World Youth Meeting delegates
Before we head off, we thought it would be great if the members of the American youth delegation to the World Youth Meeting in Solferino, Italy talked a little about why they are so excited to be attending and representing American Red Cross youth! Enjoy…
Hello (buongiorno) everyone,
I’m Stewart Zellars, and I’m most excited about meeting other youth from around the world, who are representing different national societies. I’m also excited about learning new things about the American Red Cross, Youth Leadership, and even presentation skills from my fellow delegates who are also representing the American Red Cross at this conference. It’s funny, because it feels like yesterday when I was in Orlando listening to Aubin give a presentation at the National Youth Institute, and now over these past weeks we’ve been on multiple conference calls about sessions that I’m helping teach! It’s just an incredible feeling to have the opportunity to work with so many wonderful individuals, who all epitomize the excellent Red Cross Volunteer. I’m also looking forward to returning to the States and expanding my local Red Cross Youth Program’s view on volunteer activities, and move towards working on a more national, and international, scale.
Stewart Zellars, Youth Volunteer, Augusta Georgia
I am so, so thrilled to be attending the Humanitarian Village and the World Youth Meeting– to feel the overwhelming passion of the international Red Cross movement, and to feel humbled and overjoyed as I better understand my tiny place in the illustrious history of our proud humanitarian organization.
My goal is to learn all I can about youth involvement in Red Cross National Societies, and to return to the United States with as much knowledge as possible to better empower our American Red Cross youth volunteers.
Chris Chen, Vice Chair, National Youth Council
As a Californian I think I am obliged to say that I am “totally stoked” for this trip. I think I am most excited to be staying in the Humanitarian Village. How awesome is it to be living with thousands of Red Cross volunteers from around the world. I am really looking forward to hearing from other delegates why they are so passionate about the same movement as myself.
My goal is to absorb like a sponge all the energy and creative ideas that will be flying around the World Youth Meeting. I also really want to show what the American Red Cross is about and share all the incredible projects we have to offer. Lastly I want to take some incredible photos and share them all with you!
Pat West, Chair, National Youth Council
It’s really hard to believe that the Red Cross/Red Crescent World Youth Meeting is actually happening, and that I, an American Red Cross volunteer, will be attending! In the 7 years I have spent volunteering with the National Youth Council, and now the National Youth Council Alumni Board, this level of international involvement has been a big dream of ours. It’s now a reality.
There are many worthy organizations to volunteer for these days and many demands on the average person’s time. What sets the American Red Cross apart for me is its role in a worldwide humanitarian movement. No matter where I go, the Red Cross is there, helping people under the same trusted, neutral symbol. I am extremely proud to be a member of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones at the World Youth Meeting in Italy.
Sandy Tesch, Second Vice-Chair, Alumni Board of the National Youth Council
The last world Red Cross / Red Crescent youth meeting was held in 1999, right after I first became a Red Cross youth volunteer. I remember hearing about all of the youth who would be attending from all over the world and really wanting to be there, too. When I learned that the next meeting wouldn’t happen for another ten years, I thought that I should probably just forget about it because it was so far away. Even ten years goes by eventually, though – so even if some of you aren’t coming with us this year, I hope you’ll stick around and take our places next time!
The part of the World Youth Meeting to which I’m looking forward the most is meeting the other delegates and learning about their lives, their cultures, and of course their work in the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. I’m especially looking forward to talking to delegates from countries with which the United States has traditionally had a difficult relationship, because I want to understand these delegates’ points of view and learn about the humanitarian work they perform in their own communities.
I hope that we will be able to bring back everything we learn and share it with all of you. The Red Cross and Red Crescent does fascinating and admirable work all over the world and I am proud to be a part of the Red Cross and Red Crescent family, along with all of you!
Aubin Dupree, First Vice Chair, Alumni Board of the National Youth Council
I love being a Red Cross volunteer because I get to be a part of not only a national but an international community. I can’t wait to connect with hundreds of youth volunteers from around the world, learn about the unique ways the Red Cross/Red Crescent mission is being translated in different countries, and bring new and improved programs back to the American Red Cross. Being on the steering committee and working on the development of the meeting, I am also really looking forward to seeing the months of planning come to life!
Mahati Acharya, Chair, Alumni Board of the National Youth Council
Continue to visit redcrossyouth.org for live updates from June 23rd to 27th, with further updates about the March to Geneva from June 28th to July 4th!