Taylor Simonian joined the American Red Cross in late 2020 and has since gone on to do incredible things for the Central Valley area.
She began her volunteer journey by supporting the Creek Fire relief efforts and helping recruit health care professionals to volunteer with the Red Cross as a Volunteer Recruitment Team Member. By learning about other volunteer opportunities throughout the Red Cross, she found herself drawn to emergency preparedness education – specifically, teaching elementary students in the Central Valley about how to be prepared for disasters, such as home fires and wildfires, by reading a friendly story called Prepare with Pedro.
This past winter, Simonian became certified instructor in First Aid/CPR/AED through the Red Cross. After she received her CPR certification, she realized many students may not have access or the financial resources to receive CPR education.
That’s when the hard work began. She connected with Ethan Walker, Regional Prevention and Preparedness Manager, to see how the Red Cross could partner to deliver a Hands-Only CPR education program with local youth groups. Through the Red Cross, Simonian and Walker have helped create an approach to provide students with this life-saving knowledge and confidence to perform CPR in appropriate emergency situations by partnering with high schools throughout the Central Valley area.
It’s important for her to volunteer in this way because “having these basic life-support skills for an emergency situation have allowed me to feel a sense of confidence and empowerment. I want to share this important life-saving knowledge with others, especially those who may not have the opportunity to receive formal training, and leave them with the same feelings of empowerment. The team has been so supportive of this new Hands-Only CPR outreach program; we hope to continue to expand and reach even more students this coming academic year.”
As a result of her work, more than 300 students learned this life-saving skill this spring, which has made our community stronger and more resilient.