The Faces – 2013′s Alternative Spring Break Scholarship Recipients

Saturday, May 11th, 2013
Mikaela Aroff

Mikaela Aroff

By Dianne L. Anderson

Last month, students from the University of Colorado at Boulder spent their spring break doing service through the Alternative Spring Break program. These students used their weeklong vacation time to travel to different areas of the country to volunteer with various nonprofit organizations. This opportunity was provided to five students through scholarship stipends from the Casey Feldman Foundation. Read their stories:

Mikaela Aroff–  A senior, Mikaela is double majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology and environmental studies and is dedicated to pursuing a career in saving the environment for animals and protecting their habitat. Despite loosing her parents at the age of 14, this young woman has surged forward. Mikaela has done work with turtle conservation and fish behavior,  as well as recycling, through her employment with the CU Intermediate Unit. Mikaela currently works on campus with the Dennis Small Cultural Center, planning events focused around social justice and promoting multiculturalism and diversity. Mikaela spent her spring break in Moab, Utah with the nonprofit organization, Plateau Restoration.org working on habitat restoration, re-vegetation, erosion control, and exotic species removal.

Lee Phan

Lee Phan-   Lee’s immigrant parents came to this country with only the clothes on their back. While Lee experienced a childhood with a loving family,  sometimes there was  a shortage of the basics, including food on the table. Paying for college on her own, Lee has also found the time to include volunteer work in her schedule, reporting, “It is among my passion to give back to the underprivileged.”  Lee utilized her scholarship stipend to spend her spring week in San Francisco volunteering with Glide, an organization that serves 3 nutritious meals a day to the underprivileged. Lee’s time was also spent exploring related issues such as homelessness, poverty and economic turndown.

Charlotte Thompson

Charlotte Thompson- Charlotte works at the CU Volunteer Resource Center and hopes, upon graduation, to find work with a non-profit which addresses a social or environmental issue.  Charlotte has spent much of her young life helping others through service work, reporting that her passion for volunteering all started during her 12 years as a girl scout. Charlotte spent her alternative spring break week in Cincinnati addressing urban poverty and homelessness while working with the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless. “The issue of homelessness and poverty is an issue that I hope to help fix,” reports Charlotte.

Haley DiRenzo

Hailey DiRenzo- Hailey spent her spring break working with children in Atlanta, Georgia with the Medici Project in an area where 50% of the children do not graduate from high school. She is devoted to helping children learn the value of an education and to making youth feel empowered. “I want kids to understand and feel  that no matter where they come from or what amount of money they have, they have the ability to do anything they really want to”, said Hailey. Hailey also works two part time jobs in addition to volunteering her time with youth in Boulder and ultimately hopes to go to law school and perform public service law.

Kailee Caranta

Kailee Caranta– A sophomore environmental studies major, Kailee works two jobs to help put herself through college and performs service work, including serving breakfast every other Saturday at the North Boulder Homeless Shelter. Growing up in a family where alcoholism and addiction was an issue, new clothes and luxuries did not come often. Kailee has recognized that homelessness is not just something that can happen to other people. Kailee sees medical school as an ultimate goal, wanting to be a DO and specialize as an OBGYN, “Because I am a woman wanting to help other women.”  Kailee spent her spring break week in San Francisco, as did Lee Phan, on a nutrition and wellness week working with Glide, an organization that serves 3 nutritious meals a day to the needy,  as she explored related issues such as homelessness, poverty and economic turndown.

Way to go 2013 Alternative Spring Break Scholarship recipients!

Please contribute to the Casey Feldman Foundation so that additional deserving students may experience the joy of community service.

Related Links:

Casey's parents, Joel and Dianne with the 2013 scholarship recipients

- “For some CU-Boulder students, spring break a chance to do good”,  by Brittany Anas, The Daily Camera, 3-22-2013

- University of Colorado Boulder Volunteer Resource Center (Plans and organizes Alternative Spring Break trips for students at CU)

- Plateau Restoration.org

-  Glide

- Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless

- Medici Project

- Helping our children experience the gift of helping others, article in the Fall CU Parent Newsletter by Casey Feldman’s parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson in which they discuss the establishment of the Alternative Spring Break scholarships in Casey’s memory

Casey Feldman Inspiration video , produced by CU Boulder broadcast journalism student Kylie Bearse and which aired on CU Boulder TV News, concerning the Alternative Spring Break program and the scholarships established in Casey’s memory

- Previous  articles on the Casey Feldman Foundation News and Updates about the Alternative Spring Break Program and the many scholarship recipients who have benefited

 

Scholarship Recipient Wants to Save the World

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Chelsea Miller (R) talking to community members at the AHRC in Atlanta

By Dianne L. Anderson

I am a dreamer, activist and daughter”, said Chelsea Miller, “and first and foremost, someone who wants to make a difference.”  Chelsea Miller has been and continues to make a difference despite significant obstacles in her life.

One of this year’s recipients of a Casey Feldman Foundation Alternative Spring Break scholarship, Chelsea is currently a junior at the University of Colorado Boulder where she is an international affairs major, and Jewish studies minor, focusing on social justice in Africa and the Middle East. She is also studying French, is working on a certificate in digital arts and media and works on campus at the CU recreation center as a Student Coordinator to pay her way through college.

In keeping with her stated desire to “save the world”, Chelsea is heavily involved in volunteer work and campus activities. Chelsea has delivered meals to low income families in Denver since 2006 through Epworth Church, volunteers with the Aids Quilt through Queer Initiative, is an activist with the LGBT community and is the Co-President of  Hillel on campus. Among other activities, Chelsea volunteers with Jewish Colorado and an on-campus program called L’Dor V’Dor, where she delivers meals weekly to the elderly Boulder, Jewish community. She is also currently running for the Representative at Large position for the University of Colorado Student Government.

Chelsea picked up dirty heroin needles from the Bluff

Chelsea has been able to accomplish all of this despite overwhelming hurdles thrown her way. Growing up with an absent and unknown father was not the only hardship that Chelsea has had to face in her life.

Chelsea’s mother is recovering from a potentially deadly disease. Chelsea has been her “support system” and “caretaker”, there with her through attempted suicides, mental hospital visits, and rehabilitation centers. “My mother is my hero, and she has pushed me to be the fighter I am today….While my mother is fighting to live, I fight to make her proud…. I’d like to think that I’m her example to live”, said Chelsea.

Chelsea has continued to be that example by making a difference on her Alternative Spring Break trip to Atlanta this year, funded by the Casey Feldman Foundation. Chelsea’s trip found her working with two non-profits, the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition (AHRC) and Cool Girls.

Chelsea Miller (left front) with Cool Girls

The AHRC provides education and risk reduction programs to empower adults in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of substance use, HIV/AIDS, STDs, hepatitis, and other communicable diseases. Cool Girls supports girls in all aspects of their development – breaking the cycles of poverty, low self-esteem, and teen pregnancy, helping girls develop into confident women through education and exposure to a broader world of opportunity.

With Atlanta Harm Reduction, Chelsea volunteered in a community referred to as “The Bluff”. Within this neighborhood Chelsea and her fellow student volunteers collected dirty, used heroin needles on several tours of the community. When stationed at the Harm Reduction House, Chelsea assisted with daily duties of the organization, like making coffee for the community members, organizing paperwork, compiling condoms and other preventatives (like dental dams and female condoms) and other basic needs of the organization.

Chelsea had the opportunity to meet and speak with community members during all of her shifts and described the work as “quite fulfilling”. According to Chelsea,

Chelsea assisting a young community member with his homework

The most rewarding moment for me was when I met a man that had never used a computer before. Because of this, he didn’t have a resume and could not apply to jobs online. I showed him how to use a computer, browsers, and Microsoft Word. Then, I helped him develop a resume and set up an email account. After, we spent hours on Craigslist.com scoping out and applying for jobs. He was so thankful, because he had been unemployed and homeless for years. Without these basic skills, he couldn’t assimilate into society like he wanted to. I felt very accomplished showing him basic skills that would impact the rest of his life.

Chelsea described the young people at Cool Girls as “really inspiring”. Through lessons and games that her group planned themselves, focused on math, engineering, science and technology, they talked, played, and learned together. One of the activities involved having the girls create their own scientific invention. After the groups made their inventions, with a detailed business plan, they presented their ideas to the rest of the groups.

Given the adversity faced in her own life, Chelsea stated that her week of volunteering didn’t teach her about society’s woes like poverty, drug addiction or marginalized communities.  “No, this trip instead reminded me of such matters”, stated Chelsea. “This experience was a beautiful awakening; to remind me of where I came from and, now, where I’m going in life….I will continue to serve, and I will continue to have faith in people as long as they continue to have faith in me.”

Chelsea (front right in blue) and her fellow student volunteers in Atlanta

Could this young woman have experienced any greater accomplishments during her Alternative Spring Break week of volunteering? Being the bold and courageous person that she is, Chelsea chose to look up her long lost father whom she was told lived in Atlanta and whom she had never met. Her tenacity proved successful and Chelsea located her father and met him in Atlanta. “I had honestly not even thought about the prospect of meeting a parent during my spring break”, said Chelsea. “This experience was powerful. I reconnected with who I really am and who, in the end, I really want to be.”

Contribute to the Casey Feldman Foundation so that more students may experience the rewards of an Alternative Spring Break.

Chelsea Miller in Atlanta

Related Links:

- University of Colorado Boulder Volunteer Resource Center (Plans and organizes Alternative Spring Break trips for students at CU)

-Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition (AHRC)

- Cool Girls

- Helping our children experience the gift of helping others, article in the Fall CU Parent Newsletter by Casey Feldman’s parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson in which they discuss the establishment of the Alternative Spring Break scholarships in Casey’s memory

Casey Feldman Inspiration video , produced by CU Boulder broadcast journalism student Kylie Bearse and which aired on CU Boulder TV News, concerning the Alternative Spring Break program and the scholarships established in Casey’s memory

- Previous  articles on the Casey Feldman Foundation News and Updates about the Alternative Spring Break Program and the many scholarship recipients who have benefited

 

 

Scholarship Recipient Vows to Leave this World a Better Place

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

By Dianne L. Anderson

Jamie Haller (L) priming drywall

“My week in New Orleans helping to rebuild a home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina was incredible and by far, one of the most rewarding weeks of my life”, reported Jamie Haller, a 2012 recipient of a Casey Feldman Foundation Alternative Spring Break scholarship stipend.

A junior and international relations major and education minor at the University of Colorado – Boulder, Jamie has been raised by a single mother for the past 8 years and works year round to pay for her own tuition, books and living expenses.  With no money left to spare to cover the expenses of the trip, Jamie was extremely grateful to the Casey Feldman Foundation for the $500 stipend.

Jamie and her fellow volunteers stayed at a church in the lower 9th ward of New Orleans–the area hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina.”I was shocked to see how much work has yet to be done in the area, certain streets felt like ghost towns with the large number of empty lots and remains of houses”, stated Jamie. “ It is hard to believe that these people have gone through so much and yet their upbeat spirit has remained–it is truly inspirational to see.”

The students working on Betty's house

Jamie and a team of student volunteers spent 4 days working with the non-profit, St.Bernard Project which has rebuilt over 445 homes in the greater New Orleans area since 2006. Jamie and her fellow volunteers worked on the home of an elderly woman, “Betty”, whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.  The students “mudded”, sanded and primed drywall, caulked, primed and painted the exterior of the house and laid down linoleum on the interior floors.

“I’m happy that Betty will soon be able to live in a healthy and clean environment”, said Jamie. “It was so great seeing how quickly things can come together when you have such a great team working alongside one another”.

What are Jamie’s pans for the future upon graduation? Ms. Haller plans on joining the Peace Corps, after which she hopes to work on developing education plans in West Africa.”I want to leave this world a better place than when I found it”, said Jamie.

Contribute to the Casey Feldman Foundation so that more students may experience the rewards of an Alternative Spring Break.  

Jamie Haller cauking the exterior of Betty's home

Related Links:

- University of Colorado Boulder Volunteer Resource Center (Plans and organizes Alternative Spring Break trips for students at CU)

- St. Bernard Project

- Helping our children experience the gift of helping others, article in the Fall CU Parent Newsletter by Casey Feldman’s parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson in which they discuss the establishment of the Alternative Spring Break scholarships in Casey’s memory

Casey Feldman Inspiration video , produced by CU Boulder broadcast journalism student Kylie Bearse and which aired on CU Boulder TV News, concerning the Alternative Spring Break program and the scholarships established in Casey’s memory

Previous  articles on the Casey Feldman Foundation News and Updates about the Alternative Spring Break Program and the many scholarship recipients who have benefited

 

The Faces of the 2012 Alternative Spring Break Scholarship Recipients

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Five outstanding University of Colorado -Boulder students have received an Alternative Spring Break scholarship stipend enabling them to travel to another part of the country and perform community service over their college spring break. All of the students evidenced financial need and would not have been able to participate without this scholarship stipend from the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation. This year’s recipients are as follows:

Chelsea Miller

Leticia Martinez

Taylor Hayes

Jamie Haller

Francesca "Franky" Navarrette


Chelsea Miller is an International Relations major focusing on social justice in Africa and the Middle East. Her dream is “to save the world.” Chelsea will be spending her spring break volunteering in Atlanta, GA with an organization that supports marginalized girls in all aspects of their development, attempting to break the cycles of poverty, low self-esteem, and teen pregnancy. (more…)

Scholarship Recipient Passionate About the Environment

Friday, November 4th, 2011

By Dianne L. Anderson

Amber and her fellow student volunteers digging up blackberry bushes at the Cascade Head Nature Conservancy

“Since my early years of high school, I have always been passionate about the environment,” stated Amber Diaz in her application for a scholarship stipend to volunteer for a week doing environmental conservation work at the Cascade Head Nature Conservancy in Oregon. “With very little money to spare” while saving money for college tuition and books, this sophomore Environmental Studies major was deeply grateful to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation for the $575 stipend which covered the expenses of her Alternative Spring Break trip.

Amber’s passion for the environment began as a high school freshman when she and a dozen other students packed themselves into a van and drove to Baja, Mexico to work at a sea turtle reserve in an area where the locals had previously captured and sold the turtles on the black market. While there, Amber helped to rehabilitate and return sea turtles to the wild that had been caught in fishermen’s nets. Amber cleaned the pools, scrubbed the turtles’ shells and helped build a roof over the pools to give the turtles some shade from the hot sun. The operator of the reserve was native to the area and provided jobs to other locals which centered on ecotourism activities such as whale watching in an area where the endangered grey whales can also be found. This was most exciting for Amber who stated, “It was surprising to see the incredible change in attitudes of the locals towards their native wildlife, and to see them using their diverse wildlife to make a living. The trip inspired me to believe that people don’t always have to destroy the environment to be successful, they can live alongside it.”

Amber Diaz and her fellow student volunteers also worked on trail restoration in Oregon

Back in Colorado Amber volunteers with the Colorado Reptile Humane Society after becoming interested in the exotic pet trade and the impact on local wildlife stemming from the abandonment of exotic pets. The shelter takes in iguanas, snakes, and other reptiles, many of whom suffer from health problems due to neglect. “Seeing these animals, who would have died without the humane society’s intervention, survive and find good homes made me realize not only how negative attitudes towards reptiles can affect the environment and harm animals, but also how proper education can significantly better the lives of reptiles kept as pets, and in turn keep those pets from being abandoned and become invasive species in our habitats,” stated Amber.

The environmental significance of Amber’s volunteer work on her Alternative Spring Break trip to Oregon was of a different sort. The variety of ecosystems at Cascade Head, which include forests, several prairie headlands and the Salmon River are home to more than 350 species of wildlife and rare wildflowers.  The spotted owl, marbled murrelet, coho salmon, and the Oregon silver spot butterfly are all federally listed endangered species which either use or inhabit the area.  Because of its ecological significance, Cascade Head Preserve and the surrounding national forest and other lands have won recognition as a National Scenic Research Area and a United Nations Biosphere Reserve.

Amber Diaz and her fellow volunteers pose for a picture at the Cascade Head Nature Conservancy

Amber’s service at Cascade Head  focused primarily on digging up and removing invasive Himalayan blackberry bushes from the grassland community,  which  negatively impact  the rare  wildflowers and wildlife  naturally found there.  “It sounds easy, but the roots were usually really deep and branched out in every direction it seemed,” reported Amber.  Amber and her fellow student volunteers also worked on trail preservation of hiking trails that had become damaged and difficult to navigate after the rainy season. “Sometimes the work seemed tedious and we didn’t see our results immediately, but I know that the work we did during our week in Oregon has contributed to preserving the grasslands in this spectacular coastal headland which is a true natural gem”.

 

[Donate to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation to help provide other students with scholarship opportuities]

 Related Links and Posts:

- Cascade Head Nature Conservancy

- Cascade Head Experimental Forest and Scenic Research Area 

- Helping our children experience the gift of helping others, article in the Fall CU Parent Newsletter by Casey Feldman’s parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne in which they discuss the establishment of the Alternative Spring Break scholarships in Casey’s memory.

- Casey Feldman Inspiration video , produced by CU Boulder broadcast journalism student Kylie Bearse and which aired on CU Boulder TV News, concerning the Alternative Spring Break program and the scholarships established in Casey’s memory.

- University of Colorado – Boulder Volunteer Resource Center , volunteer office at CU which organizes the Alternative Spring Break trips

-Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation News and Updates – University of Colorado/ Alternative Spring Break, all of the Foundation articles concerning the Alternative Spring Break scholarship program

Service for the Greater Good an Integral Part of Scholarship Recipient’s Life

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

By Dianne L. Anderson

Erica Durbin with one of the goats at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

Erica Durbin is not your everyday college student. Then again, how many college students choose to spend their one week off from college for spring break mucking out a barn and barnyard, carrying bales of hay in the snow to feed farm animals and simply spending time with cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, and goats who have been rescued from cases of abuse, neglect and abandonment. Erica received a $480 scholarship stipend from the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation to travel with other students to Woodstock, NY, the town made famous for peace and music, to volunteer at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. The stipend covered travel, lodging and expenses for the week of service.

Erica, a Communications and Sociology major at the University of Colorado – Boulder  (CU) works 20 -30 hours a week and more during the school semesters, allotting 95% of her pay for tuition, books and Phi Beta Pi dues. Despite her hectic schedule and financial pressures, service for the greater good has been an integral part of her young life.

Erica has been active with the Flatirons’ Habitat for Humanity, helping to build homes for those less fortunate who are local to her college community in Boulder, CO. She also works with CU Going Local, a group of college students who collaborate and advocate for “everything local” in Boulder, which takes her beyond the campus and to local businesses and restaurants. Through the MlK Dream Readers, in cooperation with Boulder elementary schools, Erica and her sorority sisters are reading and study buddies to youth. In conjunction with tutoring the students once or twice a week in areas of difficulty, Erica also acts as a mentor and encourages her young “buddies” to formulate dreams and goals for their lives.

Erica Durbin and her fellow volunteer students raking the muck in the barnyard at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

She has also spearheaded recycling at her sorority where, with the help of a supportive “house mom”, recycling bins are now as prevalent as garbage bins within the house. Erica has also educated her chapter on annual food waste and the sorority sisters are now making an effort to take only helpings of food they can eat at mealtime and return to the kitchen later if still hungry.

Erica’s recycling efforts have also extended into the Office of Parent Relations where she works on the CU campus. “We no longer wheel tubs out to the garbage bin weekly as I recall doing frequently in my early employment”, said Erica. Through her efforts and with aid of another student worker, the Office has begun utilizing the mass-recycling services of the CU Environmental Club to shred and/or properly and efficiently reprocess expired files and documents. Material specific recycling receptacles are now utilized within the shared departments’ copy room. The office also no longer prints on certain types and colors of paper for their published documents, and have made sufficient “paperless” improvements, such as creating innovative social network accounts (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube-in progress, Flickr), to network information between the CU Office of Parent Relations and the parents.

Tossing down a bale of straw from the barn loft to spread as clean bedding for the animals

Of course, Erika is an animal lover and when she visits her mother in Evergreen, CO she and her young stepsiblings visit the Evergreen Animal Protective League during the play and adoptive hours, “to show some compassion to the furry residents.” Last year, Erika also applied for an Alternative Spring Break scholarship through the Casey Feldman Foundation and spent a week doing environmental conservation work on Catalina Island, CA to help restore the land and waters of the island.

When asked if she tires of so much volunteer activity, Erika replied in the negative adding, “My passion to advocate for the unheard and insufficiently represented strains within society have intensified for me, the more I do this kind of work. It has become a part of who I am.” Coupled with the successful recycling projects and environmental work, it is clear that Erika Durbin is one of those people who is making a positive impact on this world.

[Contribute to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation so that other students may experience the rewards of an Alternative Spring Break.]

Related Posts and Links:

- Photos from Erika Durbin’s Woodstock Week of Service

- Helping our children experience the gift of helping others, article in the Fall CU Parent Newsletter by Casey Feldman’s parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne in which they discuss the establishment of the Alternative Spring Break scholarships in Casey’s memory.

- Casey Feldman Inspiration video, produced by CU Boulder broadcast journalism student Kylie Bearse and which aired on CU Boulder TV News, concerning the Alternative Spring Break program and the scholarships established in Casey’s memory.

- University of Colorado – Boulder Volunteer Resource Center,  volunteer office at CU which organizes the Alternative Spring Break trips

-Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation News and Updates – University of Colorado/ Alternative Spring Break, all of the Foundation articles concerning the Alternative Spring Break scholarship program

 

 

College Student Makes a Difference Through Foundation Scholarship

Monday, September 5th, 2011

By Dianne L. Anderson
 

Nicole Rodriquez drywalling the new home of Katrina victim

Nicole Rodriquez, Marketing and Spanish major at the University of Colorado – Boulder,  was particularly grateful to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation  for the scholarship  opportunity to  travel to New Orleans over her college spring break and aid in disaster relief.   “Volunteering is very important to me and I hope that in all my efforts I make some sort of difference, no matter how large or small it may be”, Nicole stated in her application for a $420 stipend.

The cost of the trip to cover travel, food and lodging was not something that was  in this senior college student’s budget.  Living with her parents throughout college to avoid housing costs, Nicole pays for her own college tuition with assistance from scholarships and a Pell grant.  She works some 15 to 20 hours per week during the school semesters in a work study program that enables her to buy books and further contribute to her tuition bills.

The New Orleans home which Nicole Rodriquez insulated and drywalled with other student volunteers

With a dozen or so other student volunteers though HandsOn New Orleans, Nicole spent her first day in New Orleans  replanting trees in a swamp in a City which lost some half a billion trees to Hurricane Katrina. The remainder of the week was spent insulating and drywalling a new house for a woman who lost her home to the hurricane and returned to New Orleans for the first time since Katrina.

“It was a wonderful week for me!” reported Nicole, who had previously volunteered locally for Habitat For Humanity.  “I thoroughly enjoy this work because I believe having shelter is easily one of the most important things in life and being able to provide this for those who are less fortunate gives me a sense of accomplishment.”

 

[Help other students experience the gift of helping others and donate to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation.]

Related Links and Posts:

- Helping our children experience the gift of helping others,  article in the Fall CU Parent Newsletter by Casey Feldman’s parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne in which they discuss the establishment of the Alternative Spring Break scholarships in Casey’s memory.
- Casey Feldman Inspiration video ,  produced by CU Boulder broadcast journalism student Kylie Bearse  and which aired on CU Boulder TV News, concerning the Alternative Spring Break program and the scholarships established in Casey’s memory.
- University of Colorado – Boulder Volunteer Resource Center , volunteer office at CU which organizes the Alternative Spring Break trips
-Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation News and Updates – University of Colorado/ Alternative Spring Break, all of the Foundation articles concerning the Alternative Spring Break scholarship program

 

Scholarship Recipient Undergoes a Life Altering Experience Through Urban Poverty Trip

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

By Dianne L. Anderson

Amy Moore-Shipley, camera in hand

“My spring break was a life-altering experience founded in volunteering, education and social justice,” said Amy Moore- Shipley, who received a Casey Feldman Foundation Scholarship to travel to Cincinnati on an urban poverty trip with a group of other students over spring break from college this year. The college students volunteered with the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, in a City which ranks 7th in the nation for the highest percentage of residents living in poverty, and where some 7,000 residents are homeless. One out of every three children lives in poverty. The itinerary for the trip was filled with advocate speakers, interactive activities and volunteer work with those in need.

Moore-Shipley and her fellow student volunteers worked with preschoolers in a community center, served hundreds of meals in drop-in kitchens and cleaned up yards for low-income housing programs. The students also cooked for a family on a food stamp budget, navigated the city for resources for the homeless and created a mock drop-in shelter. (more…)

Scholarship Recipient Describes Her Experience as a “Defining Moment of My College Years”

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

YMCA Camp Campbell in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains near San Jose, California

Abigail Lane, a student at the University of Colorado- Boulder,  received a Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation Alternative Spring Break Scholarship this past spring to travel  to and volunteer at YMCA Camp Campbell, an outdoor educational science camp for 5th graders in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains near San Jose, California. In expressing her  deep gratitude to the Foundation for the weeklong  service opportunity, Abigail described the experience as “amazing” and “a  defining moment of my college years.”

All YMCA programs promote the four core values of the YMCA –  caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. The science education staffers believe that children are the key to the future, and that their understanding of nature and their wise use of our natural resources are essential to the well being of the environment.  The program strives to develop students’ awareness of their role in the environment, as well as their appreciation of the beauty of nature  Of course, it is a muti faceted learning opportunity for the volunteer counselors as well. (more…)

Alternative Breakers Receive Generous Scholarships

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Students performed dry wall work in New Orleans to help rebuild homes destroyed by Katrina

Not all college students spend their spring break basking in the sun, relaxing and partying. Some 130 students at the University of Colorado – Boulder choose an “Alternative Spring Break” and pile themselves into vans, travel to another part of the country and perform a week of community service. Among the multitude of   Alterative Spring Break trips, students have prepared and delivered food for the sick and disabled in NYC, helped rebuild homes for Katrina victims in New Orleans, worked to improve services for the homeless in Cincinnati  and dirtied their hands in an effort  to preserve a fragile island ecosystem off the coast of Los Angeles. (more…)