ROSEBURG, Ore. -- 16-year-old Sean Bowden started volunteering at Mercy Medical Center just to have something to put on college applications.
But, three years later, he says it's become much more than just an extra-curricular activity. "I love coming in and going into a patient's room and seeing their face light up," he said.
For all of his efforts to give back, Bowden was given the Governor's Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award.
He says he was pretty surprised when he found out. "I was screaming actually when I first got it. I was in the park with my friends, and I picked up the phone and started screaming," he said.
Bowden has spent at least five hours a week volunteering at Mercy since he started.
He mostly volunteers in the Emergency Department, but also works on outreach programs like Diagnosis Day or Ramble for Recovery, all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA.
Sean says that while he's proud to get the award, his favorite part of volunteering is the people. "Just, really connecting with a patient that you've never met before, but yet you guys will just instantly know one another. And then you can leave that room knowing you've made a difference in their lives," said Sean.
He hopes to go into the medical field when he grows up as either a pathologist or an E.R. doctor.