Twin JPS Volunteers Earn Matching TCU Scholarships

April 15th, 2019

The path to great things for a pair of ambitious, young volunteers leads through the JPS Health Network.

Identical twins Aung Thein, who goes by the nickname “Jason,” and Aung Hein, known to his friends as “Jack,” were born in Burma. They moved to Malaysia as refugees on a path that led to their eventual arrival in the United States five years ago. This week, the two aspiring future physicians were providing company and care to patients recovering from surgery at JPS at part of its Senior Student Program. In the fall, they’ll be full ride scholarship students at Texas Christian University.

JPS Health Network HELP volunteers earn scholarships to study at Texas Christian University

JPS Health Network HELP volunteers earn scholarships to study at Texas Christian University

“We don’t always do the same things just because we’re twins,” explained Jack, who with his brother is a senior at O.D. Wyatt High School in Fort Worth. “We’re here because we’re both interested in careers in the medical field and in experiencing the things we will need to know for our future. It’s also nice to be able to help people while we learn.”

Jack wants to be a general practitioner someday while Jason hopes to become a cardiologist. The twins agreed that, after they graduate, they’d love nothing better than to come home to practice at JPS.

“That’s definitely our goal,” Jason said. “It would be great if we could come back here to work someday.”

Kim Pinter, Director of Volunteer Services at JPS, said the Senior Student Program volunteers come once a week throughout the semester to assist with the health network’s Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), which is designed to prevent or decrease delirium in geriatric patients.

“HELP gives students exposure to patient care and helps them to learn about bedside manner,” Pinter said. “It’s a collaboration between Volunteer Services, Geriatrics and Spiritual Care and Ethics that works great for both the students and for the patients.”

According to the Fort Worth Independent School District, Jack and Jason were two of only five seniors at O.D. Wyatt to get full ride community scholarships at TCU. The scholarships are valued at $260,000 each and will allow the twins to pursue degrees in the university’s Pre-Med and Biology programs.

Their high school teacher, Catherine Asaolu, said the young men are some of the most ambitious – yet thoughtful and kind – students she’s ever taught.

“They’re very respectful and very interested in learning everything they can,” Asaolu said. “I don’t think I have ever had any students who are more focused than they are.”

Patient Ralph Jumper, 79, of Bridgeport, is recovering from surgery to repair a broken hip. He said he was thrilled to have the twins come by to chat with him for a while, offer him a magazine and assist him with exercise.

“I just enjoy people,” Jumper said. “I’m always glad to meet someone new because I think if you treat others nice, more often than not, they’ll treat you nice, too. Plus, I like a good conversation. So, I’m glad they came by to say hello.”

Jack said the most valuable thing he and his brother have learned is that there’s more to care than medicine, surgery and rehabilitation.

“We’ve found that emotional support – letting the patients know you care about them and that you want to hear what they have to say – is just as important in the healing process as anything else,” Jack said. “It’s great that we were able to help out by brightening the day a little bit for some of them. I’ll always remember what I’ve learned as a volunteer at JPS.”

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