The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
A student exchange program brought Laura Terranova from her home country of Colombia to the United States. She came unable to speak English, but studied hard and practiced diligently while working as a nanny for two local families. She now speaks English beautifully and with a delightful accent.
Terranova discovered volunteer work with the Mid-South Red Cross where she relished the training classes and the opportunity to work with people and to make a difference in their lives. Currently she is a Red Cross relief worker on a disaster action team (DAT). Her DAT colleagues often call upon her to serve as a translator when working with Spanish-speaking clients.
Terranova recalls one day last summer when the fire calls just kept coming. Her team responded to families displaced by four different home fires and had to work continuously from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. Such long and demanding days have not diminished her sprits as a volunteer. She was recently at the Red Cross offices helping unload a large truckload of donated bedding supplies, and she is open to being deployed to help with recovery efforts for national emergencies.
Before coming to the United States, Terranova received a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education, Sport and Health Science from her university in Colombia. Since arriving in the United States she has completed a Master’s Degree from the University of Memphis in Health Promotion and is working on a second Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She hopes to pursue a career in Health Management or Administration.
Profile Posted May 14, 2013
Story and Photo Credit: Robert W. Wallace/American Red Cross