Learn a little bit about our National Youth Council chair, Pat West!

Pat West is the current National Youth Council chair and has been volunteering with the American Red Cross for a considerable amount of time. We asked him a couple questions about his experiences.

Q: What was your first Red Cross experience and how did you get involved with the organization?
A: My first experience with the American Red Cross was probably around the age of nine. My two older brothers were both volunteering with the Red Cross and each Holiday season they would go to wrap gifts at the local mall. I can remember getting up early on a Saturday morning, bundled up and sitting outside with all the cool older kids drinking hot chocolate and wrapping gifts. Ever since then, I’ve been

Pat in his natural habitat while "adventurfying"!

hooked.

 

Q: What is your favorite food?
If you asked most of my friends what my favorite food is, they would say bacon. While I do enjoy bacon with almost anything, I have fairly wide tastes. My favorite genre would be Thai and I really just enjoy any meal I make with my friends.

Q: Sky diving or Bungee jumping?
A: I would have to say bungee jumping as I have already been skydiving!

Q: What is your advice to volunteers who are just starting out in the Red Cross organization?
A: There is so much I would love to say to new volunteers. This is my big chance! First and foremost: The American Red Cross is your organization. We are built upon the strength and dedication of volunteers like yourself. It is an understatement to say that with out volunteers the American Red Cross would not exist. We constantly evolve with the needs of our communities and because of this, there are always new and exciting opportunities to get involved. Continue to try new things and challenge yourself, you should be getting just as much out of your experience as you are giving!

Q: What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
A: I think my favorite past time can be very broadly defined as outdoor “adventurfying”. Living in California, the options are endless. If I had to state just one I would say backpacking. There is something to be said for being able to live on your own with only what is on your back. I enjoy going out on my own, but more than that I love being able to take friends and show them what the back country has to offer. Out of this passion I also developed an interest in photography and getting shots from places few would want to lug a camera to.

Q: What is your American Red Cross dream?
A: My dream for the youth movement is that the American Red Cross becomes the preeminent organization for youth to volunteer with. Two things that can make that dream a reality is 1) having a clear path of opportunities that are consistently supported across the country and 2) for youth to be connected locally, nationally and internationally through service projects, new media, and events that physically bring young Red Crossers together.

To contact Pat with questions, comments, and Red Cross related anecdotes, you can email him at westpat@usa.redcross.org.

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