MonaLisa Leung, Community Outreach Intern, Shares Her Experience with the American Red Cross

625409_346501495458796_1525992314_n “I was the Community Outreach and Education Intern from November 2012 to April 2013, and those were six wonderful months that, honestly, have changed my life.”

As an intern, I created brand new PowerPoint material for my department to use for community presentations. I created material for First Aid, Red Cross Ready initiatives and disaster preparedness. I also traveled to many events to educate people, teaching first aid to girl scouts and teaching disaster preparedness to the elderly.

In addition, I participated at the Red Cross Ball as a sign-in volunteer, and I created an informational slideshow for an open house in Washington, PA. Despite not being paid for working at the Red Cross, it was my passion and dedication for serving the community that drove me to come back more than the 15-hour per week requirement for my internship. I am always excited to go to work every day, and I get very sad when it’s time to leave work. The office is filled with caring and loving people who come to work every day not because of money but because they love their job and they genuinely care about serving the community.

This internship has also led me to venture into disaster relief. After responding to two fires with Betsy Myers, a disasters response specialist, I officially joined the Disaster Action Team because I saw the importance of helping those that are affected by unexpected emergencies, and it is wonderful to be part of a team that is actively helping people build their lives up from scratch. I encourage everyone, young and old, student or professional, to join us in our efforts in preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of an emergency. We are always in need of volunteers and people in the community are always in need of help. Volunteering has this unique feeling to it; it’s not about earning money or getting a job. It’s all about being selfless and using our passion for our community to motivate us in our volunteer work. When you realize you have helped or saved a life, a proud yet humble feeling arises that makes you smile and want to help more people in the future. Trust me, that is a great feeling to have, and you must volunteer in order to feel this wonderful feeling.

If you are a college student and looking for internship opportunities, please join us! I can honestly say that the Red Cross is very excellent in training college students to be the leaders of the future and providing a wonderful environment to work in. You will gain just as much (and I argue even more) experience and skills at the Red Cross compared to other paid internships. You will learn the joyful feeling of helping those that are in need. You will be trained to be a leader in your field and an advocate of peace.

MonaLisa is a Communications major at the University of Pittsburgh. She will join UPMC’s Marketing and Communications Internship Program this summer. 529121_355926484516297_267074886_n

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