Why I Help: Miki Rai

2014-08-19 - Bay Area - Why I Help: Miki Rai
I was crying because I wasn’t able to continuing singing the song, but the Red Cross volunteers were there to comfort me.

Miki Rai has accomplished what few other high school students have. Miki, who graduated Monta Vista High School in Cupertino one and a half years early, continues her deep involvement volunteering with the American Red Cross by becoming one of the youngest certified CPR instructors in the Silicon Valley and Bay Area Chapters.

“I believe everyone in our community, young and old, should have the knowledge of basic lifesaving skills in case of an emergency,” said the 17-year-old, who has taught five courses since December 2013.

As a trilingual First Aid/CPR instructor in Mandarin, Japanese, and English, Miki has taught lifesaving skills to over 1,000 people. The majority of people Miki teaches are teenagers around her own age.

“I enjoy teaching CPR because I can help break down language barriers and help promote understanding about lifesaving skills,” she said.

An avid singer and performer, Miki recalls a singing competition a few years ago, when her tape suddenly stopped in the middle of her performance. Embarrassed and in tears, she ran off stage, right into a group of Red Cross volunteers.

“I was crying because I wasn’t able to continuing singing the song, but the Red Cross volunteers were there to comfort me,” she says. They calmed her, helped her find a backup tape, and supported her as she found the courage to sing again.

Since then, Miki has been dedicated to helping others as she had been helped. She has performed regularly at the annual Red Cross Youth for Chinese Elderly (YCE) luncheon for the past few years, was the vice-president of her high school Red Cross club, chair of the Red Cross Leadership Development Camp (LDC) in 2013, and is the current co-chair of the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Youth Executive Board.

Miki is interested in a career in healthcare, and plans to continue doing what she loves -- teaching CPR classes and volunteering with the Red Cross, wherever she goes.