Local Red Cross Youth Reaching Extraordinary Heights Through Volunteerism

As Director of Youth and Young Adult Services for the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region, I get to work with some of the most talented youth volunteers and witness their volunteer journey with the Red Cross. 2 of my senior youth volunteers in particular have accomplished so much during their tenure as Presidents of their local Red Cross Youth Executive Board (E-Board) and have received numerous awards and recognition for their work. Their reward? College acceptance into a prestigious 8 year medical program at Brown University and receiving a $60,000 scholarship to attend Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television.

Heejae Yang began volunteering with the Red Cross as a freshman at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles. She joined the Red Cross Club at her school and participated in local events at the West LA Red Cross chapter office. Heejae became very active coordinating Safe Kids Trainings, Disaster Safety Puppet Shows, and fundraising for Measles Initiative. She was recognized by a local news station, KTLA 5, as a “Hero at Home” for her work in training over 1,500 children in earthquake and fire safety through our puppet show. As president of the West LA E-Board, Heejae continued to make a positive impact through mentoring several new youth volunteers and supporting 7 Red Cross clubs in her district. I was honored and proud to write a letter of recommendation for Heejae’s college applications and was thrilled when she accepted into Brown’s 8 year medical program. I know she will continue to exude her positive influences wherever she goes as she continues volunteering with the Red Cross.

Siena Oberman is one of the most creative youth volunteers I have ever encountered and has extreme initiative and personal drive. She started her volunteer journey with the Red Cross as a sophomore at Palos Verdes High School where she was instrumental in starting a Red Cross Club at her school. She was also a pioneer in creating a Youth Corps program at the South Bay Red Cross office and became President of the E-Board this past year expanding the youth program to support 5 Red Cross clubs in her district. She is extremely passionate about the Measles Initiative and is currently participating in the Wildfire Long Course Triathlon in a “Race for Life” campaign to raise $1,000 to vaccinate 1,000 children. This World Championship Ironman qualifier race includes a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 mile run! Siena received the LA Region “2011 Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award” in recognition for her contribution to the Red Cross. She will be attending the LMU School of Film and Television through a full scholarship and has aspirations to continue volunteering throughout college.

I am humbled by the extraordinary accomplishments of these 2 youth volunteers as they have given me more inspiration to provide meaningful opportunities for youth to make an impact through Red Cross volunteer service. You can make a difference too!!! Learn how to get more involved, by visiting  www.RedCrossYouth.org and share your Red Cross story!


Bee Kong

National Youth Council Advisor

bkong.nyc@gmail.com

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Volunteer Connection

Volunteer Connection