Growing up, Amanda Schoeninger was no stranger to doctors and hospitals. A dance student, she broke both of her feet more than once and was as familiar with orthopedic charts as her friends were with Snapchat and Instagram.
“I had a high pain tolerance,” says Schoeninger, who, nevertheless, gave up competitive dancing and enrolled at Macomb after graduating from L’Anse Creuse North in 2017. “I wasn’t interested in going away to school yet, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I went to the intro class for the Medical Assistant program and liked what I heard. I have really enjoyed this program, especially phlebotomy.”
Perhaps it was those earlier experiences as a young patient that led her to the idea of a service learning project that involved making blankets for Children’s Hospital in Detroit and the Turning Point shelter for victims of domestic violence. She presented her idea at a meeting of Macomb’s Student Organization of Medical Assistants (SOMA) and received two thumbs up from her classmates.
“We needed some volunteer hours, and I had been making these blankets for my family,” relates Schoeninger. “You get a kit and then tie together fabric and fleece. Half of the blanket is plain, the other half is fanciful.”
The students worked in groups of two or three on the project before and after class, spending about 30 minutes a day for two weeks. When they were done, they had tied together 44 blankets, which they will divide equally between Children’s Hospital and Turning Point, just in time for winter.
“It was really fun for us to get together to make the blankets. Our goal had been to make 12,” says Schoeninger, who works part time at a veterinary office. “I was proud that we had made as many blankets as we did. We plan to take them to the hospital and shelter in December.”
Schoeninger, who enjoys golf in her spare time, lives at home with her parents and canine companions: Milo and Ellie. After she receives her associate degree from Macomb in May, as her dad and sister did before her, she intends to transfer to the University of Detroit Mercy or Wayne State University to earn a biology degree. After that, she hopes to enroll in a master’s degree program to become a physician’s assistant.
“I’ve had a great experience at Macomb,” says Schoeninger. “The teachers are very helpful, and they point you in the right direction.”