Youth Services Internship at the American Red Cross Cascades Region

 Members of the Cascades Region 2014 Youth Council at the Leadership Development Conference (LDC) they facilitated at the Red Cross Cascades Region in Portland, OR. 

  • Young people have the drive and capacity to accomplish twice as much as any adult, when provided the tools to do so.

  • ​Many adults do not understand the potential of youth and often resist providing the essential resources, time or even acknowledgement youth desperately need as developing leaders.

 

  • ​There are pivotal moments when doing what is best for the community you serve negates the importance of presenting as ‘professional’

 

  • ​True leadership means putting your ideas and opinions in the back seat and fostering opportunity for those you 'lead' to instead of taking the reigns.

  • The best and easiest route to a solution is to ask the community you serve to propose a solution rather than imposing your own. Listen.

 

  • ​Networking is essential to success.

 

  • ​Confidence is essential to networking.

  • Abandon all expectations.​

My time serving the Red Cross Youth Clubs across the Portland area was an invaluable, and challenging experience. With little resources, no guidance, and a total of 18 hours of training as an unpaid intern, I inherited the youth services department of the Red Cross, Cascades Region when the former director of youth services parted ways with the organization suddenly to pursue another opportunity. Someone recently told me that we can block out the bad and attempt to move forward like it never happened, or we can choose to view these challenging experiences as important and integral to our learning and development.

During my time with Red Cross most of my work revolved around facilitation of the Red Cross Portland Youth Council, a group of twelve young leaders from high schools across the Portland Metro Area. Witnessing the capacity, excitement, and potential of these young leaders was both shocking and inspiring.

 

While my experience was a challenge, these are my greatest take-aways;​