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Calvin Swimmer Adam Alexander Volunteers Time at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

Thursday, September 29, 2011

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By Sports Information Student Assistant Mark DeHaan

As a college student, juggling academics, athletics, and your social life can be difficult. Add to that a day a week volunteering at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in downtown Grand Rapids, and you’re schedule can almost be void of any free time. But, as Calvin College sophomore swimmer Adam Alexander puts it, “The Bible calls us to help those who are less fortunate, and, it’s good for the community.”

A chemical engineering major with the intention of entering medical school after graduating from Calvin, Alexander is planning on going to med school after attending Calvin to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery. Following the lead of his sister, 2011 Calvin graduate and All-MIAA swimmer Caitlin Alexander, Adam volunteers at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for three hours on Wednesdays.

“I heard about it through my sister. She found it to be a cool experience and recommended it to me, so I got involved,” said Alexander. “I enjoy helping the kids and being involved with them, and I might go into a focus on pediatrics with the orthopedic surgery.”

Alexander often plays with the kids who are able to do so, entertaining them to give their parents a break. “What I do most often with the kids is grab board games for them and we play them in their room,” he said. “Sometimes I am able to grab a Wii for the kids and we usually end up playing Mario Kart. There was one patient that we would go to the playroom and just play Just Dance 2 on the Wii, shoot hoops, or just stroll around the hospital floor talking and passing the time by. Playing with the kids brings me a lot of personal gratitude,” said Alexander.

When asked how he balances all his commitments, Alexander replied, “A lot of late nights. Studying when you have the time – just working hard. Not procrastinating too much, but still finding time to have fun.”

“Adam is a very smart swimmer and student, very popular with his teammates, and involved with several things outside of swimming, which is everything I look for in a swimmer,” said Calvin Head Swimming and Diving Coach Dan Gelderloos. “He has a great attitude and cares about more than just his own goals.”

Alexander says that some of the goals for the Calvin swim team this year are to improve on times, beat Wheaton in a dual meet, and compete for a top spot in the conference. In the pool, Alexander specializes in the freestyle and IM events. He was a member of Calvin’s 800 freestyle relay team that placed sixth at last year’s MIAA Championships.

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