Varsity Athlete a Driving Force for Blood Drives on Campus


MVNU junior Missy Emery is a force on campus. She is a triple-major in Marketing, Management and Public Relations, competes on the track team, is a key defender for the varsity women’s soccer team, and in the summer of 2019, she landed an internship in with the Red Cross in Washington D.C.

Following a lead from Athletic Director Chip Wilson, Emery applied for the Red Cross Collegiate Leadership Internship because she is interested in working for a nonprofit organization in the future and admires “the rich history and impact” of the American Red Cross. She was then selected to be one of 14 student athletes from the NAIA to take part in the two-week program. The internship is centered around training student athletes to become advocates for the American Red Cross and to develop a plan to host blood drives on their respective campuses. It focuses on “building our leadership skills, understanding of the American Red Cross and what they do and comprehending the importance of blood donation,” Emery said. The first week featured lessons and meetings with various individuals, including the President of the American Red Cross, the Executive Director of the NCCAA and other experts. By the end of week two, Emery had created a campus blood drive marketing plan to present to Red Cross officials to demonstrate how she could organize, market and meet blood drive goals at MVNU.

“The best part about this internship was learning from diverse speakers and exploring Washington D.C.,” said Emery. The program was a great balance on fun and work, as interns “got to see lots of the sights, go to an MLB game, explore the city, and watch the House of Representatives in action.” One of Emery’s favorite memories is taking a late-night monument tour on electric scooters.

Emery’s business courses at MVNU allowed her to be a step ahead of her peers in understanding management and business. She also had an edge in understanding how to create a functional marketing plan and present her research in a professional manner. Being a varsity athlete also benefitted Emery. “All the interns came from diverse places and backgrounds, but our experiences with sports helped us to bond fast. Playing sports also gave me a competitive drive to do well against the other interns and to set goals for myself.”

“I have a passion for the American Red Cross and running MVNU blood drives,” said Emery, “and doing so has given me so much confidence and the ability to practice my business marketing skills.” A recent partnership with FitMix raised $100 for the American Red Cross and “crushed our goal number of units collected.”

This internship confirmed Emery’s desire to work for a nonprofit organization or small business. “Seeing how passionate the people at the American Red Cross were about their work and the Red Cross mission has inspired me to find work where I can be as passionate about my job and what my organization is doing.” This internship was an incredible opportunity that pushed the varsity athlete outside of her comfort zone. “I was so nervous going into the internship, but God was so faithful through the whole things, and now I have found a passion I never would have discovered without this opportunity!”

MVNU is sponsoring a blood drive at the Mount Vernon Grand Hotel on Thursday, April 23 from 2:00-7:00pm. To schedule an appointment, visit www.redcrossblood.org. “A ten-minute donation has the capability to save three people’s lives,” said Emery. “That is so worth it! Be a hero!”

Caption: As part of the Red Cross Collegiate Leadership Program, MVNU junior Missy Emery was able to craft a campus blood drive marketing plan to present to Red Cross officials, including American Red Cross President Gail McGovern. Photos provided by Missy Emery.

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