BEST and BRIGHTEST: Community volunteerism a part of Hustins’s psyche

NANAIMO: Marnie Hustins’s volunteer resumé is longer than many people will ever achieve in their lifetime.

Marnie Hustins

Marnie Hustins

At age 18, Marnie Hustins’s volunteer resumé is longer than many people will ever achieve in their lifetime.

The Woodlands Secondary School graduate likes to keep busy and help others.

Interested in a career in the medical field, she volunteered at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for five years, logging more than 250 hours doing tasks such as getting patients water, helping out nurses in any way she could and leading the new candystriper recruits.

“My mom was a candystriper and I’ve always wanted to be involved with medicine ever since I was diagnosed with diabetes,” she said. “I want to give back to the system that helped me.”

Hustins and her older sister were the first volunteers under the age of 18 to assist residents at Nanaimo Travellers Lodge – Hustins was still in elementary school when she started.

“I started with painting their nails and doing the ladies’ hair,” she said. “It’s nice to lend a hand – it’s seeing the smiles and the benefits of your work.”

Through the Nanaimo Youth Volunteer Corps, Hustins involved herself with numerous community events and fundraisers and she volunteered at Haven Society two years ago, manning the front desk and helping out with events.

It was tough for her to see women and children in such emotional distress.

“A lot of people don’t get the attention they need,” said Hustins.

At school, Hustins heavily involved herself with student council and was co-president last year, organizing and leading a group of 60 students.

Council organized bake sales, barbecues and other fundraisers that culminated in a $1,500 donation to the Nanaimo and District SPCA.

Participating in student council led her to the school’s environmental club, where she started a B.C. Hydro Energy Ambassadors program at her school.

Hustins got to thinking about how to get the word out about the environmental club and in the fall of 2011, started the school’s first student newspaper with the help of a teacher and using a simple computer program.

Hustins is studying biology at Vancouver Island University this fall.

“I know I want to be involved with medicine and helping people, but I can’t say for sure where I’ll be in 10 years,” she said.

Jan Durvin, the teacher sponsor for Woodlands’ student council, said Hustins is a consistent, solid leader who invested hundreds of hours in student council.