Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Red Cross - a look back

The journey began 5 years ago.

In December of 2006, I was elected as the first youth board member on the board of directors of the Delaware County Red Cross, working with then-Executive Brandon Feller.

Early 2007, I began the Buckeye Valley High School Red Cross Club and was elected its President.  The club accumulated hundreds of volunteer hours, 80 members and is still an active part of the high school community to this day.

BVHS Red Cross Club, 2008

Mid-2007, a youth coordinator was hired to the DelCo Red Cross branch in order to facilitate more youth involvement, which had been spurred on by the BVHS club.  The Delaware Hayes High School Red Cross Club was created and continues to this day.

Late 2007, I was honored with Youth Volunteer of the Year and Youth Hero of Delaware County, both thanks to the wonderful opportunities given to me by the DelCo Red Cross.

Early 2008, I was one of two recipients nationally who received the prestigious Navin Narayan College Scholarship via the American Red Cross.  Navin was a remarkable individual (see: and I couldn't be more proud to have received a scholarship in his name.

2008 - 2010, I was the student coordinator for the blood-drives held at Bryn Mawr College.  We accumulated the most units of blood donated at the college in over a decade and the involvement of peers grew with each blood drive.

2010 - 2011 marked my time abroad in Oxford, where I have been pondering the significance of international relations amongst Red Cross societies around the world.  I decided to apply to be one of the 13 youths who make-up the National Youth Council of the American Red Cross, in hopes that I might be able to contribute to international awareness and bring my Red Cross experience to a national level.

June, 2011 - I was elected as a member of the National Youth Council of the American Red Cross to serve a 3 year term, beginning immediately.  I am also the projected International Representative, as my unique experience abroad has leant me much valuable information that the council believes will be useful in this role.  The council has many goals in the next year and subsequent three years, most of which center around gaining face-to-face interaction with the nation's youths (aiming for numbers in the thousands), promoting National Youth Involvement Month (November), redoing our website to become more user friendly and interactive ( amongst many other things.  I am incredibly excited to be undertaking this role.  It will be a lot of work and time, but it is entirely worth it.  I will also be traveling (all expenses paid) up to 5 times a year to different locations around the USA to meet with my fellow members.

"The American Red Cross National Youth Council (NYC) is a group of 13 youth members and 3 adult advisers who work to better serve the youth volunteers of the American Red Cross. We advocate for youth involvement throughout the organization, create resources, and run awesome websites like We strive to further the humanitarian mission of the American Red Cross by empowering youth and young adult volunteers to become community and organizational leaders. Drawing upon their creativity, dedication, and energy, the National Youth Council seeks to promote young volunteers as an organizational resource and help young volunteers reach their full potential in serving their communities through the American Red Cross.  We work in close partnership with the Office of the National Chair of Volunteers in implementing its initiatives. Twenty-nine percent, or 169,312, of American Red Cross volunteers are youth or young adults, defined as age 24 and younger."

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