C Name: Julia Custer, 16, of Ellicott City.Hobbies and...

NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS

April 17, 1994

C Name: Julia Custer, 16, of Ellicott City.

Hobbies and other activities: Julia, a junior at Glenelg High School, has been a volunteer with the American Red Cross for two years. She began by working at blood drives at the Donor Center in Columbia, and later volunteered for blood drives at her school. She now volunteers for the Disaster Action Team and chairs the Red Cross Community Education Committee, both in Howard County. She is secretary of the Disaster Action Team.

Organization's comments: As chairwoman of the education committee, Julia speaks to community groups and helps distribute information about disaster preparedness. "Julia makes a good presentation," said Annette Mooney, a volunteer who helped guide Julia into the basic DAT courses and beyond. "When she took the classes, most people thought she was a college student. It's an asset for the Red Cross to have someone her age so interested in disaster assistance."

Volunteer's comments: "I don't want to grow up and think I have spent my time taking when I could have been giving something back," said Julia. "I just hope I'm not going to get older and wish I'd done more.

"I chose the Red Cross because it seemed like the organization )) most available to teen-agers." Asked about her role on the education committee, she says she is not nervous being around people, "whether they are older or younger than me."

About the volunteer: Julia is the daughter of Clarice and Thomas Custer and has two sisters, Tommi and Lee.

She is a salesclerk at Hudson Trail Outfitters at The Mall in Columbia. Julia saved her money to travel to England and France during spring break this year.

Julia recently completed a drivers' education class and hopes obtaining her license will make her more available to volunteer for DAT emergency calls. In addition to her Red Cross work, she also performs drug and alcohol counseling at elementary schools and peer mediation at her high school.

Julia also is a member of the Maryland Search and Rescue Team, Columbia chapter. She is the president of her 4-H club and plays violin for the school orchestra. Julia is captain of her high school soccer team and plays travel soccer for the Cleats, based in Columbia. She plays lacrosse at her high school, all while maintaining a 3.67 grade point average.

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