When working with community-engaged companies like GE Healthcare, you are bound to meet some truly amazing individuals. I met two such individuals, Viraj Shah and Gene Buhler, through GE Healthcare’s Day of Caring project at Kearns High School.
Viraj Shah is a Project Manager for GE Healthcare. During Day of Caring, Viraj coordinated all the indoor projects that happened at Kearns High, from a morning assembly for over 400 students, to individual curricula for 20 classes throughout the day. Gene Buhler is the Human Resource Manager and he worked directly with students all day helping them explore physics concepts through catapult experiments.
I recently had a chance to talk to both Viraj and Gene about their experience during Day of Caring and their motivations for giving back.
Q: Why did you want to be a part of Day of Caring?
Viraj: Kearns currently has a 68 percent graduation rate (compared to 81 percent statewide), and GE wants to see a long-lasting impact. By working with the students in the classrooms and sharing about our education and career paths, we can help create a vision for these students and help them to see their future after high school and going on to higher education.
Q: Do any particular stories from Day of Caring stand out in your memory?
Gene: I was helping students build catapults for a physics experiment. There was one particular girl who created one of the most successful catapults. She was very good at examining problems and trying new solutions. Every time it worked, her eyes would light up and she would get so excited. I got to see her “aha” moment. At the end of class she expressed her desire to learn more about engineering. That’s the thing about giving back – it gives more to you than you probably give. It’s a powerful thing.
Q: What words of encouragement would you give to others interested in getting involved in their communities?
Viraj: Those who could not be involved in Day of Caring should consider visiting a community school to see what you can do on a smaller level. GE Healthcare highlights the importance of encouraging girls to participate in science, math, and higher education. If we can encourage these girls early in their education, we can impact their futures.
If you did not have a chance to volunteer during Day of Caring or would like to get involved in classroom or holiday volunteer opportunities, please visit http://www.uw.org/volunteer/ to learn more and sign up.
Thank you Viraj, Gene, and the entire GE Healthcare community for donating your time, resources, and voices to help change the odds for local youth!