Summer Internship Students Get Close Up View of Red Cross Work

by Jasmine Han, Summer Communications Intern/Sophomore, Chapman University

This summer, the American Red Cross Los Angeles welcomed 35 summer interns, representing high schools and colleges across the nation such as Temple City High School, Harvard Westlake, UCLA, Smith College, and John Hopkins University. The internship program is a nine-week program designed to provide students the opportunity to gain leadership, as well as communication and practical skills in a professional setting and in their areas of interest, while serving their communities. Interns can work from any of the Red Cross Los Angeles Region Chapters and are offered the opportunities to work in various departments from Communications to the Executive Office.

I am one of the summer interns who work in the Communications department. My everyday tasks include writing, editing and compiling articles for our Red Cross LA Talks blog and Red Cross LA website. In addition to that, I have several projects that I am currently working on. I am in the works of creating an Infographic to highlight all of Red Cross’ accomplishments throughout the year and a guide for youth volunteers.  I also had the chance to talk to other interns who shared with me what they were doing.

Kevin Huang, an upcoming senior at South Pasadena High School, works in the Financial Department with the Major Gifts Officer. He’s tasked with a several projects that will help the American Red Cross receive donations. The project will help the organization inform donors about different services and projects they can donate to. Overall, the internship has shed some light on how a non-profit organization is run.

[pullquote] This internship program is rewarding and has provided us all with an experience in non-profit work. We witnessed firsthand how dedicated and passionate Red Cross employees are about the organization’s mission to “prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers…” and the number of people we are able to reach out to. The internship will end on August 12th, the graduation date for all interns.
-Jasmine Han
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Sophie Pham, an upcoming senior at Temple City High School, is a Disaster Cycle Services (DCS) Intern. She assists with preparing for disasters, as well as responding to disasters and helping clients in their disaster recovery. She has to be prepared every day for Disaster Action Team (DAT) call, where they respond to local disasters, such as home fires, and provide immediate assistance to clients. For projects, she works alongside another DCS intern, Shaghig. They complete assignments such as finding and organizing Client Casework resources in order for caseworkers to easily locate resources to aid clients who have recently experienced a disaster. They are currently modifying the process of planning a Home Fire Campaign event and creating a presentation for Fire Departments about the importance of Disaster Action Teams. For her, the internship has been educational and rewarding, because disasters can occur at any time and each week can bring new experiences along with new people to help.

Natalie Choi, an upcoming junior at Harvard Westlake High School, is the Executive Office Intern and works under Johanna Bonillo and Jarrett Barrios, LA Region CEO. Typically, her role is to help schedule meetings, file paperwork, and keep track of board members’ hours and generous donations. Primarily, Natalie has been working with board meetings and making sure things run smoothly both within the organization and at events. Though, her role is not a direct interaction with volunteers in the field, she has really enjoyed learning a little about every area of the American Red Cross and seeing how everything comes together.

My story, Kevin’s, Sophie’s and Natalie’s stories are just a few that represent the departments we work within. However, interns are also represented in the Community Outreach department, International Service, Services to Armed Forces, Volunteer Services, and Youth and Young Adults Services.

To learn more about the internship program, please visit the page here.

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