Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Making an Impact One Pint at a Time

Name: Mariah Manzano
From: Campbell, CA
Grade: 12 - Senior
School: Westmont High School
Votes: 0

Making an Impact One Pint at a Time

Throughout high-school, I have volunteered at
several places, but the organization that I have volunteered with
most is the American Red Cross. I have participated in the Red Cross
Club for all four years of high-school, and for the past two years, I
have been President of the club. I plan and organize blood drives
held at the school, and I regularly present to fellow students about
the Red Cross and the importance of the organization in an effort to
recruit more volunteers. In the past year, I extended my volunteer
efforts with the Red Cross by working at the Blood Donation Center in
San Jose. In that role, I check donors in and provide assistance to
them after they donate. I chose to volunteer with the Red Cross
because it is such a great humanitarian organization that people can
depend on in times of need. I volunteer an average of 10 hours per
month to my school’s club. I have also volunteered approx. 100
hours with the Blood Donation Center so far, and I was recently
honored with the Biomedical Services Volunteer of the Year Award.

Organizing the blood drives where the efforts
of many are relied upon to ensure a successful drive is very
challenging, but, fortunately, I seem to have a knack for
coordinating people and tasks. I get the most satisfaction as a
volunteer at the successful completion of a blood drive because every
pint of blood collected saves three lives, on average, and we always
collect 50 pints or more. I have learned many things as a volunteer,
but perhaps most important, is that volunteering efforts are
positively impactful to society. Essentially everyone can contribute
to making the world a better place through volunteering.

I am interested in a career where I can
leverage my creative and technical interests and so will pursue a Web
Design and Engineering degree program starting in the Fall. This is
quite different from my volunteer work with the Red Cross, and that
is my preference because I plan to continue to volunteer for the Red
Cross, and I believe that my volunteer efforts will be a nice
contrast to what I will be doing day-to-day in my career.

The nature of the Red Cross organization is to
be forward-looking by anticipating future events. For example, blood
drives are held so that blood can be collected for future needs. The
change that I ultimately seek to foster in the world with my
volunteer activities is to help save lives. I am confident that if I
were to come back in ten, twenty, or even thirty years, that my
volunteer efforts will have made a difference as I know that blood
donations save lives, and the more that I can help with these efforts
by donating blood, organizing blood drives, and convincing others to
help at blood drives, the more impactful and far-reaching my efforts
will be.

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".