Welcome to my life. I was born in the Red Cross hospital, Mission
Hills, California. My parents are from the Fiji Islands, and we are
considered ‘pacific islanders’. I am currently a high school sophomore at
Valley Alternative Magnet School. My ultimate ambition in life to become a
medical doctor to treat patients and to remain keenly involved in social
My family consists of four members; my father, mother, brother, and,
of course, myself. Support is provided from all directions, whether it is
education or career planning, assistance is constantly present.
My father, Surendra Lakhan, has been part of the military personnel
for numerous years. He served in the US Army and National Guard. He was
enlisted in the Vietnam War in the mechanized infantry division. Surendra
received his Bachelor’s of Science in Biological Science from BYU Hawaii,
but his real objective was to be a MD and serve his fellow military
workforce at the VA Medical Center. Hindering his dream, he suffered a
major brain-stem stroke and just recently experienced quadruple bypass
(open heart) surgery. Federal services paid the most medical expenses, but
a balance was still left to burden. Now my father is classified as a DAV
(Disabled American Veteran).
My mother is a charming lady. She received her diploma in the Fiji
Islands. Employment in data processing and accounts payable was her fields
of work. But since my father’s stroke, she takes care of him. Any my
brother, has just turned 18, and is contemplating on whether to join the
I love to volunteer and look forward to it. In my past year (as most
medical volunteer positions, unfortunately, require the age of 14 years or
above) I have attended several activities for lengthy time periods. When I
volunteer I feel appreciated.
The American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles sponsored program,
Youth In Action, offered me clerical and clinical expertise. I had many
positions held within a specified area of hospitals. I welcomed and
personally escorted guests, greeted and welcomed everyone who entered the
hospital’s doors, responded to patient call lights, signed-in patients,
assisted with patient files, trained for computer systems, assisted medical
team with patients, and served as liaison between patient families and
Student volunteer service at the VA (Veterans Affairs) Medical Center
is immensely demanding and rewarding. If one completes a semester at the
VA, they are prepared to handle virtually all social situations and duties.
I’ve made friends at the medical center, not only with doctors and nurses,
but also with patients, security guards, secretaries, administration
members, and nearly everyone else.
The Tarzana Regional Medical Center granted me with more clinical,
medical activity. My previous site supervisors and school-counselor and
-staff recommended me to the medical center to enter an ER Intern/Volunteer
program. I acquainted myself with the diverse crowd. Doctors and nurses
provide me knowledge of medical trauma and doctor-patient affairs.
Overall, the various volunteer positions provided constructive social
education, medical knowledge, clerical practice, and clinical-medical
I tend to do activities that help the community and, in doing so, I
help myself. People enter the medical profession for various reasons; I
aspire to become a physician because I am allowed to utilize the medical
tools available to treat people, and perhaps simultaneously, our dream, my
father’s and I, will be fulfilled.
Throughout my lifetime, of fifteen years, I have met a wide array of
people with differing attributes… none ever the same…all special.
Regardless of their age, sex, race religion, national origin, and physical
disability, my one goal is to make a remembrance of myself among us.
Either by excitement or amusement, when that individual smiles or laughs,
the moment is captured. I can reach more people through practicing
medicine: a culturally diverse selection. Caring for these patients will
be gratitude its self.
– Shaheen Emmanuel Lakhan –