Newberry Observer

Balancing academics and volunteering

NEWBERRY — Joe Cook is a full time student at Newberry College, but his interests do not stop there. He is a certified rescue responder, volunteers as a firefighter and EMT, started a fishing team on campus, is a student ambassador, is in the Summerland Honors Program and represents his class for the Honor Council.

Cook, 18 year old freshman, is a Biology major with a pre-med concentration. He says his work as a volunteer first responder will help him with his future goal, which is to be an emergency room physician. Cook became a volunteer through his father, who is also a volunteer.

Cook applied to become an EMT in December of 2016, and was admitted a month later. After being admitted, he was asked to work both departments and he gladly agreed.

Cook describes volunteer work as spur of the moment, and he never knows when he’ll get his next call. This, at times, has caused conflicts with his education and work. At one point Cook had to leave class early for a house fire, and he has missed a few classes altogether, but he said he manages to keep up with his studies.

Aubrey Guyton, Cook’s girlfriend, said he is constantly putting others before himself.

Cook hopes to continue his volunteer work until he is incapable to do so, he said he wants to volunteer for as many years as he has left.

Alex Booker for The Newberry Observer

Alex Booker is a student at Newberry College.