Pharmacy technician students reap rewards of giving back

by Robert Jackson, Creative Services Coordinator

Learning is normally considered to take place in a classroom with a professor giving a lecture and the students receiving information.  However, according to Southwest Associate Professor Chandra Washington, anyone can learn anything, anywhere at any time. Southwest Pharmacy Technician students learned this lesson as volunteers at Ronald McDonald House this past spring.

From left to right: Students  Monica Hill and Moriah Brown, Chandra Washington, CPhT –Professor, and students  Nomfundo Mfeka and Sierra Clark.

From left to right: Students Monica Hill and Moriah Brown, Professor Chandra Washington, CPhT –Professor, and students Nomfundo Mfeka and Sierra Clark.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis provides supportive services to its guests and keeps families close while their children are receiving treatment for cancer and other catastrophic childhood illnesses at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The organization honored the students with certificates of appreciation for their outstanding service at its annual appreciation banquet earlier this spring.  “Our students learned about the importance and impact of civic engagement,” Washington said.  “They learned how to serve the needs of our community using the skills they gained at Southwest.”

The students worked in the charity’s food pantry where they helped collect, organize and inventory the pantry’s donations. “They volunteered each week as part of a peer group where they got hands on experience receiving the food donations and checking them for expiration dates,” Washington said.

The Pharmacy Technician students began volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in 2017 and a different group volunteer for service learning during the fall and spring semesters. The students also visit patients at St. Jude Hospital.