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When Molly Morris was looking to get involved with youth in her area, she didn't think she would end up working with the American Red Cross.
But after starting off her search with a visit to VolunteerMatch, Morris quickly discovered Youth in Action, the American Red Cross' program for youth in Los Angeles County. The program weds disaster planning with youth development - both huge priorities in the growing Southern California region.
In minutes Morris had requested more information, and soon had signed on as a Youth in Action Advisor to help facilitate the program. Today, Morris is excited by the role she's undertaking, and she's already thinking about what lies ahead.
"I am really looking forward to inspiring the youth to stretch and challenge themselves," she says.
Youth in Action teaches youth volunteers ages 14 to 18 to respond to disasters and trains them in health and safety services. Once trained, participants take part in community events and activities to educate their peers and increase safety awareness. Advisors like Morris help the youth volunteers to organize and reach their goals in the program.
Like many volunteers, Morris looks for opportunities that not only allow her to help and inspire others in her community, but also ones that encourage her to learn and grow on her own. As a successful real estate agent, she's used to being in a role that requires her to take charge rather than support.
"The challenges I face will be helping the youth stay organized, but not overstepping my bounds," she says.
This month, as the American Red Cross and VolunteerMatch launch a new phase in their volunteer recruitment partnership, we expect to see many more energetic volunteers like Morris getting involved at the local level and helping to prepare their communities for disaster.