Meet second year council member Melissa Zhu!

Melissa strikes a pose.

Hi everyone, happy December 1st! my name is Melissa Zhu, a second-year National Youth Council member, and a first-year medical student at Texas Tech University Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. I have volunteered for the Red Cross for more than 6 years now, and have loved every piece of my Red Cross memory! From high school to medical school, my life could have been much less meaningful if I did not choose the American Red Cross. Dear friends, if you have also been part of the American Red Cross, you will probably have to agree with me on that. 🙂

So where was the beginning of my journey? Well, I started as a Red Cross club member in my high school. We volunteered at nursing homes and participated in mass CPR trainings. I truly enjoyed helping the elderly, equipping myself for emergency situations and doing services with my fellow club members. Then when I was a high school senior, I was selected to be a board member at the American Red Cross Greater Houston Area Chapter Youth Committee Board, where we united Red Cross clubs across the Houston greater area and organized the Leadership Development Conference for the entire city.

Serving the American Red Cross was not only rewarding but addictive. Upon entering college at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, I immediately joined the Vanderbilt Red Cross club and continued the “Together, we can save a life” mission there. Due to my active involvement and enthusiasm, I became the club president during my junior year and senior year, and rapidly expanded this organization. At Vanderbilt Red Cross, we had a broad spectrum of service projects to reach almost every area of the Red Cross mission: blood drives, CPR/First Aid/AED training, disaster trainings, disaster relief, VA hospital volunteering, fundraisers for the Measles Initiative, and community services. Early this year, we started a national pilot program on International Humanitarian campus training. Vanderbilt Red Cross has attracted more than 100 active volunteers and is continue growing to be one of the premier service organizations on campus. Personally, seeing more and more Vanderbilt students committing to the Red Cross was an extremely rewarding experience and had kept me through many difficult days.

My Red Cross journey did not stop after I graduated from Vanderbilt, because I knew it had become part of my identity. I continue working closely with other council members to advocate for the Red Cross youth involvement and attract youth volunteers like you. Dear friends, are you ready to make a difference and to let the Red Cross define who you are? I promise you that from the moment you commit to the American Red Cross, your life will start to change! If you have any question, please feel free to reach me at I look forward to hearing from you!


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Volunteer Connection

Volunteer Connection