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Hey, my name is Arjun Juneja, and I’m a rising sophomore from Cary, North Carolina majoring in Biology. Here in New Orleans I am starting my work with the American Red Cross. While the initial transition into this working site, and the city in general wasn’t flawless (classic streetcar troubles!), I definitely feel like I am beginning to gain a solid grip on this program and city structure.

At my site there are two main projects: a pillowcase presentation that educates 3rd thru 5th graders on emergency & hazard preparedness and a fire safety & smoke alarm installation program. While all four of us are being trained for both programs, I am specializing in the fire safety and installation program. I have enjoyed learning about both of these two parts of the Red Cross and am looking forward to more autonomy once training concludes.

This weekend we were also able to go on a 4-hour bus tour of the city. Along this tour what we witnessed were numerous rocky roads, empty lots, and high-rise houses: all results of the Hurricane Katrina damage. It was enlightening to see how such an event from 14 years ago still affects the city while also seeing how far the city has come from such a disaster. I’m excited to learn more about the city through weekend adventures, walks down the busy streets (Frenchmen and Bourbon), and new delicious foods.