Senior Salomi Inje works towards her dreams at St. Luke’s Hospital


Nayeon Ryu

Senior Salomi Inje reads a science textbook to further her medical knowledge. Inje volunteered for four years to work towards her dream of becoming a pediatrician. “I’ve always loved kids; I actually wanted to be a teacher for a few years. I also loved healthcare, and something about it felt like my calling,” Inje said. “Pediatrics was the perfect blend between the two, and I truly think it’s a job I can’t get bored of or regret.”

Along with achieving a perfect 36 on the ACT, winning debate tournaments and mastering the violin, senior Salomi Inje reached 500 volunteer hours for St. Luke’s Hospital over the course of her high school career. Since winter of her freshman year, Inje worked four hours every week.

“It’s basically a part of my schedule. If I don’t volunteer for more than a week, I end up feeling weird,” Inje said. “Volunteering gave me time to think, and therefore was monumental to my growth.”

Inje’s father presented the opportunity to her after she turned 14 years old, which was St. Luke’s minimum age requirement to start volunteering. Since Inje started volunteering, the age requirement was raised to 16 years.

“It seemed like a good opportunity. I was planning to head into the healthcare field, and I figured some time in hospitals would be good experience,” Inje said. “It was hard at first as a hyperactive freshman who had a short attention span. It became meditative after a while; it was my time to unplug and just spend time with my job and my thoughts.”

Throughout the four years she worked as a volunteer, Inje not only gained skills in the medical field, but she also established close relationships with the hospital staff.

“I’ve been working with a lot of [the staff] for years now. They’re all super sweet, and we catch up whenever we see each other. A lot of them ask about school or college plans, and it creates a really friendly atmosphere,” Inje said.

It truly expanded my knowledge of people and their circumstances, especially going into a healthcare setting.”

— Solomi Inje

Inje has worked in various jobs around the hospital over the past four years: delivering medicine in the inpatient pharmacy, managing cash in the gift shop and taking calls at the front information desk. Because she enjoys interacting with people, her favorite job was in the gift shop.

“When people were visiting because of a baby, I got to see baby pictures. If somebody was having a tough time, I got to hear their stories,” Inje said. “It truly expanded my knowledge of people and their circumstances, especially going into a healthcare setting.”

In addition to gaining patient knowledge and flourishing in the healthcare field, Inje believes her time spent volunteering helped her to grow as a person. Ready to explore the next chapter of her life, Inje has committed to Rockhurst University. However, she hopes to continue volunteering at a nearby St. Luke’s.

“I fell in love with both the people there [at Rockhurst] and the place. Their entire mission is service-oriented, so I felt like it fit my goals perfectly,” Inje said.

Inje hopes to meet her long term plans of becoming a pediatrician and volunteering abroad with programs like Doctors Without Borders.

“[Volunteering] started out as gaining experience for college, a way to test myself in a hospital setting while doing some good. Now I think of it as an affirmation of my motivations [since] the [numerical] hours I collect now have no benefit for my future,” Inje said. “I volunteer to prove to myself that I’m committed to making this world a better place. It’s me starting small. [I want to] dedicate my life to helping people.”