Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why AmeriCorps and Red Cross? What am I doing?

In February I celebrated my one year Red Cross anniversary! It was over a year ago that I joined the Red Cross Central Valley Region as a Service to the Armed Forces intern. At the time I was a senior at California State University Fresno and in need of an internship to complete a certification in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership. Reflecting upon the past I am glad that I chose the Red Cross as my internship site. After completing my 300 hour internship I was given the opportunity to continue to serve the Central Valley and support the Red Cross mission as an AmeriCorps member.
I chose to become an AmeriCorps member because it is important to me that I serve my community and make a positive and lasting contribution to society. In addition I wanted to continue to be a part of an organization that I know is doing amazing work within the Central Valley. As John F. Kennedy stated, "Ask not what your country can do for you-but what you can do for your country".
 Over the past seven months I have touched many areas within many Central Valley communities. One of the main purposes of my position is to educate the community in the area of emergency preparedness. So far I have trained over 1,000 individuals in emergency preparedness and have reached nearly 4,000 community members through community events. I have trained 13 emergency preparedness leaders, including an awesome California State University Bakersfield intern. I have been trained as a Disaster Action Team member and respond to disaster calls. I even responded to the Hanford train derailment. In addition to emergency preparedness and disaster services I have continued to be actively involved with Red Cross Service to the Armed forces. I am a caseworker for 5 counties within the Central Valley. Currently I am the Veteran Affairs Voluntary Services Deputy Representative for the Fresno VA Medical Center and a member of FCF. I attend yellow ribbon events, military briefings and resource fairs.
 Being an AmeriCorps member with the Red Cross has opened many doors. I have been provided with the opportunity to gain further experience as a leader and apply my skills to help others.
-Jessica Marquez, NPRC AmeriCorps Member

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