By Noreen Walton, American Red Cross volunteer
July 2020 Volunteer of the Month Allana Roszyk is doing great work and loving every minute! Currently a student at San Diego State University, Allana is working toward a bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition with the goal of becoming a Registered Dietician.
Allana’s passion for healthy eating began in high school. An accomplished soccer player, she experienced severe knee pain in her Junior year and underwent a series of tests to find out the cause. A diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis left her with a choice: fight the pain with steroids or with specific changes to her diet. Allana chose nutrition.
“I began to understand the importance of good nutrition and the role it plays in growth and development,” Allana explains. That understanding led to her studies at SDSU and makes her a perfect fit for the Red Cross Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Achieve for Kids program. As lead volunteer, Allana assigns over 20 Red Cross WIC volunteers to shifts, making sure there is enough coverage for infant and children care while mothers are learning about nutrition or receiving individualized counseling. She also recruits and signs up new volunteers as the WIC program’s Volunteer Engagement Lead.
Allana notes that COVID-19 has impacted the Achieve for Kids program. “Even though we are not there to watch the kids, their moms are still learning from home.” And she has faith in the power of the program and its personnel during this challenging time. “I really love the people that work at WIC. They are so passionate and giving. They uplift me.”
Her WIC colleagues model professional behavior that Allana believes makes her a better student. “In class we read about the importance of counseling our clients. Through my work with the WIC program, I’ve actually seen and heard good counseling. I’ve learned how to phrase questions. How to encourage people.”
It is clear that Volunteer of the Month Allana Roszyk loves her work and her Red Cross team. Congratulations, Allana!
To learn more about becoming a Red Cross volunteer, visit redcross.org/volunteer.