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HomeNewsArchivesNot for Profit: American Red Cross Youth Volunteers

Not for Profit: American Red Cross Youth Volunteers

Nov. 9, 2008 — St. Croix high school students can learn much about community service and contribute to one of the oldest relief organizations in the world as American Red Cross Youth Volunteers (ARCYV).
The ARCYV program, formed two years ago, gives students the opportunity to give time to the American Red Cross, founded in 1881 by Clara Barton. St. Croix students must contribute 100 hours of volunteer service to the community to graduate, and ARCYV is one way to do so.
"Students must realize they have to get this accomplished before they are seniors," says Cenita Heywood, ARCYV advisor. "One hundred hours volunteering is a lot to complete — students should space it out over time."
Students are assigned to the workplace of various non-profit organizations and government agencies, serving as aides, helpers and office assistants. They assist with various school functions and community activities.
"We get calls from just about anybody looking for volunteers," Heywood says.
Lutheran Social Services recently approached Heywood to get students to help with Hurricane Omar yard cleanup for senior citizens. Students help at job fairs, workshops and parades, and serve as role models for younger students.
"Students come to me and say, 'What are we doing next?'" Heywood says. "They are eager to sign up."
The ARCYV has approximately 300 members, consisting of students from the St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC), Educational Complex and Central High School. Since 2006, more than 500 students have participated in the program.
"My future plans are to offer the program to all local high schools," Heywood says.
Heywood wants the youth volunteers to develop a sense of responsibility for and ownership of the community and society that will motivate them to become lifelong volunteers with the American Red Cross.
"I was really impressed with one student, Cayman Williams, who says she wants to go on to be an adult volunteer for the Red Cross," Heywood says.
Heywood has been a volunteer with the Red Cross' St. Croix chapter for 14 years as a former chairwoman of the board, CPR and first aid instructor, and government liaison to the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA). In addition, she has served at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, S.C., and at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.
To participate in ARCYV, the students go through an application process, including a background check. They have to purchase their own T-shirt, which is to be worn at all functions to maintain order and promote ARCYV. They must attend a monthly meeting and communicate via email.
The benefits to the students are assistance and preference with job placement, preparing a school or employment portfolio and resume. Students also get access to information for college grants, financial aid and other financial benefits.
"All I have gained from the program will be useful in my future," student Tyrone Evans says. "More schools should become involved in the program. It's fun, and we're helping the community."
Community organizations and non-profit organizations may request student volunteers for their workplace by contacting Heywood at 778-2216. Students who want to register as a volunteer may request applications in the media library at the St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center or contact Heywood at 778-2216.
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Nov. 9, 2008 -- St. Croix high school students can learn much about community service and contribute to one of the oldest relief organizations in the world as American Red Cross Youth Volunteers (ARCYV).
The ARCYV program, formed two years ago, gives students the opportunity to give time to the American Red Cross, founded in 1881 by Clara Barton. St. Croix students must contribute 100 hours of volunteer service to the community to graduate, and ARCYV is one way to do so.
"Students must realize they have to get this accomplished before they are seniors," says Cenita Heywood, ARCYV advisor. "One hundred hours volunteering is a lot to complete -- students should space it out over time."
Students are assigned to the workplace of various non-profit organizations and government agencies, serving as aides, helpers and office assistants. They assist with various school functions and community activities.
"We get calls from just about anybody looking for volunteers," Heywood says.
Lutheran Social Services recently approached Heywood to get students to help with Hurricane Omar yard cleanup for senior citizens. Students help at job fairs, workshops and parades, and serve as role models for younger students.
"Students come to me and say, 'What are we doing next?'" Heywood says. "They are eager to sign up."
The ARCYV has approximately 300 members, consisting of students from the St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC), Educational Complex and Central High School. Since 2006, more than 500 students have participated in the program.
"My future plans are to offer the program to all local high schools," Heywood says.
Heywood wants the youth volunteers to develop a sense of responsibility for and ownership of the community and society that will motivate them to become lifelong volunteers with the American Red Cross.
"I was really impressed with one student, Cayman Williams, who says she wants to go on to be an adult volunteer for the Red Cross," Heywood says.
Heywood has been a volunteer with the Red Cross' St. Croix chapter for 14 years as a former chairwoman of the board, CPR and first aid instructor, and government liaison to the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA). In addition, she has served at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, S.C., and at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.
To participate in ARCYV, the students go through an application process, including a background check. They have to purchase their own T-shirt, which is to be worn at all functions to maintain order and promote ARCYV. They must attend a monthly meeting and communicate via email.
The benefits to the students are assistance and preference with job placement, preparing a school or employment portfolio and resume. Students also get access to information for college grants, financial aid and other financial benefits.
"All I have gained from the program will be useful in my future," student Tyrone Evans says. "More schools should become involved in the program. It's fun, and we're helping the community."
Community organizations and non-profit organizations may request student volunteers for their workplace by contacting Heywood at 778-2216. Students who want to register as a volunteer may request applications in the media library at the St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center or contact Heywood at 778-2216.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.