Red Cross launches High School Leadership Program

October 9, 2013

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — High school students across the country can help patients in need by donating blood and platelets, volunteering at blood drives and donation centers, and recruiting new donors with the American Red Cross. In turn, students can earn educational rewards for their community service as they get ready for post-secondary education or other opportunities. 

The new High School Leadership Program, together with the existing Young Minds Change Lives Scholarship Program, focuses on educating, recognizing and rewarding youth for their support of the Red Cross and the hospitals and patients it serves. Students have the opportunity to receive a college recommendation letter from a local Red Cross executive, a Red Cross red cord to wear at graduation, the chance to win a $5,000 scholarship, and through the Young Minds Change Lives Scholarship program, earn scholarship money for their high school.

As much as 20 percent of Red Cross blood donations come from students. On average, about 15,000 pints of blood must be collected every day for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers. Young donors, 16 to 24 years of age, are the fastest growing donor group within the Red Cross.

Thanks to the dedicated members of the High School Leadership Program, the Red Cross will help ensure supplies of blood products are readily available for patients in need. The pints collected as a result of their efforts can potentially be used to treat cancer patients, trauma victims, organ transplant recipients, premature babies, sickle cell disease sufferers and more.

The Red Cross encourages students, parents and teachers alike to learn more about the High School Leadership Program. Details are available at

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.