By Kennedy Benjamin/American Red Cross
Every November, the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region celebrates Youth Involvement Month to acknowledge the 95 youth clubs in the region, and all our youth volunteers dedicated to serving the Red Cross mission.
May Nicole Cagulada has been volunteering with the Red Cross for over two years, co-founding the Red Cross club at her high school during her sophomore year and months later, being elected as a Board Officer for the International Services (IS) and Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) lines of service.
In these positions, Cagulada collaborated with club members to take on a wide range of responsibilities, ranging from planning meetings to organizing a campaign to spread awareness about cultural preservation that expanded across two territories in the LA region.
“Having the courage to start a Red Cross club and getting involved at the regional level was very transformative for me; I was pushed out of my comfort zone to really step up to be a leader, which I don't think I would have gotten anywhere else” said Cagulada.
Being a volunteer has given Cagulada what she described as a “sense of purpose” and provided her with a space to remove herself from the stress of academics. She also credits volunteering for the chance to serve a bigger cause.
As a Red Cross youth volunteer, Cagulada’s responsibilities expanded — she served as the IS/SAF Executive Board Vice President before becoming a Youth Advisor.
Now a freshman at UCLA, Cagulada says she’s thankful to the Red Cross for shaping her into the person she is today.