Kareel Slager donates blood at the Everett Road Donation Center in Albany, NY.

For the last two weeks, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting Kareel Slager, a student from Tech Valley High School, for his I-Term Senior Project. I-Term is an annual independent project undertaken by all students at Tech Valley High, building in scope and complexity across four years to ultimately help students pursue college and career choices that they are passionate about.

We also had the unique opportunity to host a Paideia (pronouced pie-day-uh) at Tech Valley High, providing a specialized, hands-on learning experience for more than a dozen students. Thanks to our partnership with TVHS, we’ve been inspired to think differently about our work. It’s been a treat to share our passion for serving others with some truly incredible students as they explore their own passions for the future!

We could go on and on, but we asked Kareel to share some thoughts about his experience, in his own words…

Hello. My name is Kareel Slager.

I am a senior from Tech Valley High School in Albany. Tech Valley is unique because it is a project-based learning environment. Every year, students in each grade must write a research paper on what they are passionate about. Freshman and sophomore year, there is a week of “extreme exposure” where students go to a local business to see what it’s like to be out in the real world. Junior year, the school sets up a couple of different types of businesses for students to learn from, based on their interests, or students can set up their own experiential learning (with their own transportation). Senior year, students must set up their own placement and must have at least 40 hours of exposure in a real-world environment.

I am passionate about non-profit financial management and felt that the American Red Cross would be the best choice for my experience. The reason that I chose this topic is because my brother-in-law is part of a non-profit organization called Hope Force International Disaster Relief. Hope Force helps communities all over the world when disasters affect them. I hope to help him out after I go to college. Personally, I always like helping others, from simple tasks such as picking up sticks, to cleaning up after disasters and rebuilding homes.

I went to the Red Cross for two weeks and explored each of the different departments. I have noticed that it takes a lot of work and effort to help people in the community and the world. I have been to almost all the local departments to see how they work, and I have noticed that they all need the other departments to help them do their job. Red Cross staff and volunteers are always communicating and working together to help each other.

I have noticed that it takes a lot of work and effort to help people in the community and the world.

During the two weeks of my senior project, I donated blood and helped different departments with many different tasks. I made a presentation for a big fire safety event coming up in May. I helped the Service to the Armed Forces department organize their data. I listened to a practice presentation and helped make the presentation better with the feedback that I gave, which I learned from Tech Valley High School.

I love helping others. Even if it is a small task like donating blood. It only takes a few minutes, and it helps save people’s lives. Now that I am old enough to donate blood, I will continue to do it. From my experience, I would highly recommend that you donate blood, volunteer, or at least consider giving to support the Red Cross.