When Alice Zhai moved to the United States from China last year to get her masters in statistics at George Washington University, she also knew she wanted to find a way to volunteer in her new community. Alice therefore searched for volunteer opportunities where she could use her data collection skills and found an opportunity to intern with the Red Cross.
As a volunteer intern with the Community Outreach team, she helped work on the Hispanic Outreach Pilot project, an initiative focused on outreach to the rapidly growing Hispanic communities in the DC region. Alice has helped the team by doing a lot of data collection – collecting information from the US Census Bureau and other sources to try to get a grasp on what regions the Red Cross in the National Capital Region should focus on when trying to reach out to Hispanic communities. For example, Alice looked at population statistics over the past few decades and discovered that in 1990 there were about 217,000 Hispanic residents in the DC area. In 2011, there were about 700,000.
Alice has created numerous spreadsheets and maps, and her research is now being used by the Community Outreach team to find more ways to educate and inform the DC Hispanic community about the Red Cross and the many services they provide.
“I’m so happy I found this. I’ve met a lot of awesome volunteers,” observed Alice. Her data collection work for the Red Cross also encouraged her to find more ways to volunteer with the organization. Alice has also recently found an additional way to volunteer with the Community Outreach team, by attending community events and distributing valuable information especially related to preparedness. This information she put to good use a few weeks ago when DC briefly had a tornado warning. Alice knew what to do because of what she learned with the Red Cross!