Yale University School of Nursing student Brandon Ko '10 was presented the 2009 YSN Community Service Award. The award presentation followed the annual Sybil Palmer Bellos Lecture.
YSN Dean Margaret Grey presented Ko with the award and read the official Community Service Award Citation:
"Despite a heavy academic workload in the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specialty, this student has contributed a great deal to the Yale University and New Haven communities. For the last three years, he has participated in and helped organize Healthy Neighbors Day fairs in the Church Street South Housing Development directly across the street. Working within this community, he has also developed afterschool activities, a health promotion program for youth and is developing an adolescent mentoring program.
"He has volunteered with Planned Parenthood's Real Life, Real Talk program, which focuses on teaching communication skills between parents and teens regarding sex, sexuality and safety. He also volunteers with the Musical Cure, a group of students who perform at convalescent homes, rehabilitation centers, AIDS groups, and the like. Additionally, he has collaborated with the Yale Health Initiative Taskforce to provide screening, health education and advocacy services to underserved members of various communities throughout New Haven.
"During this year's Spring Break, he volunteered his time to provide nursing care for children in Managua, Nicaragua, at YSN's La Escuelita Project. In preparation for this trip, he helped with planning and fundraising, even helping to raise funds by playing his saxophone outside of the Medical School.
"Since coming to YSN, he has been actively involved in Have Bones…Will Travel, a program designed to spark schoolchildren's enthusiasm for science and inspire them to consider nursing as a possible future profession. … He has extended the typical student responsibility of presenting the program to the public by creating new curricula.
"He is engaging, dynamic, and a wonderful ambassador for YSN. He possesses significant personal characteristics that draw people to him: warmth, charisma, and thoughtfulness. He embodies all of the characteristics of a dedicated community servant and of a highly professional health care provider. He has made outstanding contributions to the community in the delivery of health care in New Haven - and beyond. He is, quite simply, a delightful and compassionate person who has a high commitment to others and serves the community at every opportunity.
"For his compassion, deep commitment and significant contributions to his community, the Yale University School of Nursing is proud to present the 2009 Community Service Award to Brandon Ko."