“This is about giving someone basic knowledge about first aid and keeping themselves safe. If somebody can help somebody or help themselves in a dangerous situation because of something we taught them, then it’s a success.” 

Nathaniel was born and raised in Norfolk. He retired after working as a binder in a printing company for 42 years. Since then, he has become an active Certified Emergency Response Team (CERT) member, teaching other residents how to respond in the case of a disaster.

CERT Participants learn CPR and other first aid techniques, as well as how to work with the police and fire departments in an emergency. The program is part of Seniors Helping Seniors, which grew out of the Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps program in Norfolk. Nathaniel loves teaching seniors and children. “We empower people to help themselves and to help one another,” he says.

Helping others stay safe is a lifelong passion. “I’ve been at this since I was a kid,” he says. “I was a Boy Scout. My first badges were in safety and first aid. People can read when you have passion for something and when you don’t.”