By Olivia Bakken
Nereida Cruz is one of our newest Northwest Red Cross volunteers in the Tri-Cities area of Central Washington state. Although she has only been with Red Cross for a little over a month, she has hit the ground running with her involvement.
Nereida is a senior at Tri-Cities Prep High School and was inspired to join the Red Cross when the student who orchestrated school blood drives graduated. Despite having a lot on her plate — being the president and co-owner of four school clubs — she felt strongly that someone needed to step up to the role. So, she did just that, and is already organizing several blood drives for the school.
With September being National Preparedness Month, this is the perfect time to highlight Nereida and what she’s done for and with the Red Cross thus far.
Nereida volunteered at a recent HAPO Credit Union Back to School Night, distributing home fire prevention and safety information to the hundreds of families who attended. Whether it’s volunteering at her local church or educating others on disaster preparedness, her passion for her community is shown through her actions.
Nereida said one of her favorite things about the Red Cross is how welcoming and nice everyone has been upon her arrival. At school, Nereida reciprocates this generosity. “I really enjoy helping and bringing people into new stuff and making them feel welcome. Everyone is coming back to school, and freshman are starting with no friends, so I always try to go around and make people feel welcome.”
After high school, Nereida hopes to continue helping others on a larger scale. Her dream is to pursue a career in medicine. Her top choices for university are John Hopkins and Duke. After double majoring in Neuroscience and Chemistry, she plans to become a Cardiovascular Surgeon. Wherever she ends up, she plans to continue being an active volunteer with the Red Cross.