Megan at Leadership Program 2024

Oregon Tech Dental Hygiene sophomore Megan Nelson traveled to Washington, D.C. June 2-15 to participate in the American Red Cross Collegiate Leadership Program.

The program provides students with the opportunity to develop leadership skills and inspire a new generation of volunteers by organizing blood drives for their classmates and community.

Nelson said the two-week internship at the Washington D.C. Red Cross headquarters provided her with training, mentoring and networking opportunities, as well as coaching from senior American Red Cross leadership. She said the opportunity can help students gain life-long skills that can have an impact on their campus and throughout their future careers.

When she returns to Oregon Tech in the fall, Nelson said she will encourage fellow students to join in the mission to help save lives through blood donation. Her first blood drive dates are tentatively scheduled for November 2024 and February 2025. Nelson also received a $2,000 scholarship for participating in the program.

“I am honored to be part of such an amazing program. It is truly amazing to see how the American Red Cross operates and how they contribute to our community,” Nelson said. “I look forward to raising awareness on campus and providing my peers with the opportunity to help those in need.”

Nearly 20% of the millions of blood donations made each year are made by young donors, like college students. In only about an hour, volunteer blood donors can help make an impact on campus while helping save lives in the community and beyond, Nelson said.