A few days ago I received the wonderful news that a young woman with whom I worked for many years was selected as a member of the American Red Cross National Youth Council.
As you might expect, the American Red Cross National Youth Council represents the interests and promotes the involvement of youth and young adults throughout the organization. With the goal of involving youth and young adults in increasing numbers, at all levels, and in all services of the American Red Cross, the Council works closely with the Board of Governors and the National Chair of Volunteers to develop and implement the youth programs and initiatives seen on the ground in chapters throughout the country. The Council is made up of 13 youth and young adult members representing chapters, Service to the Armed Forces, and Biomedical Services, as well as five adult specialists in chapter leadership.
There are more than 169,000 youth and young adults currently involved with the American Red Cross and therefore represented by the National Youth Council; for the young woman I mentioned (and in the photo) above – Aparna Ghosh – to be chosen as one of 13 Council members is an unbelievable honor. I am ridiculously proud of her.
Because I suspect you might be wondering what kind of young adult volunteer would be selected for the National Youth Council, I’d like to briefly share with you Aparna’s background and the process she participated in that led to her Council membership.
Aparna first joined the Washtenaw County Chapter of the American Red Cross (located in Ann Arbor, Michigan) when she was 15 years old. In the beginning, Aparna volunteered as a member of the Chapter’s Youth Community Action Team, and as she grew older she transitioned into a number of leadership roles, including that of Youth Representative on the Chapter’s Board of Directors. When she enrolled at the University of Michigan three years ago, Aparna joined the Red Cross Club on campus and eventually ascended through the “ranks” from Committee Chair to Vice-President to President, a role she will take on during the 2012-2013 school year.
To apply for a position on the National Youth Council, Aparna completed an online application, which included submitting a number of essays on her American Red Cross and volunteer experiences as well as two letters of recommendation. After the application process, Aparna interviewed with two current members of the Council, providing them with answers to questions about leadership and her goals for the Council. 10 days later the invitation came in to join this elite group of American Red Cross youth and young adult volunteers.
Congratulations to the five new members of the National Youth Council: Aparna Ghosh, Alydaar Rangwala, Doireann Perot, Siena Oberman, and Taylor Waters. I have no doubt you will prove to be remarkable representatives of and advocates for the youth and young adults of the American Red Cross. And Aparna, congratulations. I have worked with hundreds of youth volunteers throughout my nearly 10 years of affiliation with the American Red Cross, and rarely have I come across one as worthy of this honor as you.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the National Youth Council, click here.
If you or someone you know is interested in joining the American Red Cross as a youth or young adult volunteer, click here.
Email the National Youth Council here.