Youth services have always been a major point of emphasis for officials who work with the Utah Red Cross. Many of the current team members started learning about what the Red Cross provides at an early age. They remember feeling like they could make a difference in other peoples' lives. There are 3 main Utah Red Cross youth service groups to choose from; Salt Lake, Provo, and Ogden. One of the main points of emphasis for these locations is to help young people to appreciate diversity, and to understand key differences among people. This is important because Red Cross volunteers must help all people, regardless of race, creed, or religion.
Leadership workshops are primary focal points for the youth program. These workshops build leaders by placing people in situations were they must make decisions that will affect the entire group. Emergency situations, such as those involving mass casualties after an earthquake, require cooler heads to prevail. The youth program starts to groom young people so that they practice working hard to save other people under stressful circumstances. The workshops target youths aged 14-18. When they attend, they learn how to medically assist people, regardless of their age. Once a youth sees what a positive difference he can make, then he will set himself up for success within other areas of his life.
Understanding danger and how to operate under tense conditions is essential. This ability taught by the Red Cross instructors. Although most youths are taught by their parents to avoid dangerous situations, Red Cross volunteers must be willing to run toward the danger so that they can help people. This type of action requires intense courage and confidence. Confidence is instilled through constant practice and research on what to do. Courage increases as well, especially after many months of training take place. Role playing activities enable youths to physically take part in life saving techniques before they have to use them in the real world. The hands-on approach seems to be the most effective way to shed light on the importance of becoming a part of the Utah Red Cross.