Interning at the American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts
Name: Nicolas Gonzalez
Hometown: Cambridge, MA
Majors: International Business and Latin American Studies
Internship Sponsor: The American Red Cross (ARC) of Central Massachusetts
As an ARC intern, my tasks include:
- Updating and emailing electronic surveys to communities that had completed their surveys prior to 2008.
- Updating the National Shelter System (NSS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency System (FEMA) to ensure that all potential shelters are up-to-date so that all Red Cross national and worldwide chapters can view shelters and information.
- Working closely with Emergency Management to identify safe and accessible shelters for residents.
- Identifying potential shelters within the 69 cities and towns of Central MA, including: surveying the identified sites, securing agreements for use and updating all information.
- Entering data collected from the shelter survey including monitoring data to ensure it is accurate and monitoring disaster reports.
When I started my internship at the American Red Cross, I thought it was going to be a desk job and that by the end, I wouldn’t make much difference - but I was wrong. Throughout my internship at the ARC I experienced the many duties and roles of this organization.
Being part of the Disaster Department of the ARC Worcester Chapter, I experienced all the hard work it takes to open up a shelter – from reading and updating the National Shelter System to meeting with emergency managers from prospective towns, in case an emergency happened. When fires occurred, I was called to help out the firemen and families by providing assistance, food and any necessities that they needed to stay safe. I also learned about the dedication that the American Red Cross puts into helping any civilian who needs assistance.
As my future goal is to start my own nonprofit organization to help those in need, my internship has provided me the opportunity to enter the nonprofit environment and learn how a nonprofit organization, such as the Red Cross, is managed.
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