Catching up with Monica
2014 Foresters Scholarship winner Monica M. is currently attending Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, majoring in Biology. Obviously some things in her life changed when she made the move from her home in Augusta to attend school, but her commitment to volunteering with the American Red Cross did not—she just changed chapters and continued her work with the organization.
“The Red Cross has been very influential in shaping me into the woman I am today,” Monica asserts. “Volunteering has helped me realize that a little kindness can go a long way, and dedication, creativity, and perseverance are essential to achieving any goal. I have developed exceptional leadership skills through coordinating events for the Red Cross. I know that volunteer work will continue to be imperative in my adult life, and I am thankful that the Red Cross has instilled in me a lifelong passion for service.”
Monica has been volunteering with the Red Cross for four years, primarily with their youth program, which is dedicated to providing socially conscious young people with the tools they need to create service initiatives and develop leadership skills. According to her Community Service Coordinator at the Red Cross, “Monica is a shining example of the importance of youth involvement and the ability of young people to have a powerful impact on their communities.”
Since getting involved with the Youth Board at her local Red Cross four years ago, Monica has participated in 150 charitable events and donated 650 hours of her time. She has organized and led elementary leadership conferences, organized workshops designed to teach lifesaving first aid skills, served food at the local shelter, baked cookies for firefigthers, acted as a liaison to the adult board and helped her chapter raise $26,000 for the Red Cross HEROES campaign in just four weeks. The HEROES campaign is a grassroots fundraising effort designed as a competition between local chapters who all work to raise money for Red Cross disaster reilef, preparedeness and support efforts.
Monica was drawn to the Red Cross because of the variety of opportunities there seemed to be to interact with and help people of all ages. “What stood out to me about the Red Cross was that it was fun. I could play with kids, dance with the elderly at the retirement homes, and interact with young adults that have the same passion for community service.”
Mother Teresa once said, “It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.”
“If I could give even a fourth of what that remarkable woman gave to humanity,” Monica says, “I know that I will have fulfilled my purpose here on Earth.”
We are very proud of Scholarship winners like Monica who are so committed to making their communities—and our world—so much better.
For more information on youth volunteering opportunities with the Red Cross visit Red Cross Youth, and for information on the Foresters Competitive Scholarship Program visit the Scholarship section on MyForesters.com.