It was another great year of service on Casey’s 6th “angelversary” at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia with approximately 35 or so supporters. Our Casey Feldman Foundation volunteers performed chores such as gardening, outdoor cleanup, washing the Magee vans and doing paperwork. A lunchtime ceremony followed with Casey’s parents, Joel and Dianne highlighting some of the Foundation’s work and Magee’s Mark Chilutti explaining the future expansion project for the patient therapy center. In addition, occupational therapist Christine Reinheimer provided the volunteers with a demonstration of just how significant the Casey Foundation’s sponsored facility dog, Joey, has made in the lives of patients.
Phi Sigma Pi has been a supporter of theCasey Feldman Memorial Foundation, holding an annual fundraiser for the Foundation since 2010. At the time of Casey’s death in July of 2009, Casey’s best friend from high school, Amber Staska, was President elect of the fraternity for the 2009-2010 school year. Casey’s close friend, Phil Knasiak, was Vice President.
The first three benefits were in the form of a concert at West Chester University with an on- campus pedestrian safety and and distracted driving awareness campaign in the week leading up to the concert. The effort received national recognition the first year when Phi Sigm Pi’s President was featured in Seventeen Magazine.In 2013, Phi Sigma Pi held its first 5K fundraiser.
The fraternity has inducted Casey’s parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson as honorary brothers and have adopted the Casey Feldman Foundation as their annual charitable cause.
This year’s 5K event will take place in downtown West Chester, PA. with the race kicking off at 1:00 p.m. from Kildares Irish Pub, 18 W. Gay St, 19380. Check-in is 11:30 to 12:45 pm. Tickets are $20. Registration in advance is strongly encouraged.
If you cannot attend, please consider making a donationso that the Casey Feldman Foundation may continue to save lives through our distracted driving efforts.
At the time Casey was struck by a distracted driver I was with a legal client in northern New Jersey. When the call came in to rush to the hospital he would not let me drive there alone. He insisted on having a neighbor drive me the 90 minutes to the hospital and he followed, driving my car. He was there at the time Casey died and he came to the funeral. He was the first to show me how kind and caring people can be after a tragedy.
I was representing him because a diagnosis of his cancer had been missed and he was not given a very good chance of survival – he was 40 and had a wife and two young children. I was filming a video for his case that would tell what he was experiencing and what his family was experiencing. I interviewed his parents, asking them to consider what it was like to know that you would be burying a child. I was interviewing his parents at the time my child Casey was dying.
Since then, we have talked often of the irony of me losing a child on that very same day.
When tragedy strikes, losing a child or contemplating one’s likely untimely death, we are caused to think about life differently. And that was certainly the case for my client. He described how he would look at his wife and children and “take them in”, making a mental picture and holding them as close as he could because he did not know what the future held for him. He explained that he had a new appreciation for all those he loved, was grateful for the time he had with them and the time he would have in the future. He was not angry or bitter about what he was losing but appreciative of what he had. It was as honest, raw, painful and eloquent a description of gratitude in the face of an incredible challenge that I had ever heard. I learned something from him that day that would help me in the following days as I buried my daughter and which still helps me today.
My client was cancer free for 8 years and all of us felt he had “beaten” it. I learned a few days ago that he recently died. The cancer had come back. So I have been thinking about him, his children who lost a father, a wife who lost her husband, parents who lost a child and about that day when my daughter died.
I have been thinking how I have been able, as I continue to mourn the loss of my daughter, to be grateful for so many things – the 21 years I had with Casey, all those who love me and who I love and my client, for teaching me about how we can choose to look at what we have and not what we have lost.
*Joel Feldman is the father of the late Casey Feldman and founder of the Casey Feldman Foundation and its sponsored project, EndDD.org. He has been a practicing attorney for 30 years and a shareholder in the law firm of Anapol Schwartz in Philadelphia. He received a masters in counseling in 2013 and speaks throughout the U.S. and Canada to teens and adults, changing attitudes and behaviors through the science based, EndDD program. Joel can be reached at Info@EndDD.org.
Zach Doyle can’t remember a time when he wasn’t interested in computer science.
“I spent most of my childhood summers attending and, later, working at, computer camp in my hometown of Bethesda, Maryland,” Zach said. “I’ve always liked the unambiguous nature of formal languages and the underlying logic they express.”
Thanks to The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, Zach, currently a junior at the University of Colorado Boulder, had the opportunity to expand and apply his programming skills in a big way. He was awarded a computer science scholarship to use his technological skills as an intern at the Boulder Food Rescue (BFR) non-profit organization.
Boulder Food Rescue aims to revitalize the food pantry system to get food that would otherwise be wasted to people who might otherwise go hungry. Local businesses load Boulder Food Rescue bins with soon-to-expire fresh produce. Volunteers hook the bins to their bicycles and deliver the payload to soup kitchens and other organizations able to distribute the food. The system works—if everything is tracked properly to make sure food isn’t wasted due to missed pick-ups or double deliveries. That’s where Zach came in.
Boulder Food Rescue diverts thousands of pounds of fresh produce every day which otherwise would be disposed of
Zach had previously worked with a homeless shelter that was chronically under-supplied, and he was familiar with the problems of waste in food distribution systems. He was eager to help Boulder Food Rescue address those problems using his unique skill set.
Under the mentorship of Caleb Phillips, the Food Rescue Robot’s original designer and an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado, Zach quickly learned how to improve the software needed for the food transfer process.
“Zach came into the project with very little experience directly applicable to the task. Nevertheless, he picked up concepts quickly,” Caleb said, also mentioning Zach’s kindness and thoughtfulness as a worker. “I enjoyed working with him.”
Pick- ups and deliveries are made by bicycle to minimize the impact on the environment
Zach spent much of his internship updating the Food Rescue Robot to allow for a more efficient and useful delivery system. When he started, the Food Rescue Robot could track a donor location, a recipient location and the food items that could be transferred. Zach taught the system to track schedule chains, consisting of multiple stops to ensure that the foods available arrive promptly at the places that need them the most.
“Through this internship, I gleaned more skills while working on a real project with a real organization,” Zach said. “I found it immensely satisfying to work on a real project with real consequences, as opposed to writing the same code every Computer Science major before has written.”
Caleb said the code Zach wrote for the Food Rescue Robot is now an integral part of the tool, and it’s used by 22 cities internationally to track food recovery. The system has rescued 1.13 million pounds of food to date, with the help of 949 volunteers.
“I can confidently say that more food will get to more people who need it because of the computer code I wrote,” Zach said. “There is, as far as I’m concerned, no feeling that compares to applying one’s self—in a skilled capacity—for the greater good.”
Casey’s mom, Dianne Anderson at press conference in OC, NJ announcing “Casey’s Law” in 2010
I had the pleasure of meeting Casey when we were randomly placed together as roommates at Fordham University, Fordham College Lincoln Center in 2006 as we began our freshman year. The powers overseeing freshmen dorm assignments must know what they’re doing, because we and our four other roommates opted to live together for the following two years, becoming inseparable friends in the process. One of Fordham’s founding philosophies is “homines pro aliis”—acting as men and women for others and Casey embodied this fully. From small acts of kindness like lending a favorite shirt or lipstick to one of us for a night out to larger deeds like volunteering with animals or donating food or change to the homeless dotting the steps of a church close to campus, Casey was truly a young woman for others. Given that, it couldn’t be more fitting that The Casey Feldman Foundation has continued to act for others and sponsor numerous wonderful initiatives and partnerships in Casey’s memory over the 5 years since her death.
Joel Feldman interacting with students during an EndDD presentation at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, Nov. 2014
EndDD.org – End Distracted Driving
Perhaps the most visible way that the Foundation has reached out to others is through their sponsorship of EndDD.org – End Distracted Driving. Casey’s father, Joel Feldman, has personally given the EndDD.org distracted driving presentation to more than 35,000 people. With the help of hundreds of volunteer speakers, almost 250,000, mostly teens, have seen the presentation in 42 states and Canada. Incorporated in the presentation are PSA videos, three of which have been produced by Casey’s father: “Faces of Distracted Driving – Casey Feldman, 21”, in which I and Casey’s mother and other friends appear; “Just a Few Seconds”, which features a 17-year-old distracted driver as well as the daughter of the 61 year old man who was killed; and one directed at parents, “Parents – Be the Driver You Want Your Teen to Be”.
SHS 2011 recipient Hayden Dahmn with his seeing eye companion Fathom. Haydem is an engineering student at Swarthmore College
I have had the privilege to present alongside Casey’s parents to some of the more local audiences and it is a truly moving experience. The impact on those in the room after the presentation closes is palpable. Whether it is high school seniors or grandparents, it is clear this initiative is making a real impression and inspiring others to change their driving habits for the safer and better.
In addition to the Foundation’s work educating communities on distracted driving, a variety of scholarships are offered at Springfield High School (SHS), Fordham College at Lincoln Center and University of Colorado at Boulder, the high school and college alma maters of Casey and her brother Brett. Through the Foundation’s generosity, Springfield High students are afforded college scholarships with recipients attending schools such as Swarthmore College,Drexel, St. Joseph’s, Georgetown, Widener, Temple and West Chester Universities (click on the college hyperlink to read the article about the recipient).
Annina Baker, 2013 Cappies scholarship recipient, currently a student at Villanova University
Students working on Fordham’s newspaper, The Observer, of which Casey was News Editor, are given the opportunity to attend the annual National College Journalism Convention sponsored by the Associated Collegiate Press. In addition, a Fordham Communication and Media Studies major receives a stipend allowing him or her to gain experience in their field by accepting and completing an otherwise unpaid internship. Without this stipend, many students would have to forgo valuable internship opportunities and accept a part time job instead, to help pay for college expenses.
Harry Huggins & Monique John, Fordham recipients 2011 & 2012
In keeping with the Foundation’s efforts to reward those who are interested in community service and working for the greater good, another favorite program is that which provides stipends to computer science majors to provide services for a non-profit. The Foundation recognized how many non-profits with limited budgets had marginal websites, needed help developing a social media presence or needed software development designed for their specific needs to help them operate more efficiently. Computer science stipends at University of Colorado Boulder and Villanova University (Casey’s parents’ law school alma mater and the institution where her father, Joel, recently received his masters in counseling) have enabled over a dozen non-profits to receive this much needed technology help. At the same time, it has given computer science majors, virtually all of whom have well paying jobs waiting for them before they even graduate, the opportunity to know how gratifying it can be to “give back”, something that they hopefully, will want to continue in the future.
Sean Wiese, computer science recipient who developed a software program for Boulder Food Rescue, 2012
The first computer stipend at Boulder, went to Sean Wiese, who had a job waiting for him at Microsoft upon graduation. Sean worked for Boulder Food Rescue (BFR), an organization that redistributes perishable food “waste” to charities that serve homeless and at-risk individuals with the goal of helping to solve the problems of hunger, malnutrition, and food waste in the community. Sean developed a software program that enabled BFR to track pickups and deliveries of food and manage the schedules of 70 volunteers, increasing the amount of food pick- ups and deliveries by hundreds of pounds per week in just the first few weeks. Other non-profits which have benefited from this Foundation scholarship include The Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania, Gilda’s Club, Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, Nancy’s House, Youth Directions and the Boulder County Arts Alliance.
Volunteers painting at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals on Casey’s 1st “angelversary” in 2010
Annual July 17th Day of Service
Community service is something that has also become an annual tradition on Casey’s “angelversary” over these past 5 years. A day of service takes place on July 17th each year with family, friends and supporters of Casey and the Foundation volunteering their time in honor of Casey at a location in the Philadelphia area organized by the Foundation. The first 2 years of service took place at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals and the last 3, at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, where the Foundation also funded Magee’s first 2 facility/therapy dogs.
Casey cherished her time spent performing in theater, working on the Observer and at her various internships and volunteering to help animals, among other things. Thus, there could not be a more fitting tribute to her than allowing others to do the same through these diverse scholarships and programs. Community support of these initiatives is vital to their continuance.
For one Fordham University photography student, her college experience became slightly more picture perfect when she got the chance to pursue a dream internship. Jessica Wendroff, a double major in communication and media studies with a concentration in film, and visual arts with a concentration in photography, was able to achieve her goal of interning at the Museum of Modern Art in New York after winning the Casey A. Feldman Memorial Scholarship.
The scholarship was established at Fordham University where Casey was a senior at the time of her death, to assist students with finances so that they could gain valuable experience in their field by taking advantage of internship opportunities. Without the $2500 stipend, Jessica would have had to forgo the unpaid internship at the museum for part-time employment to help cover college expenses.
Jessica was able to spend her time at the Museum of Modern Art this past spring researching, organizing and correcting images for exhibits. According to Jessica, “I was able to solely focus on my internship and thoroughly enjoy and absorb it, instead of having to juggle work and the experience. The money helped fund my transportation and food, as well as allow me to buy a small subscription of Photoshop, so that I could practice what was being taught to me from home. I was also able to buy more memory cards and camera equipment so that I could take more photographs and with better quality.”
Jessica Wendroff and Fordham professor & mentor to Casey, Dr. Elizabeth Stone at the Fordham Sr. Leadership Awards Banquet
Jessica, who graduated from Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus in 2014, and has just completed travels to various countries to take street photographs, said her time at the school has given her experiences that she intends to carry with her in her career and beyond.
These include serving as an orientation leader and darkroom assistant at the university, as well as participating in Fordham’s Emerging Leaders program. Additionally, Jessica has volunteered at Free Arts NYC, which provides arts-based mentoring programs for young people.
She adds that the internship and award have also had a profound impact on her:
I am extremely grateful for having been granted this opportunity and have nothing but warm thoughts and gratitude for the Feldman family,” she said. “I feel that the experience helped move from where I wanted to be to where I needed to be and was definitely a catalyst for growth, both visually and intellectually. All in all, the experience helped carve an intern into a tech-savvy career woman with a heightened aesthetic sense and judgment. I am eternally appreciative for having an experience that not only bettered my resume, but my mind and the way I view the world and photography.
Fordham Professor Stephen Kalisky said Jessica stood out in his effective speaking class and called her “one of the true delights” of the semester because of her sense of humor and impressive work ethic.
“I often say that regardless of where they start, I want all of my students to move 10 feet forward during their semester with me,” he wrote in a recommendation letter. “Jessica leaped and bound past 10 feet. I haven’t encountered many students who overcame their blocks with such efficiency and determination.”
Casey’s brother Brett & his friends painting – Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, 2010
Casey’s friends insulating the attic at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, 2011
A stroke victim at Magee working on his motor skills as he brushes Joey’s teeth, 2014
Jenna Schein (R) helping an injured screech owl at Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary, 2014
By Rachael Kemmey*
On the day of Casey’s fifth “angelversary,” a friend said to me, “I can’t believe it’s already been five years, can you?” My answer, although contradictory, was both yes and no. Yes, it is unfathomable that one thousand nine hundred and seventy-seven days have passed since the last time I saw my friend. How have five years already come and gone without her here? Yet, at the same time, it feels like a lifetime since I’ve seen Casey. Every day without her feels long. I was at a loss trying to explain how time could move both fast and slow; perhaps, there is no way to understand this feeling, unless you were blessed with knowing Casey.
Five is also the number of years that Casey’s family and friends have been working to make a difference through The Casey Feldman Foundation. The Foundation honors Casey’s life and memory by keeping Casey’s passion for helping others alive and by supporting many causes that were near and dear to Casey’s heart. One of those is her unconditional love for animals.
Growing up, Casey had numerous pets; everything from chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and horses, to fish, lizards, hermit crabs and turtles. Of course, there were also dogs and cats. The Feldman family always had one dog and usually four cats at a time, all rescues. Casey was a proud member of PETA, among various other organizations, and was a strong advocate for adoption of strays. While studying at Fordham University in New York City, Casey volunteered at Animal Haven, a no-kill shelter. Casey walked the dogs and simply spent time with them as well as with the cats, assisting in their socialization and making them feel comfortable and loved.
It is gratifying to look back over the last five years and see how The Casey Feldman Foundation, among its multitude of endeavors, has also sought to honor Casey’s love of animals.
Every year on Casey’s “angelversary,” the Foundation conducts a day of service; every day of service over the last five years has incorporated animals. On the first “angelversary,” approximately forty volunteers worked at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, a no-kill shelter located in Radnor, Pennsylvania. The entire interior of the shelter was painted in the course of a day. The following year, volunteers returned to Francisvale and worked on building a new outdoor play area for the dogs, cleaning up the grounds and insulating the attic. The last three “angelversaries” were spent at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the Foundation established the first Facility Dog Program in 2012. Joey, a Labrador Retriever and Ford, a Golden Retriever were sponsored by the Foundation. Ford and Joey are specially trained health and human services “professionals” who support patients in their therapy and facilitate the rehabilitation process (watch the TV news video below).
In addition to incorporating animals into the annual day of service, the Foundation also directly supports local shelters through grants. Most recently, the Foundation sponsored the Casey Feldman Foundation Spay and Neuter Day at Main Line Animal Rescue (MLAR). As a result, five animals were neutered, a procedure which drastically cuts down on the number of animals euthanized in the United States each year. In addition, the Foundation also sponsored Helga at MLAR, a German Shepard who had spent the previous 5 years of her life in a hutch at a puppy mill and was in desperate need of medical care; she was a “spinner” as a result of her confinement and had tried to rip off her own tail. The Foundation’s grant saved Helga’s life. In order to help MLAR with their training program, the Foundation also donated funds for the “Casey Cam.” Since its installation, the camera has provided trainers with an opportunity to track each animal’s progress.
Dr. Meg Anderson (R) and her assistant, Spay/Neuter Day at MLAR, 2014
In addition, various scholarship programs that the Foundation has funded have benefited animals. Our 2012 PIIE recipient, Dylan Mark, interned for the summer at the Boulder Valley Humane Society. Computer science major Lauren McDermott from Villanova University received a stipend to provide much needed IT services to Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, revamping and updating their website in 2011. Our Alternative Spring Break program has also impacted animals – Erica Durbin spent her spring break volunteering at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in 2011 and this past spring, Jennah Schein volunteered her week off working at Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in NC. Of course, all the various Alternative Spring Break scholarship recipients who spent their week working in some form of environmental conservation all had a positive impact on wildlife.
In the upcoming years, the Foundation looks forward to continuing to honor Casey’s love of animals through supporting existing programs and establishing new ones.
All of the Casey Feldman Foundation scholarship recipients have dreams, be it short term or for the future – for themselves, their community or the world. Elizabeth, “Ellie” Roberts got this opportunity, literally, through a Public Interest Internship Experience (PIIE) scholarship funded by The Casey Feldman Foundation to work this past summer with the non-profit I Have A Dream (IHAD) Foundation of Boulder County. The PIIE program at the University of Colorado Boulder (where Casey’s brother, Brett is a student) aims to encourage civic leadership by providing students with a stipend to intern with a nonprofit or public agency, organizations that may not otherwise be able to provide compensation for a student intern.
IHAD, where Ellie interned, is dedicated to helping low-income youths achieve a brighter future through a long-term, comprehensive educational and cultural enrichment program. The IHAD Foundation “adopts” groups of 50 low-income students, “Dreamers” in third grade who are deemed to be at high risk of dropping out of school. They hire a project coordinator and establish a learning center exclusively for that group and provide the Dreamers a year-round program of tutoring, mentoring, after-school enrichment, computer technology training, life and social skills, and college and career preparation until they finish high school. The Dreamers ultimately receive a four-year tuition-assistance scholarship for college or vocational school.
Elizabeth stated that she “fell in love with IHAD. Their mission, results, and passion [are] addicting and amazing.”
Ms. Roberts is a full-time student, a CU Student Government Tri-Executive, and works part time to fund her living expenses all while maintaining a 4.0 academic grade point average. Elizabeth will be graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in communications as well as an elementary education license.
While interning with IHAD, Ms. Roberts worked with students, created lessons, taught classes, assisted with daily logistics and worked on individual projects assigned by the Program Director and Vice President of Programs. Elizabeth stated that this internship “reaffirmed the fact that I know I want to work in the education field and I want to spend every day for the rest of my life fighting to make sure low-income youth in our community have the same opportunities as their more privileged peers.”
After graduating, Elizabeth hopes to be a teacher or work for a nonprofit that focuses on education equality or education reform.
Ms. Roberts is grateful for the opportunity afforded her by the Casey Feldman Foundation Scholarship. “Everyday was new and exciting. Every day was fast-paced, compelling, enriching, and extremely beneficial to my future career goals and me as a person…Thank you for supporting the CU PIIE Program and for supporting me. This was the best and most beneficial summer of my life.”
I gave a distracted driving talk Tuesday at The Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. One of the students was blonde and she looked a little like my daughter, Casey. And she had the same habit as Casey – twirling her hair with her left hand. Following the talk, the school was getting out for Thanksgiving and many were leaving directly with family to travel for the holiday.
As I drove home I thought that if Casey were alive she, like all the girls at the talk, would be coming home to be with us for Thanksgiving. I would always pick her up at the train station in Philadelphia as she came home from college in NYC. I would see her before she would see me and I would look forward to that instant when she would first see me and smile – a smile just for her Dad. I was really feeling down and missing Casey and thinking about how our Thanksgiving would not be so joyous. I thought about how I missed so many things about Casey, including her smile and how she twirled her hair.
Often when I finish a talk and am alone in my car I get emotional but, it was more so on Tuesday. I got home and continued to be deep in thought about how much I missed so many things about her. I thought of all that Casey had lost out on and all that we had lost. It was hard to feel thankful.
Then I received an e-mail from a father of one of the students at the school and it turned everything around for me emotionally. The father’s e-mail included the following:
My daughter just texted me that she found your presentation at her school to be a real eye-opener… she doesn’t text me often to comment on speakers she hears in class, but I think she was deeply moved by your experience, and so I write to you now.
I knew about your upcoming visit from an announcement, and at dinner last night I encouraged my daughter to be receptive to you. I got the usual rolling eye response that she’s heard it all before. She is a senior, and immersed in the more pleasant aspects of her life.
Thank you for making distracted driving an issue that we are all now concerned about. From your own unspeakable personal loss, I am sure that you are preventing many other tragedies. Your work is not only in the highest tradition of the lawyer, but the epitome of a human being who improves the lives of his neighbors.
When I read the email I realized just how much I did have to be thankful for: for my family and friends; for the support of so many wonderful and caring people; for the incredible 21 years I had with Casey; for that young blonde student whose hair twirling prompted great memories of Casey; and, for being able to tell Casey’s story everywhere to teens who are passionate, compassionate, energetic and so receptive to my message about distracted driving.
I am also grateful for that father’s email, as it prompted me to count my blessings on this Thanksgiving day.
Priyanka Guragain is one of those young people who the Casey Foundation Foundation takes great pride in calling one of our scholarship recipients. She applied for a scholarship stipend in her freshman year in college to take an “Alternative Spring Break” trip, where she could spend the week working, being of service. She didn’t want one of those spring breaks trips to Cancun, to relax and “party”, even if she could have afforded it.
Now a sophomore sociology major, Priynaka came to this country from Nepal six years ago with her mother and younger brother to establish a better life. In addition to a heavy course load, Priyanka works part time time throughout the school year and full time in the summer so that she can help to meet her needs and those of her younger brother. Priyanka’s mother, a single parent, considers Priyanka her “right hand” and second guardian to her younger brother. Leaving behind a career in Nepal, Priynanka’s ‘s mother struggles financially here, with half of her salary going to pay for Priynaka’s college tuition.
The CU volunteer students on Catalina Island
” I have felt the pressure of huge expectations and dreams that my mother carries for me. As I began college last fall, I used those dreams as my strength to get through college,” said Priyanka. “The struggle that I have seen my mother go through is my motivation to achieve my dreams,” she added.
The service trip that Priyanka chose was an environmental trip, working with the Catalina Island Conservancy in California, helping to protect and restore one of the world’s most magnificent islands. While there, Priyanka and a dozen or so other students from University of Colorado Boulder removed invasive plants, performed trail maintenance and removed fences on the steep hillsides surrounding parts of the island.
Priyanka chose this trip because of her appreciation of nature and the environment, and to learn more about environmental conservation, “I have seen the beautiful rural areas of Nepal, but unfortunately, because of its political turmoil, environmental conservation has not been a focus of the citizens there.” said Priyanka.
Students embracing the beauty of Catalina Island
With what little extra time she has, Priynaka is involved in other student organizations on campus in addition to the Volunteer Resource Center, which organized the spring break trip. She also works with Community Health and Restorative Justice. stating that ,” I don’t want to let any opportunity pass by because I want to make college a journey of knowledge and great experience….College is everything I dreamed it would be.”
Priynaka speaks four languages, Nepali, Hindi, English and Spanish and is “very curious” to try a new one. As to her future plans, Priyanka has an interest in the Peace Corps and the United Nations.
” I am only seventeen and the accomplishments that Casey achieved with her passions encourages me to dream bigger,” stated Pryianka.