2016 SHS Foundation Scholarship Recipient Alyssa Figueiredo Sets Her Sights on Nursing

By Peter Force*

Alyssa Figueiredo

Alyssa Figueirdo

Alyssa Figueirdo was awarded the Springfield High School (Casey’s alma mater)  Casey Feldman Memorial Scholarship this year not only for her academic prowess–she managed to take on the extra coursework of AP and honors classes while still remaining at the top of her class–but for her continued devotion to volunteer work and humanitarian extracurricular activities. After learning of all the many ways Alyssa has challenged herself to help others through high school, we’re not surprised at all to hear that, after a semester of finding her footing at The University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, she has decided to pursue a career in nursing.

Here’s just a partial rundown of Alyssa’s achievements in high school that got her the nomination, and the scholarship: She is part of the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) Leadership Team, where she helped to organize participation in the annual Philly Aids Walk and raised funds for Valley Youth House (a safe house for homeless LGBQT youth). In her senior year she attended West Chester University’s GSA Leadership Conference where she co-led a workshop on how to run a GSA with a focus on social activism. She was also a member of the Community Service Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and part of SHS’s annual Dance Marathon, which raises funds for the fight against pediatric cancer.

That’s in addition to her being part of the school’s Med-Tech team: a small group of students who arrive at school early (6:30 am, to be precise) and travel to local hospitals where they experience first-hand what it takes to be in the medical profession on a daily basis.

And those are just her school extracurriculars. She also volunteered at at St. Christopher’s Hospital in the Child Life Department and shadowed doctors in the Neurology Department. At The University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, Alyssa has joined the Alliance (a club similar to the GSA she led at SHS), and is a member of Kickstart Kid’s Hearts, a club that raises money for the PA Chapter of the Children’s Heart Foundation.

After taking a course on medical careers through the Delaware County Technical School, Alyssa decided that through nursing she “can make more of an impact on my patients’ lives since nurses are the ones who see them the majority of the time. With nursing I will get more clinical experience, which would help me to be a better doctor, should I choose to attend medical school.”  After graduating from high school, Alyssa volunteered in the Sleep Lab at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children this past summer before she headed off to college.

Alyssa wears her pink Casey Feldman bracelet every day and welcomes the “opportunity to spread awareness every time I get asked about it.”

We salute you, Alyssa, not only for spreading awareness of the potentially tragic consequences of distracted driving, but for truly embodying the spirit and generosity of Casey in all of your endeavors.

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Pete Force*Peter Force is a writer and artist from Springfield, PA, knew Casey and has been a lifelong friend of Casey’s brother, Brett. He studied Art History at Bloomsburg University for two years before graduating from Temple University in 2014 with a B.A. in English Literature. He is currently the manager of Cathy’s Half Price Books, an independent used bookstore located in Havertown, PA. in addition to writing freelance articles for a variety of sources. A portfolio of his work can be found on his website at www.petermforce.com

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