Blood, sweat, but no tears
Reznik Isaacson's passion for activism and helping people recently led the teenager to organize a blood drive all by himself.
"I've been to a lot of protests (and) I fed the homeless on Mother's Day, and things like that," said Isaacson, an Arts and Technology High School junior. "I just really like doing this kind of stuff."
On Jan. 16, four students and four adult volunteers assisted with the Red Cross Blood Drive at the high school — the first blood drive hosted at ATHS — and it was open to students and community members.
"I think encouraging student voice and leadership around issues they think are important ... and supporting them is a great opportunity for our kids," said Russ Romas, student support coordinator.
Romas added that he appreciates Isaacson's leadership and the amount of student response he has seen at ATHS.
"Art Tech was really just a space I knew I could use," said Isaacson, adding that he discovered the idea to organize the blood drive through an email he received from Red Cross. He saw that there was potential he could be eligible for a scholarship but quickly found out it didn't apply to juniors. But that didn't deter him.
"Each donation can help up to three patients and I think that's pretty cool that just one person can affect three others," Isaacson said. "I've seen people who've really needed blood before and sometimes they'll wait and you can't really get that blood type, especially if you have a rare one."
Isaacson said one of the challenges he encountered was finding students who were willing to get their blood drawn.
"We have 95 students around and most of them are afraid of needles I've come to find out," said Isaacson, adding that he managed to talk quite a few students into it.
But Isaacson doesn't just advocate for donating blood, he donates as well. So far he has donated blood twice — one of those times he did it for his 17th birthday — and he doesn't plan on stopping.
"I think just donating as much as you can all the time is just anything anyone should do," he said.