Giving, Uncategorized, we serve

Learning Through Service

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is tied up with mine, then let us work together.” – Lilla Watson

The above quote from Aboriginal artist/activist Lilla Watson is exactly how I would define my experience at Pacific Dental Services®. From the simplest interactions with co-workers at the coffee-machine, to the more challenging process of trying to deliver the message of We Serve out to everyone in the company.

To briefly introduce myself, my name is Ivana Shepard and I am a graduate student at Chapman University. Shortly, I’ll be graduating with a degree in International studies. Woo hoo!

This summer I interned with Kyle and Chelsey in the We Serve Department. Although most of the people refer to it as the FUN Department! There exists a deeper, more deliberate purpose of We Serve, and that is to unlock the economic and social value through doing good.

And how did this exactly translate to my contribution at PDS®?

I spent a great deal of my time at PDS planning and executing events. Altogether, I have organized two events, one for the interns at the South County Outreach and one for the National Support Center employees at the Back Bay Therapeutic Riding Club.

Ivana volunteering at the Back Bay Therapeutic Riding Club


As part of the volunteer planning, I have also pioneered the process for setting up volunteer events in the Region, particularly in Brighton and Phoenix area, that I hope will set an example for the rest of the offices in the future.

While working on the volunteer events, I kept asking myself: why do people volunteer? Many participate in volunteering because it creates a value for the community. While this is true, volunteering also increases employee performance, loyalty and morale, develops employee skills, spurs innovation and creativity, improves employee relations, attributes to higher levels of life satisfaction, and not to forget the business case, it mitigates employee turnover and saves the company valuable resources.

After doing some research here at PDS, findings show a definite positive correlation between volunteering and employee retention.

PDS has provided situations that I would never face in the classroom, for which I am forever thankful. The We Serve Department in particular has given me room to think creatively and make decisions on my own. Most importantly, it has shown me that it’s not the job itself, but the culture that makes the employees thrive.

Thank you, PDS, for a wonderful opportunity!

Pacific Dental Services Summer 2017 Interns at South County Outreach during a We Serve event

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About Ivana Shepard

Ivana Shepard is the We Serve Intern at Pacific Dental Services®. Ivana is currently finishing up her MA in International Studies from Chapman University. Her passions include volunteering, cooking and traveling whenever she has the opportunity!