Amisha’s Reflection on the Field Ambassador Program

2017-2018 Field Ambassador for Los Angeles Region: Amisha Chowdhury

Anyone who knows me personally knows that there is only one thing I can ramble on about for days: the American Red Cross. Being the Red Cross obsessed individual I am, when I saw a post pop up on the American Red Cross Youth Network Facebook page about a new Field Ambassador position with the National Youth Council, I knew I had to apply.

For the last seven months, I have had the incredible opportunity to serve as one of the first Field Ambassadors with the National Youth Council.

My term as a Field Ambassador has been an eye-opening experience as it helped me understand the Red Cross on a broader level and connect with some of the most passionate youth volunteers in the country.

Before becoming an Ambassador, I was only familiar with the youth program at my local chapter in the Los Angeles Region. Of course, there were other regions in the country, but little did I know that there were 60, each region established differently. Even though the Field Ambassador program encompasses only ten of these regions, each one has its own unique structure.

Hearing each of the passionate Field Ambassadors talk about their local chapter allowed me to collaborate with others and use some of the tips back at my own local chapter.

In the first month of the program, I was able to connect with the contacts in my region. My first attempt at trying to understand the needs of my region was sending out a survey to the youth leaders asking about their shortcomings and challenges.

My goal was to gain a better understanding of how I could support my region with the resources provided by the National Youth Council. Throughout my term I provided additional resources such as activity guides, meeting tips, and fundraising ideas, to maximize individual club involvement in my local region.

The next few months of the program I collaborated with our cohort of ten Field Ambassadors to launch our own social media campaign promoting our upcoming Sound the Alarm fundraiser on a national level. Then we worked on a volunteer recognition project to nominate one club and one member from our local region in light of volunteer recognition week. Our term as Field Ambassadors ended with a farewell video chat with awards and last remarks.

The lifelong memories and relationships I have created with the other Field Ambassadors and National Youth Council members are ones that I will remember in the years to come.

I have not only learned to collaborate with youth leaders on a large scale, but I have been able to master communication skills and enhance my professional development. The monthly calls with the National Youth Council members provided me with the opportunity to receive one-on-one feedback on the projects I was working on. The Field Ambassador program has encouraged me to take on bigger roles in my local Red Cross chapter and go outside my comfort zone to engage with youth volunteers in the Los Angeles Region.

As I reflect back on my term this year as a Field Ambassador, it excites me to envision the program grow all across the country. I know there are many passionate youth volunteers that can benefit from this program in both developing their local chapter and building their leadership skills, just as I did. No matter how small or big your local chapter might be, I encourage anyone interested in the position to apply.

I started the Red Cross club at my high school back in freshman year for some community service hours. What started as an effort to stand out on college application has grown to become part of my identity. I can now confidently say that starting the Red Cross Club was the best decision I have made in high school and I look forward to continuing my lifelong commitment with the American Red Cross!

To read more about the Field Ambassador program and how you can apply, visit this page.

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