Charity Williams, a second year student at Mt. Hood Community College, currently serves as our Rho Theta National Honor Society President. As a student leader, she is active in addressing Natural Disaster Preparedness for the campus and community. Since the devastating Eagle Creek Fire, located near the campus, Charity mobilized a team of students to create an educational campaign for preparedness. Her work not only provided educational literature, but culminated with a day dedicated to packing emergency kits for attendees of the event. She tirelessly researched the preparedness of the community and found a significant need for education and supplies. Further, her research indicated that funding is largely provided following natural disasters and little attention is given to preparedness. Her leadership and action has produced new interest from community partners who want to be part of the campaign. She is currently working with the Red Cross and helping to develop a sustainable program for Natural Disaster Preparedness in the college and throughout the community.
Natural disasters can affect any community. When the massive Eagle Creek Fire affected mine, I witnessed the efforts of volunteers as well the immediate need for natural disaster preparedness. This led me to investigate the different impacts that cultural collectivism and individualism can have on a community's preparedness for unexpected disasters. As the President of the Rho Theta Honor Society at Mt. Hood Community College, I directed a team in putting together an Emergency Preparation Awareness Campaign. My aim was to find a rational basis for prescribing a better approach to building a disaster preparedness framework for the extended community. Everyone is "aware" of the need to be prepared; my desire was to spur action before another natural disaster hits the region. The event sparked additional interest, and I have connected with the Head Start program to present the campaign to families as well as to collaborate with the American Red Cross. This collaboration has resulted in an opportunity for the Red Cross to facilitate a volunteer training on the MHCC campus, allowing the community to become Red Cross volunteers. During this journey, I have discovered the importance of collaborative strategies for addressing a specific need in my community, which in turn will help stop future problems.