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Summer Interns Gain Job Skills, Commitment to Red Cross Mission

2014-08-21 - Los Angeles - Summer Interns Gain Job Skills, Commitment to Red Cross Mission
This internship reaffirmed my commitment to work with a humanitarian organization after graduation.

Thirty-three high school and college students from around the United States completed an eight-week Red Cross L.A. Region summer internship program with newfound job-related skills, as well as a commitment to promoting the mission of the Red Cross.

The interns hit the ground running June 16 by immediately taking a Red Cross First Aid and CPR training class. They were then placed in various departments and chapters for eight weeks, where they helped plan events, compile data, work with community partners, and much more.

Kelly Chu, a junior at San Gabriel High School, interned in the Development department at the San Gabriel Pomona Valley Chapter. As president of the Red Cross club at her high school, Chu was already familiar with the Red Cross, but learned much more by conducting research on various communities, creating preparedness presentations, and attending planning meetings. “I have always wanted to help people and my community and I believe that interning for the Red Cross was a great opportunity to do that,” Chu said. She hopes to inspire members of her club to learn about emergency preparedness and absorb some of the passion she has gained through the internship program.

Crissel Rodriguez, a second-year International Studies graduate student at Chapman University, also left feeling passionate about the Red Cross, where she interned in the International Services department. She devoted herself to creating databases of organizations, communities and political leaders in efforts to promote the Restoring Family Links program, which helps reunite families separated by disaster or conflict. Rodriguez became involved in the Red Cross’ efforts to reach out to the top-five foreign-born populations in the Los Angeles Region. “This internship reaffirmed my commitment to work with a humanitarian organization after graduation; I hope to use some of the research in my master's thesis,” Rodriguez said.

For college sophomore Anderson Chen, the desire to help others began at an early age. His grandfather created a non-profit organization in Taiwan, which sheltered those in need. “I was attracted to the Community Outreach department, where we did a lot of hands-on work and had one-on-one interactions with different people,” Chen said. He spent hours at different events promoting emergency preparedness and will continue volunteering with the Red Cross after the internship program.

Despite their different reasons for wanting to be part of a non-profit organization, one thing united all of the interns: the American Red Cross mission. As they sat together in early August for the last time, watching a reflection video, the students watched themselves grow from nervous interns to American Red Cross leaders.

About the Writer

Alejandra Aguilar is a senior at the University of La Verne majoring in Journalism. She interned with the Communications department, where she promoted the Los Angeles Region activities, programs and services via social media sites, wrote for the newsletter and assisted at social media trainings and special events.

Summer interns (left to right): Kelly Chu, Liza Upton, Shannon O'Neil, and Anderson Chen participate in a Community Outreach event.