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The good Cornellians can do: Michael Oak ’07

Michael Oak '07 started his volunteer journey as an emergency ambulance driver for the John H. Enders Fire Company in Berryville, Virginia.

Eight years ago, Michael Oak '07 began volunteering with his local fire department in Berryville, Virginia—first as an ambulance driver, then as an EMT, and then as a trained paramedic. Michael does his volunteer service alongside his full-time career as a compensation consultant in the investment management industry.

“Despite having a fulfilling career, I felt a compelling need to engage a different part of my mind and skills and wanted to give back to the community,” he observes.

Michael completed his paramedic training in the middle of pandemic, which required him to learn his new skills remotely and follow strict hospital protocols. Michael has to complete ongoing training in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support to keep his certifications current. He now serves as a volunteer paramedic with Blue Ridge Volunteer Fire Rescue in Bluemont, Virginia. He's also taken on leadership roles within the fire company, serving as president for two years and as a board member for an additional year.

“This experience has been more than just a diversion from my professional life," Michael says. “It has been a journey of personal growth, community service, and the pursuit of a passion."

Cornellians around the globe are sharing how they do good in communities big and small. Share your own story.