volunteer medical certification form, including immunization records - Download Here

What services do Summer Student Volunteers participate in?

Coffee Cart
With a partner, the volunteer stocks the necessary essentials on the coffee cart and travels from clinic to clinic and waiting areas to offer beverages and snacks to patients and visitors. When the shift is completed, the volunteer returns the cart to the kitchen and readies the essentials for the next volunteer. The volunteer must be self-motivated, with a congenial personality and good communication skills.

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 must keep the inventory updated.

Volunteers assist staff/departments by completing errands and escorting/transporting appropriate 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 Greater
The Front Door greater is the first and last person our patients and their family members see when they are at Roswell. A smiling face and warm personality is a requirement 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 at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center 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. Typically, volunteers are manning the room and consistently dispensing coffee and refreshments while maintaining a positive demeanor as they facilitate friendly conversation among the visitors. It is open Monday through Friday. Hours of operation are 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. The room also houses books donated to the Volunteer Office at Roswell Park as well as knitted hats that have been collected by donations as well. Patients are allowed to take the hats free of charge as well as the books. With the ability to bring the patients comfort and ease, the Hospitality Room feels more like a home than a hospital. It is essential to the mental and emotional care of our patients.

Patient Transport
Patient transporters spend most of their day on their feet, either moving patients or moving equipment from one area to another. Transporters must identify patients to make sure they're taking them to the correct destination. Volunteers must have good communication skills in English, a working knowledge of the hospital’s layout, and the ability to walk distances.

Resource Center
The Resource Center is a place where patients and their loved ones can go to obtain information that Roswell offers to its patients and the community in whole. This may include printed material, wig/head covering and many other supportive services. Many times, a newly diagnosed patient or their loved ones will come in the Resource Center looking for help or just a friendly face and a listening ear. Volunteers in the resource must above all be A good listener, who is comfortable speaking with people about their personal cancer experience with patients newly diagnosed when appropriate. They must also be upbeat and outgoing. 

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.

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

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 one month of their application.

The student volunteer dress code is as follows:

  • Khaki pants or Knee-length shorts only - No Denim, Leggings, or Yoga pants
  • Official Roswell Park issued shirt
  • Sneakers or other closed-toe shoes must be worn at all times. No sandals or flip-flops are allowed!

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.