After an unforgettable summer of compassion, Marshall University student Lauren Barr has left a lasting mark on the lives of medically complex children at the Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville, Kentucky.
Barr began her journey with a desire to make a difference and chose Marshall for its sense of family and renowned Health Sciences Program. Marshall’s warm, close-knit community inspired her dream of becoming a Pediatric Physician Associate in an Emergency Department.
She brought that dream with her this past summer to the Center for Courageous Kids, a medical camp serving children with various illnesses. Over eight weeks, she served as a den counselor, caring for and guiding groups of children. Their days were filled with ensuring the children’s needs were met, accompanying them from activity to activity, and most importantly, ensuring they had a memorable time at camp.
For Barr, this connection to the Center for Courageous Kids ran deep. A personal history with her brother’s almost 18-year triumph over cancer had forged an everlasting bond with the center and its mission.
“Knowing the magic of CCK and how amazing of an experience it is to be a camper, it has been my dream to be on the summer staff,” Barr said. “This summer, I got to fulfill that dream.”
While it was a summer of fun, Barr was also able to fulfill her capstone experience while serving as a counselor.
“Marshall gave me the knowledge on how to act in the workplace, how to care for people, how to interact with others, and the academic information needed to complete the papers required throughout my capstone,” she said.
Being able to witness firsthand the resilience of medically complex children solidified her dedication to working with young patients.
Reflecting on her time at Marshall University, she expressed gratitude for the exceptional professors who had shaped their academic journey. Dr. Liz Pacioles, Dr. Georgiana Logan, Dr. Autumn Starcher-Patton, and Dr. Bonita Lawrence were beacons of wisdom and support, leaving an indelible mark on her educational experience, Barr said.
Her favorite memory from her time at the Center for Courageous Kids was a heartfelt letter from a camper. Filled with gratitude and anticipation for the next summer, the camper underscored the profound impact Barr had made, saying, “It is truly an unforgettable experience that I will cherish forever.”