VA Youth Volunteer of the Year 2020: “I’m here to help other people”


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The Knights of Columbus have honored Serena Parmar for her volunteer service of more than 400 hours at the Columbia VA Health Care System. Parmar has volunteered at the Columbia VA for the past four years, giving freely of her time to honor Veterans for their service.

Columbia VA Director David Omura appreciates Parmar’s volunteer work. “Her willingness to display patience, kindness and thoughtfulness to accommodate the needs of aging Veterans is heartwarming,” he said.

Pictured above, Parmar proudly displays her VA Youth Volunteer award with (left to right) her parents, Dr. Deepti Parmar, Dr. Raj Parmar and Don Van Borsch, Knights of Columbus.

During the summer of 2020, Parmar did not let the pandemic stand in the way of her volunteer work. She presented a project of live patriotic musical performances that could be shared with residential Veterans.

VA community feels like second home

Parmar has touched the lives of many Veterans and has made a tremendous impact in each of the areas she has been assigned over the past four years. She recommends volunteering at the Columbia VA and has built strong ties with its community. For her, it feels like a second home.

“I’m not here for me,” she said. “I’m here to help other people. Volunteering has made me who I am. It has taught me responsibility and to be accountable for my actions.”

Parmar credits her parents who both work at the Columbia VA for her stellar work ethic, commitment and dependability. Her mother, Dr. Deepti Parmar, provides care for Veterans in Primary Care, and her father, Dr. Raj Parmar, in the GI clinic.

Don Van Borsch, navigator of the Knights of Columbus Assembly 1072, said, “It is an honor to find a way to show our support for the patriotism of our volunteers and medical care providers. Serena Parmar is a remarkable young woman who has made a tremendous impact and impression at the VA facility.”


Author Marlous Black is a public affairs specialist and photographer Arthur Castle is a visual information specialist, both for the Columbia VA Health Care System.

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