The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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Red Cross hosts annual blood drive for students

Elaina Anderson-Bonner
Pictured next to senior Gloria Bao with phlebotomist Mohammad Katawazai seen in the back, senior Demetra-Aurora Tudorache gets her blood drawn. “I was a little nervous because I didn’t want to faint, that was a big issue for me. But the volunteers were super nice, super knowledgeable,” Tudorache said. “They told me everything step by step, so it was totally fine.”

Jefferson’s Red Cross Youth Task Force hosted their annual Red Cross-sponsored blood drive on Friday, March 22. All students above 16-years-old were able to donate. 

To students considering donating blood this year or in the future, phlebotomist Sofia Camacho recommends watching their diet prior to donating. 

“Make sure you’ve eaten a large amount of food, and that you’ve hydrated more than you think you need to,” Camacho said. 

After donating, most students do not experience extreme negative symptoms.

“Once you get through that and we stick you you’re like ‘Oh, that wasn’t that bad’ and then they calm down,” phlebotomist Tippy Mateson said.”

Junior Red Cross Youth Task Force (RCYTF) president Saanvi Indukuri assures that the Red Cross staff members know what they’re doing.

“It doesn’t hurt. It feels a little weird,” Indukuri said. “You might get a little lightheaded but as long as Red Cross says that you’re safe to donate it won’t hurt.”

In addition to age, there are other health requirements necessary for students to donate blood. 

“First they check your health history to make sure you’re safe to donate. Then they test human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), vitamin levels, anemia [and] hemoglobin,” junior Saanvi Indukuri said. “They make sure that your blood is good and has everything that it needs to have. Sometimes people’s blood lacks certain vitamins or iron so they get sent back and they can’t get their blood donated.”

Students have different reasons for donating blood, including junior Krish Bommakanti, whose reasons are more personal. 

“I’ve had a couple [of] family members [who] have had some close calls and they were only saved because they had blood donations.  I think it’s a really great thing to do if you wanna make a difference in the community,” Bommakanti said.

Tudorache emphasizes the importance of helping others no matter how old you are.

“There [are] a lot of people every year that die because they don’t have sufficient blood,” Tudorache said. “If we can do our part, especially in high school, to encourage people to donate and to let them know that this is an option for them now or in the future.” 

Bommakanti had an inspiring connection to how the blood drive represented the values of our school. 

“We’re out here to learn more about science and to make the world a better place,” Bommakanti said. “At the end of the day, that’s what a blood drive is: you get to learn a little bit more about the human body and you get to give back.”

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  • C

    CarolApr 17, 2024 at 7:15 pm

    Great article. Short and to the point.