For our March Volunteer of the Month, we are shining a spotlight on the dedication of Josiah Cooper!
Josiah is 16 and began volunteering for Heart2Heart last year, while the pandemic was still making it difficult to find places to volunteer. He helps out at Pacifica Senior Living in Sunrise every Sunday afternoon for several hours and sometimes on Saturday.
“The people are nice, and it’s given me an opportunity to improve my social skills,” Josiah said.
Josiah assists the activities director at Pacifica. He often leads Bingo, calling out numbers for the popular game. Then he helps in the dining room, serving drinks and busing dishes.
Volunteering has been a good experience for Josiah because he doesn’t otherwise have the opportunity to speak with older people.
“I’m kind of a shy person. It brings me out of my shell to talk to people, especially different age groups,” Josiah said.
Leading bingo, in particular, has helped him because calling out the numbers forces him to project his voice for a long period of time.
The residents love to talk with him.
“The seniors give me advice on things: about being wise with money, staying in school, sticking to my career path, not procrastinating, focusing on what’s right, not getting involved in bad groups of people,” Josiah said. “Basically just staying focused on my goals.”
Josiah first learned about the opportunity to serve at Pacifica because his mom, Nicola Cooper, worked at the front desk. While she was still there, the residents would come and tell her what a nice, well-mannered man Josiah was.
Nicola said she has seen how volunteering at the care center has helped Josiah open up more.
“He’s very committed to whatever he does,” she said.
Josiah is a junior at Sheridan Technical High School, where he’s studying web development and taking college-level courses.
He said he would recommend volunteering at a care center to other teens.
“People in my generation, we’re not very social. It can improve the way you converse with other people,” he said.
Heart2Heart appreciates how Josiah has brightened the lives of residents at Pacifica. Thank you for your dedication, Josiah!