Red Cross recognizes youth and young adult volunteers during National Youth Involvement Month

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November is National Youth Involvement Month (NYIM), a time to celebrate the great work done by thousands of American Red Cross youth and young adult volunteers in support of our mission.

Up to 25% of American Red Cross volunteers are youth or young adults, ages 24 and under.

The Red Cross has a proud history of commitment to young people and their value to the organization. This commitment revolves around programs aimed at involving young people from elementary school through high school, college and beyond.

Young Red Cross volunteers are as diverse as the American population. They are athletes who organize blood drives on college campuses, nursing students who train to serve in community disaster shelters, high school students who raise funds to vaccinate children around the world against measles. .

As a member of their school’s Red Cross Club, students can support local, national or even international issues. In addition to Red Cross clubs, high school students can participate in the Field Ambassador program, serving as a liaison between their local Red Cross region and the National Youth Council. The Council, yet another opportunity for young people, is made up of young members who advocate for young volunteers to get involved at national and local levels.

Many students who pursue higher education continue to support the Red Cross by joining Red Cross clubs on their college campuses. And there are Red Cross Young Professionals groups across the country made up of dedicated volunteers between the ages of 25 and 35 from all industries and walks of life who promote and support the Red Cross.

Young people represent both the future of the Red Cross and the present. Young people engaged in Red Cross services and programs directly experience the humanitarian values ​​that the Red Cross embodies. Through such involvement, they will become the future leaders of the organization, service volunteers, blood donors and community supporters.

During the month of November, we pay tribute to our young professionals, middle school and high school, middle school and elementary school students who make a difference every day. You can learn more at redcross.org/red-cross-youth.

Throughout the year, young volunteers support the Red Cross in different ways. Here are some of their stories:

LOS ANGELES AREA Each year, Red Cross volunteers work behind the scenes to support the Rose Parade which kicks off the Rose Bowl, one of college football’s most anticipated games.

This year, 54 Red Cross high schools and colleges participated in the event as part of the Los Angeles area first aid support. After successfully completing basic resuscitation, oxygen administration, first aid and bloodborne pathogen courses, they worked a total of 432 hours under the Red Cross lifeguard presence in the parade.

EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA REGION Srijan Oduru is a senior at Green Hope High School and a Red Cross Youth Field Ambassador for the Eastern North Carolina region. There were many active clubs in his area, but no platform available where different clubs could actively collaborate with each other.

Srijan founded a series of youth leadership conferences to streamline national and regional outreach across his region. In a recent JLC ​​series, he highlighted the importance of recognizing and celebrating volunteers, and plans to feature upcoming topics on how to increase engagement and transitions between high school and college roles. .

CENTRAL FLORIDA REGION Himashi Liyanarachchi founded the Red Cross Club at Seminole High School in Sanford, Florida. She is also a member of the National Red Cross Youth Council. After getting involved in her local Sound the alarm fundraising programs and initiatives, Himashi became interested in international humanitarian law (IHL). She led her club’s first IHL youth action campaign and reached out to a large audience virtually to discuss autonomous weapons. Although this is their club’s first youth action campaign on IHL, the team gained new insights into international humanitarian law and learned the importance of advocacy through their experience.

As the political keynote speaker for the Youth Action Campaign IHL Summit, Himashi was recently able to speak to select members of Congress about autonomous weapons regulations.

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA REGION Ryanne Li is president of the Newbury Park High School Red Cross Club. Last year, she and her club organized Ride for the Red, hands-on CPR demonstrations, care packages for those affected by fires and holiday cards for active military, veterans and their families.

As president, her role was to encourage the team and organize activities throughout the year. Ryanne has worked with many responsible and passionate leaders who are inspired by the mission of the Red Cross and strive to be part of it within their own communities.

NEW JERSEY REGION Arthi Venkatakrishnam first became interested in the Red Cross when Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey in 2012 and she saw volunteers helping. At age 13, she became a volunteer and joined the Princeton Youth Council. In 2019, she became involved in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) with the Red Cross, speaking with former refugees and current high school students at Aiken High School in Ohio. She produced a podcast that was recognized by both the Red Cross and National Public Radio (NPR).

A recent high school graduate, Arthi is a Senior Field Ambassador, National Youth Council Social Media Intern, IHL Youth Action Campaigner for Red Cross National Headquarters, as well as Regional Head of Admissions and President of the New Jersey Youth Volunteer Admissions Processing Center. Advice.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COASTAL REGION Edmund Tang was only 16 when he became heavily involved in the Red Cross Youth Corps. Moving to the Northern California Coastal Region (NCCR), Tang discovered that there were no formal youth programs there, so he met his chapter and regional Cross team. -Rouge and AmeriCorps representatives to launch formal youth programs.

Today, Edmund is a busy medical student, but finds time to continue volunteering both in the NCCR and in the Los Angeles area. He is the Disaster Action Team Administrator and Information and Planning Coordinator, as well as Deputy Post Chief for the Los Angeles Area First Aid Post Team and deploys to nationwide in disaster health services as an emergency medical technician and shelter associate.

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