Bryn Mawr Student Brie Stark to Represent Red Cross at International Summit on Youth Volunteering

Posted September 22nd, 2011 at 2:11 pm.

brieheadshot2On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Bryn Mawr will host its first Red Cross blood drive of the academic year. While many students will step up to the platelets and make a donation, none has gone to bat for the Red Cross more than Brie Stark ’12.

Stark, who writes about her life at Bryn Mawr on her blog Brains and Blades, started volunteering for the Red Cross in Ashley, Ohio, when she became the first teenage member of her county’s Red Cross board of directors.

“I was looking for something to do in addition to school that would have a more meaningful impact on my community,” says Stark.

Stark started a Red Cross club at her high school, helped start clubs at two other schools and as a member of the county’s board of directors got that group to hire a part-time youth advisor.

Since leaving high school for Bryn Mawr, Stark has continued her service with the Red Cross by acting as a student liaison for campus blood drives.

Recently, Stark was named a member of the Red Cross’ 13-member National Youth Council, which is drawn from volunteers nationwide and works with the organization’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C.

As a member of the National Youth Council, Stark recently made the below video to give advice to high-school students interested in starting Red Cross clubs:

Stark is one of three youths chosen to represent the Red Cross at the second World Summit for Youth Volunteering in Barranquilla, Colombia, in early November.

Stark is still waiting to get the details on exactly what she’ll be doing at the conference, but she does know that she’ll be one of 3,000 young people gathered from organizations worldwide.

“I am thrilled to be able to represent the youth of the Red Cross and am thankful for the opportunities afforded to me by the National Youth Council, and by the continued support of Headquarters,” says Stark.  “I hope to learn a lot from the Summit, especially concerning youth volunteer recruitment from a worldwide perspective.”

A psychology major with an interest in neurology and the neurosciences, Stark spent her whole junior year abroad at Oxford’s St. Anne’s College, where she’s hoping to return for graduate study.

“I’d love to go back to Oxford and obtain a Ph.D. in clinical neurology or neuroscience,” says Stark.

In addition to serving on the Red Cross’ National Youth Council, Stark is working with the Civic Engagement Office to organize this year’s blood drives on campus, which she has done since her first year at Bryn Mawr.

“Donations at women’s colleges are often low because a large number of potential donors are unable to give due to low iron content, which can often be prevented by educating donors on diet necessities in the week leading up to the drive,” says Stark. “In working with the Civic Engagement Office we’ve been able to do a great job of educating Bryn Mawr students and have averaged more than 100 donations for each blood drive in recent years.”

Bryn Mawr students, faculty, and staff can still register for the Sept. 27 blood drive online.

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