Suraj Upadhya – National Volunteer Week 2021 Spotlight

We are endlessly grateful to our volunteers for giving their time to better the lives of those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our volunteers are truly the heart of the Alzheimer’s Association here in North Carolina.

In honor of National Volunteer Week 2021, we’ll be spotlighting a different volunteer from our Chapter each day. Today we are featuring…

SURAJ UPADHYA
DURHAM, NC (student residence) | Lewisville, NC (hometown)

What brought you to volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association?

I’ve been studying Alzheimer’s Disease from a research perspective. I enjoy studying the disease, but I felt that I needed another perspective to fully grasp its impact on our society. Thus, I wanted to volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association to engage with people that are affected by this disease. I wanted to help them navigate through difficult conversations and situations. 

What volunteer role(s) do you have with the Association?

Currently, I serve as a Community Educator. I’m able to provide educational programs directly to the community to provide awareness and resources. I hope to increase my role with the Association as I become more experienced. 

What do you enjoy most about your volunteer role?

I enjoy answering the questions after I give the program. These questions allow me to explore different angles from caregivers’ perspectives. In addition, by answering these questions, I feel that I’ve been able to do my job in helping and making an impact on my community. 

What piece of your role do you feel makes the biggest impact?

As a Community Educator, I believe every minute of my role has an impact as I’m able to spread awareness. I’ve primarily given the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s program, which informs the public about potential changes that may signal something unusual. Within the program, it highlights the importance of early detection. By being able to give these programs, I hope that people can pick up on these signs and reach out to a doctor earlier rather than later, thus giving them greater autonomy over their lives. 

If someone were considering volunteering with the Association, what would you say to them?

If you want to help your community, then volunteer. If you care about this topic and want to progress the Association’s mission statement of a world without Alzheimer’s, then you should volunteer. If you want to talk with people and help them through their situation, volunteer. Volunteering will increase the community’s awareness and will give you a sense of purpose, a sense of gratification. Through volunteering, you will gain valuable experiences for self-improvement while providing necessary aid to those that need it. 

THANK YOU, SURAJ.


Volunteers truly help move our mission forward. Interested in becoming a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association in NC?
Visit alz.org/get-involved-now/volunteer or call 800-272-3900. 

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