My Memorable Internship Experience Made Possible by the Casey Feldman Foundation

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

By Heidi Stimac

For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in working in the nonprofit sector. I love the idea that my professional work could contribute to improving the lives of others but, had no idea how to get my foot in the door. So when I heard about the Public Interest Internship Experience (PIIE) program at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) my junior year, I was excited to say the least. The PIIE program at CU is a competitive one where students apply to the program, and if accepted, they get matched with a nonprofit or government agency for a summer internship. I learned about the program only a couple of days before the 2018 application deadline and luckily I was accepted and matched up with my first choice organization, the Chef Ann Foundation. All of the organizations with which PIIE students are matched do not have the resources to pay a student intern and funding from the Casey Feldman Foundation enabled me to be paid for my work at this tremendous organization.

The Chef Ann Foundation is a Boulder-based nonprofit that provides schools with tools, resources, and grants that help them provide healthy and scratch-cooked meals to their students. I remember feeling so lucky that I was able to intern at an organization with such an amazing mission, and I have the PIIE program and the Casey Feldman Foundation to thank! During my time at Chef Ann, I got to work events, write blogs, do research, compile data, and so much more. While I am so grateful for the professional skills and tools I learned during my time at Chef Ann, I am even more grateful to have been a part of such an incredible team at the organization.

While the Chef Ann Foundation has national reach with programs in all 50 states, the team is relatively small. We had between 7-9 employees working out of our office at any given time. But while the team was small in numbers, it was big in heart. The folks at Chef Ann worked tirelessly to achieve the mission of the organization. I was consistently inspired by the tenacity of my small group of coworkers. Their ability to think big and commit themselves to the mission was something I doubt I’ll ever forget. Chef Ann Foundation became a family to me. My internship started out as a summer gig through the PIIE program, but as the end of last summer approached I was asked to stay on as a part-time intern during my senior year at CU Boulder.

In my nine months at Chef Ann Foundation, I learned more than I ever thought I would. I came away from my internship their with a deep understanding of the type of professional environment I want to be part of in the future. At Chef Ann, we lifted each other up, encouraged each other, and worked toward a common goal. I could not have asked for more from my summer internship at Chef Ann Foundation.

This fall, I am heading off to King’s College London to pursue a Master’s degree in Emerging Economies and International Development. I’m not sure where this new endeavor will take me professionally, but I know that when I begin the career search, I’ll be looking for an environment like that of the Chef Ann Foundation. I can’t thank the PIIE program and the Casey Feldman Foundation enough for making this experience possible for me!

With the Chef Ann Foundation team on the last day of my internship

 

 

Foundation Scholarship Recipient Caroline King Pursues her Passion At Temple University

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

By Heidi Stimac*

Caroline will be entering her sophomore year at Temple University

Casey Feldman Foundation Springfield High School Scholarship Recipient, Caroline King, wasted no time in her first year at Temple University. Passionate about local news and reporting, Caroline and several other Temple students created a student run news organization on campus called What’s The T, which covers stories on Temple sports, world news, and pop culture. Exclaimed Caroline of her involvement in What’s The T, “It has truly been a great experience!”

Caroline’s experience in the SHS broadcast journalism class inspired her career goals

Caroline will soon be entering her sophomore year where she majors in Media Studies and Communication. She hopes to eventually work for a newspaper or TV station to report on local politics. Caroline believes that our society’s inability to agree on facts has caused a political divide in the United States, and hopes that becoming a reporter on local politics will help bridge the divide.

Caroline’s passion for journalism started at Springfield High School (SHS) and helped earn her the Casey Feldman Foundation Scholarship in 2018. During her senior year, she was the co-anchor of The Growl and The Cougar Pause, where she helped broadcast student news and accomplishments.

Caroline also has a passion for helping others which is evident from her additional activities while at SHS. She was on the Cougar Service Team for three years where she spent fifteen hours a week participating in community service work throughout the school district. Caroline was a part of Amnesty International which focuses on human rights violations and pardoning those wrongly accused of human rights violations worldwide.  She was selected to be a Peer Facilitator at SHS where she volunteered her time to mentor and support students who were experiencing difficulties inside and outside of school.

Caroline played soccer all four years at SHS

Caroline also worked with the Steve Stefanie Dance Marathon all four years where she served as captain for two of those years, raising thousands of dollars for pediatric cancer care patients. Caroline hopes to continue to play a role in finding a cure for pediatric cancer. “Throughout my middle and high school career, this cause has been front and center in my mind. I have seen the impact that hard work can have in raising money and awareness to this important research,” Caroline says.

While at SHS, Caroline somehow also found the time for sports. Caroline played junior and varsity soccer all four years, received the Coaches award and was co-captain of the team her senior year. She also participated in junior and varsity indoor track during her last two years of high school.

When asked where Caroline sees herself in twenty years, it’s no surprise that she said she hopes to look back on a world where she helped create positive energy, truth, integrity and drive. Caroline is on a mission to “bring integrity, fairness and facts back to reporting.”

Caroline is a well deserving recipient of the 2018 Casey Feldman Memorial Scholarship. We can’t wait to see the positive change that she will continue to make into the future!

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*Heidi Stimac is a first-year graduate student at King’s College London studying Emerging Economies and International Development. Originally from Chicago, she recently graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in International Affairs and was the recipient of The Casey Feldman Foundation 2018 PIIE Scholarship. She loves writing, pilates, and snuggling with her cat Oliver.

An Exceptional Student, Jason Breslin Receives the Casey Feldman Foundation Springfield High School Scholarship

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

By Heidi Stimac*

The Casey Feldman Foundation is honored to have awarded this year’s Springfield High School (SHS) Scholarship to an outstanding applicant, Jason Breslin. Jason is a leader, an athlete, has been on the honor roll every semester since 7th grade, has a 4.0 GPA and is gifted in physics and math as well as in the performing arts.

Jason has taken 8 honors classes and 8 AP classes, scoring a 5 on the AP exams in U.S. Government & Politics, Calculus, as well as in Physics, with an outstanding score also in English Language & Composition. He has been a been a teacher’s assistant this past year in AP Calculus. In his spare time, Jason likes to challenge himself with physics questions and math puzzles for the “pure joy” of having the eureka moment when he discovers the answers.

Jason enjoys helping other students find the answers as well. “As an active participant in my classes, peers approach me to ask questions or form study groups,” says Jason. “I always do my best to help them get a better grasp of the material or see if I can offer them a new perspective.”

Jason has received the National Spanish Award 2 years in a row and the John Hopkins Book Award. He is a member of the National Honors Society and the National English Honors Society.

Jason is not all academics however. He is also an accomplished swimmer.  He has been on the Springfield Swim Club Team for 12 years and on the SHS Swim Team for all 4 of his high school years, breaking the SHS record last year in the 200-yard free relay at the district meets. He received the Coaches Award last year and served as Captain of the team this past year.  Summers are spent lifeguarding as well as is part time work during the school year.

Somehow, our exceptional recipient has found the time to also make the performing arts a significant part of his high school experience. Jason has been a member of both the Springfield Singers and the Treble Makers ensembles during his time at SHS. He has performed in 6 musicals and 2 plays at SHS, with principal roles including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as Benjamin, Once Upon A Mattress as King Sextimus the Silent, Antigone as Haemon, Seussical as Mr. Mayor, Junie B. Jones as Herb, and Into The Woods as both the Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince.

Time yet for more performances? Outside of school, Jason has also performed in 7 musicals with The St. Francis Players. “Every show I participated in has forced me to develop skills for both on and off stage, from stage presence to practical skills like time management so I could keep up with my course load,” says Jason.

Jason’s time management skills and his desire to assist pediatric cancer patients has also led him to be an active participant in the Steve Stefani Dance Marathon at SHS where he served as Captain of the Rules and Regulations Committee this past year.

Jason plans on continuing his involvement with musical theater at Temple University this fall, as well as audition for a cappella groups. He will be majoring in physics and minoring in math with the goal of ultimately pursuing a career as a theoretical physicist. “Doing research in a field I am really passionate about, working on things that no one else might be considering, that is what I want to do,” says Jason. Inspired by a returning alum of SHS who was a physicist, Jason hopes that one day he too will be able to come back to SHS and encourage others to pursue their true passion.

Wow! To simply say that Jason is an impressive young man is an understatement. We couldn’t imagine a more exceptional student to receive the SHS scholarship that bears Casey’s name than Jason.

Congratulations Jason for receiving the 2019 Casey Feldman Foundation Springfield High School Scholarship. We can’t wait to see what your future holds!

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*Heidi Stimac is a first-year graduate student at King’s College London studying Emerging Economies and International Development. Originally from Chicago, she recently graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in International Affairs and was the recipient of The Casey Feldman Foundation 2018 PIIE Scholarship. She loves writing, pilates, and snuggling with her cat Oliver.