Red Cross RSO President Receives Premier Honor

Wesley Smith
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Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith, the president of the Red Cross Student Organization on campus, was nominated for the Red Cross Young Adult Leader Award at the beginning of June. He would have been flown into Washington, D.C., to accept the award, but was unable to visit due to COVID-19. The annual Volunteer Impact Award assembly took place virtually June 23, and Smith received the national award via live video from Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross Student Organization at the University of Arkansas consists of more than 70 students, including seven executive members. This diverse group of students features a miscellaneous number of majors and differing backgrounds. The RSO regularly hosts big name speakers in meetings from the Northwest Arkansas chapter of Red Cross.

Smith became the nation’s younger Red Cross board member when he joined the NWA chapter. His motivation behind all the hard work is saving people’s lives. Up to three lives can be saved with one donation. During a previous single blood drive, the RSO potentially saved over 700 lives. With more donations, this number only increases.

Smith had also planned on attending the Missouri-Arkansas Chapter Meeting in April but was denied due to COVID-19.

After McGovern presented the award to Smith, he mentioned that while he does not idolize many people, receiving an award from McGovern was a huge accomplishment to him.

"I would not have been able to do this without the executive officers and members of the Red Cross RSO. They always are putting the club before themselves," Smith said. "This award is just the beginning of the university's partnership with the Red Cross. We strive to become the most impactful team in our entire region. I also cannot wait to meet Ms. McGovern as well."

The award will be presented to Smith at the first Red Cross RSO general body meeting in the fall semester by Northwest Arkansas Executive Director Julie M. Brown.President of the Red Cross Student Organization, Wesley Smith, was nominated for the Red Cross Young Adult Leader Award at the beginning of June. Originally, he would have been flown into Washington, D.C., to accept the award, but was unable to visit due to COVID-19. The annual Volunteer Impact Award assembly took place online Tuesday afternoon.

Smith had earlier planned on attending the Missouri-Arkansas Chapter Meeting in April, but was also denied due to Coronavirus. Word got out about the nomination and Gail McGovern, who eventually presented the award to Smith online.

"I would not have been able to do this without the executive officers and members of the Red Cross RSO. They always are putting the club before themselves," says Smith. "This award is just the beginning of the University's partnership with the Red Cross. We strive to become the most impactful team in our entire region. I also can not wait to meet Ms. McGovern as well."

The award will be presented to Smith at the first Red Cross RSO general body meeting in the fall semester by Northwest Arkansas Executive Director Julie M. Brown. 

Contacts

Wesley Smith, president
Red Cross Student Organization
501-680-6320, wrs008@uark.edu

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