Nicole DiMauro, 2017 SHS Foundation Scholarship Recipient, Heads to Penn State This Fall

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

By Morgan Steward*

Nicole DiMauro

This year’s Springfield High School (Casey’s alma mater) scholarship was awarded to Nicole DiMauro, Editor-in-Chief of Springfield High School’s  Spri-Hian school newspaper. However, it was not just this similarity with Casey that earned Nicole the scholarship—her love of journalism combined with a passion for theater, sheer kindness and overall positivity made Nicole stand out as the perfect nominee for the scholarship.

Nicole shines both inside and outside of the classroom, maintaining stellar grades while volunteering around the community, playing volleyball for the school, participating in theater and working tirelessly to make Springfield’s journalism program the best that it can be. Hilary Campbell, Nicole’s school counselor, thinks this is because “Nicole is a self-motivated learner.” Campbell continued that “Although Nicole is somewhat reserved, she possesses powerful maturity, drive and confidence. Few of her family members finished high school, but Nicole is eager to attend college and is well prepared.”

Although Nicole seems like an ideal candidate for the scholarship, she was surprised to find out that she was the student chosen to receive the award. While talking about the moment she found out she won the scholarship, Nicole recalled “I heard about it when the principal sent out an email to the school detailing the senior awards ceremony.” When pressed for more details as to why she thinks she was chosen, Nicole stayed coy and humble, simply replying “I think my teachers noticed that I was a hard worker and had good leadership and organizational skills.”

Come this fall, Nicole will start the next phase of her life as a communications student at Penn State. “I loved writing for the school paper, the Spri-Hian, the most,” Nicole said. Starting as a writer her sophomore year, Nicole worked her way up to a page editor (junior year) before being elected the Editor-in-Chief senior year. “Because of my experience with the newspaper, I plan to study communications at Penn State. Being in a newsroom setting just does something to me… I love doing interviews, meeting new people and even spending long nights editing articles. There’s nothing like it.” She continued, “The paper really changed my outlook on everything. I had never been so passionate about something before.”

Nicole DiMauro at the SHS awards ceremony with Casey’s parents, Dianne Anderson & Joel Feldman

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*Morgan Steward is a junior Communication and Media Studies student at Fordham University at Lincoln Center (Casey’s alma mater). Born in Beaumont, TX, she to moved to New York City to pursue a career in the media. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer, Fordham’s student newspaper (where Casey was the News Editor).

 

2013 Scholarship Recipient Creates Health and Wellness Business

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

By Morgan Steward*

Jaclyn DiGregorioOur 2013 scholarship recipient from Springfield High School, Jacylyn DiGregorio, was quite accomplished four years ago, graduating 4th in her class, serving as a class officer and raising almost $200,000 for pediatric cancer patients, among many other things. Jaclyn just graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in marketing and international business and, as a result of finding a solution to her significant weight gain which occurred in her freshman year, has written a book and started her own health and wellness business.

Jaclyn has combined her new found  passion with the skills she learned in the classroom to launch CUSP Three Six Five, the first holistic and transformative health and wellness brand to promote rule-free lifelong nutrition.

“I gained about 30 pounds during my freshman year of college and it was very tough emotionally. Without as much confidence as I used to have, I just kind of failed more often in life in general,” DiGregorio recalled. “I realized the problem… was that I was following a very restrictive diet. [The diet] was actually causing me to gain weight because I would end up overeating as a result of dieting,” she said.

Once DiGregorio realized this was the problem, she began to research the phenomena a bit more and discovered the lots of people, no matter their age or gender, tend to have a similar problem. Fascinated by the discovery and inspired by a newfound passion for health, Jaclyn became certified as a nutrition coach and began to implement the business knowledge she had acquired in her classes to create a new company that could help individuals manage or lose weight in a safe and effective manner.

Jaclyn created the CUSP method, a four-step program that individuals could apply to their daily lives to not just lose weight, but become healthier individuals overall. The method is outlined in DiGregorio’s debut novel, also aptly titled “The CUSP Method.” “[CUSP] stands for concentrate, understand, supplement and portion,” DiGregorio explained, “I wanted something that people could apply in their life… all 365 days of the year.”

DiGregorio explained that for her, writing a novel was the natural first step in creating a company. She credits this knowledge to one of her professors, who she said acted as a great mentor to her. “I was under the mentorship of an amazing professor who taught me that you can learn about entrepreneurship through writing a book because that’s kind of like your first product,” she said. “It’s a way for you to make a name for yourself, to establish yourself as an expert in whatever industry you’re interested in.”

Along with her book, Jaclyn also offers fitness coaching and sells pineapple portion control plates to help clients learn the ratio of fruits/vegetables to protein and starches that they should be eating each meal. The portion plates follow the guidelines set forth by the USDA: half of each plate should be fruits and vegetables, with the other half split evenly between protein and starches.

A CUSP Three Six Five mobile app is also on the way, after DiGregorio successfully raised just over $20,000 in a Kickstarter campaign. “The app is going to be a way that people can enjoy healthy meals based on their taste preferences. It’ll have all kinds of options based on a profile that it creates for each person that they can completely customize with what they like and what they don’t like. Then they’ll be able to pick through a database of thousands of meals,” DiGregorio explained.

She described the app as being “a lot of hands on work.” She must provide the coder and the graphic designer she has hired with the money from the campaign with sketches displaying exactly what she wants the app to look like—from the colors used to what button will lead to what screen.

As for the goals of CUSP Three Six Five, DiGregorio stated that she hopes “people get relief from dieting from this. For people who have felt like they have been on and off different diets their whole lives, I hope that they find that they can be healthy and that they can hit their ideal weight, whatever it might be, and enjoy their life.”

Way to go Jaclyn!

Related Link:

CUSP Three Six Five

“2013 SHS Scholarship Recipient in 2nd Year at Georgetown“, Casey Feldman Foundation News and Updates, 22 November 2014

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morgan steward*Morgan Steward is a sophomore Communication and Media Studies student at Fordham University at Lincoln Center (Casey’s alma mater). Born in Beaumont, TX, she to moved to New York City to pursue a career in the media. She is the Arts & Culture Co-Editor of The Observer, Fordham’s student newspaper (where Casey was the News Editor).

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

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

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

Bridget Clawson, 2012 SHS Foundation Scholarship Recipient Pursues Her Dreams

Monday, December 12th, 2016

By Peter Force*

Bridget Clawson 2016

Bridget with her friend’s new baby in Nov. “I take care of babies all night at work but still nothing beats this.”

What has Bridget Clawson been up to? Since receiving the Springfield High School (SHS) Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation Scholarship in 2012 to attend Temple University for nursing… the answer is, well, a lot! After graduating from Temple with her B.S. in nursing and passing her NCLEX exams in May, she told us that as “the year 2016 has been my busiest year-to-date for sure!” We all know how much time and energy nurses put into caring for their patients and Bridget is no exception. But she’s been keeping herself busy in a variety of different ways, too, in addition to her day (and sometimes night) job.

Working in the healthcare field has always been a passion of Bridget’s – she’s wanted to be a nurse since she was in 5th grade, specifically in the maternity and pediatric fields. “All of this happening now is just the culmination of a dream I’ve had forever” she said. She officially began working at the Lankenau Medical Center this July after putting in time as an extern for over a year. But it’s not only the babies she’s passionate about – she also said that helping the mothers “during probably the newest, most exciting part of their journeys gives me so much joy.”

As demanding as being a maternity nurse can be, Bridget has far greater ambitions. Her passions for yoga and meditation go back to her time in high school, but have especially helped to center herself during the stressful transition from college to the professional working world. She hopes in the future to continue working with children and parents alike by sharing what she has learned during her yoga training. “I firmly believe that bringing mindfulness to the community is so important. It makes us better people,” she told us. Bridget will finish her 200-hour Svadhyaya Yoga Teacher Training course at Priya Hot Yoga in January 2017 which culminates when she teaches her first community class.

Bridget in a yoga pose. All proceeds benefit New Hope Ministries and the India/Nepal One Red Bead Initiative

Bridget in a yoga pose. All proceeds from the 1st community yoga class that Bridget will teach in Jan. will benefit New Hope Ministries and the India/Nepal One Red Bead Initiative

In the near future, Bridget has a trip to Iceland planned and hopes to continue traveling abroad at least once a year for as long as she can, whether it be for service or just the thrill of experiencing new cultures. She recently completed a course in photography that will help her document her travels and her yoga practices. She also loves to write and plans on starting up a blog to document her experiences.

As for the not-so-near future? “Going to school for an advanced nursing degree is always in the back of my mind,” she told us, in addition to continuing her yoga training in meditation, reiki, and other holistic health practices. Most importantly, “having Casey in the back of my mind to this day still drives me to make a difference in the world.”

We’re so proud of you Bridget, for your hard-earned successes and your desire to continue striving for the betterment of yourself and your community!

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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

 

Springfield High School Senior Produces New Casey Feldman Documentary

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Samantha Kemmey was just 6 years old when when her older sister, Rachael, first met Casey Feldman as a freshman in high school. She got to know Casey as a younger sibling would when Casey would frequent the Kemmey household to spend time with Rachael. Eleven years later years later and a now a Springfield High School (SHS) senior, the impact that Casey’s death in 2009 had on Samantha is evident. Hoping to share about the vibrant life lost in a senseless tragedy and raise awareness about the impact of distracted driving,  Samantha produced a documentary for her high school film production class about Casey. The documentary has aired on the SHS morning TV news station each morning for one month. View Samantha’s video here:

“If everyone had her sense of giving there would be less suffering” – Our 2015 SHS Scholarship Recipient

Friday, December 4th, 2015
Capture

Erin Gamble

By Dianne L. Anderson*

One could not think of a more deserving recipient of the annual scholarship that bears Casey’s name at her high school alma mater than Erin Gamble. Recommended by her Springfield High School (SHS) teacher, Pat Delaney, Erin received a scholarship from the Casey Feldman Foundation to attend Mount Saint Mary’s University this year where she is majoring in health science in hopes of becoming of a nurse or physical therapist.

During high school Erin volunteered each summer for the Appalachia Service Project, where she repaired homes for low income families in Central Appalachia making their humble abodes warm, safe and dry.  She also volunteered at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia and made meals for Aids For Friends – an outreach program for the elderly.  In school, Erin was part of Freshmen Mentors, The Turkey Fund and the Steve Stefani Dance Marathon which raises money to fight childhood cancer.  Erin found time for all of these charitable activites while playing varsity soccer, running track and maintaining a focus on her studies.

In recommending Erin for the scholarship, Pat Delaney stated, ” Erin is a student who will work with ANY other student in the classroom, with a welcoming, cheery smile.  It amazes me to see her optimism shine through in situations that would stymie many others.   Erin’s compassion for others – in the classroom, in her community, and in the world is humbling to observe. If everyone had her sense of giving there would be less suffering.”

Erin is currently winding down her first semester in college where she played division I soccer, contributing to one of Mount Saint Mary’s best seasons ever. She has continued her service in college,  participating in organizing a campus Special Olympics as well as working to repair a home in Philadelphia for a needy family.  According to Erin,  “Now that my schedule is loosening up and soccer is over for the season, I look forwarding to engaging in more service work!”

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Dianne and Casey, Christmas 2006

Dianne and Casey, Christmas 2006

*Dianne Andersonis the mother of the late Casey Feldman and co-founder of the The Casey Feldman Foundation and its sponsored project, EndDD.org.

2013 SHS Scholarship Recipient in 2nd Year at Georgetown

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

By Dianne L. Anderson

Jaclyn DiGregorio SHS 2013 scholarship recipientIt’s always great to follow up with our scholarship recipients and hear how well they are doing. Jaclyn DiGregorio, one of our Springfield High School (SHS) 2013 recipients, is no exception.

Jaclyn is currently in her second year at Georgetown University studying Marketing and International Business in the McDonough School of Business. In addition to her rigorous course load which she reports as “interesting”, Jaclyn is working in a marketing internship where she is gaining valuable hands-on experience in her major.

Jaclyn is also heavily involved in her sorority at Georgetown, Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG), where she is New Member Chair, responsible for welcoming all new members and helping them “get up to speed” with the work of KKG at Georgetown.

Jaclyn graduated 4th in her class at SHS. She was a member of the National Honor Society, PEER Facilitators, National Language Honor Society and the Hi-Q. She has also served as class officer of the class of 2013 for three years and was chairperson for the Steve Stefani Dance Marathon, becoming the most successful leader in its history, leading her peers and community to raise over $194,000 for pediatric cancer patients.

Way to go Jaclyn! We thank your SHS teacher, Dr. William Harley, for recommending you for the scholarship that bears Casey’s name.

Please donate to the Casey Feldman Foundation to help more students achieve their dreams.

 

 

Meet Valerie Vecchione, Our Springfield High School 2014 Scholarship Recipient

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Valerie Vecchione SHS 14'By Dianne L. Anderson

“Val is a terrific young woman who possesses many of the qualities that Casey did as a student here at SHS,” stated Springfield High School (SHS) Director of Bands, Scott Blanford in nominating Valerie Vecchione for the 2014 Casey Feldman Foundation SHS scholarship. “She has a natural talent to perform, a superior work ethic, excellent leadership qualities, and is caring, supportive, and just a downright good person.” SHS teacher, Lisa Shughart, who also nominated Valerie, stated that Val is a ” loving, caring, young woman who holds much promise.”

Valerie has used her scholarship proceeds toward West Chester University where she is currently in the first semester of her freshman year, studying to become an elementary school teacher.

While at SHS, Valerie was involved in multiple activities. She held the leadership position of Guard Captain of the SHS Marching Band. In that position, she consistently demonstrated the ability to work hard behind the scenes, perform under pressure in front of thousands of people, and connect positively with her peers. Valarie constantly put the focus on the members of the guard and demonstrated “an amazing level of loyalty and honestly with her peers,” added Mr. Blanford. “The students in the band looked to her for her leadership, guidance, and support.”

As an active participant in the music program while at SHS, Valerie was also a member of the indoor guard and school choirs. She has also participated in the SHS Dance Marathon, an annual event that has raised over $225,000 in the last 13 years for the Hershey Medical Center’s Four Diamonds Fund.

In her aspiration to become a teacher, Valerie has taken advantage of summer activities to become involved in different ways with her chosen profession.  As a sophomore she volunteered with StageStormers, a children’s summer theater program that she herself was active in during her grade school and middle school years. As a high school volunteer there, she assisted the director with teaching the children their lines, singing, and games. As a junior and following her senior year, Val volunteered in Scenic Hills Elementary School’s summer program helping students with reading, math, and other assignments.

Last but not least, Valerie volunteered after her freshman year in high school with CatNip Animal Rescue, one of the many causes particularly near and dear to Casey’s heart. While at the animal rescue, Val helped to nurture sick and/or injured cats and kittens back to health; provide information to potential adopters and others; and, place homeless cats with their forever families.

We at the Casey Feldman Foundation could not be more honored to have Valerie Vecchione as the 2014 recipient of the SHS scholarship that bears Casey’s name. We also could not agree more completely with Mr. Blanford in his comment that Valerie  “will continue to become a well-rounded, compassionate, and responsible citizen of the global community.”

Thank you SHS’s Scott Blanford and Lisa Shughart for nominating this outstanding young woman! And, best wishes Valerie,  for your success in college and ultimately as an elementary school teacher.

Please donate to the Casey Feldman Foundation to help more students achieve their dreams.

Distracted Driving Presentation Taken to Springfield High School

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

By Dianne L. Anderson

Bridget Clawson urging Mrs. Boeni to put down her cell phone

In a continuing effort to take the message of the dangers of distracted driving to students across the nation, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson spoke to students at Casey Feldman’s high school alma mater before school recessed for the summer. The presentation was introduced by Springfield High School (SHS ) SADD officer, Amrita Famachandran.

In the interactive presentation, students were made aware of the fact that distracted driving does not just involve cell phone use.  Putting on makeup, changing a CD, eating, reaching for drinks or items in the car, taking your hands off of the wheel for any reason and simply taking your eyes and mind off of the primary task of driving, are all distractions that can result in deadly consequences.  Students also saw firsthand, the negative cognitive impact of simply trying to carry on a cell phone conversation while driving. Many were surprised that having a cell phone conversation while driving is the cognitive equivalent to a blood alcohol limit of .08, or driving under the influence.   Students also participated in role playing to become comfortable as passengers asking a distracted driver to stop their distraction, be it putting down a cell phone or a drink.

SHS students,L to R: Paige Klaniecki, James Cella, Bridget Yingling, Hanna Feehery, Monica Fischer

Acknowledging that distracted driving is not simply a teen problem, students took home forms to be signed by them and their parents, agreeing to eliminate various distractions while behind the wheel.

To bring the message close to home, students also viewed the “Faces of Distracted Driving – Casey Feldman” video prepared for the U. S. Department of Transportation by Joel Feldman. Many of the students knew Casey or had older brothers and sisters who went to SHS with Casey.

Said graduating senior Bridget Clawson, “The program you did today was fantastic. I think it really got through to the kids because it wasn’t all facts and statistics and telling them what to do. You and Mr. Feldman really put the ideas out in a personable way that almost made it seem like I was in a classroom! Thank you for sharing you story with everyone, I think you really got through to a lot of kids at SHS.”

SHS SADD officer Amrita Famachandran and Joel Feldman

Through the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation and its sponsored site EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving), over 40,000 students nationwide have seen the distracted driving presentation as a result of Joel Feldman organizing some 800 trial lawyers, judges, safety officials and friends to speak in their local communities. The beginning of the effort coincided with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.  Joel Feldman has personally reached some 4,000 students alone in Pa, NJ, CO and MD.

According to Joel Feldman, “Through bringing awareness of the issue to students and their parents, we are saving lives and keeping Casey’s memory alive. If even one life is saved, it is more than worth the effort”.

Related Links:

Springfield High School (SHS)

SADD

Faces of Distracted Driving – Casey Feldman

EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving)

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

 

 

Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation Awards 2012 Scholarship to Springfield High School Senior

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

By Joel D. Feldman*

Bridget Clawson at her senior prom

The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation awarded a $1500 scholarship to Springfield High School (SHS) graduating senior Bridget Clawson. The award was presented by SHS teacher John Gildea and Casey Feldman’s mother, Dianne Anderson, at the SHS Senior Awards Ceremony. Ms. Clawson was recommended for the award by SHS faculty member Christine Belton. Ms. Clawson will be attending Temple University in the Fall and looks forward to becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner and travelling to a third world country to help others.

In nominating Ms. Clawson, Christine Belton stated:
Bridget is an extraordinary young woman; she is driven to make a difference in the world and she is not afraid to take on leadership roles to further the causes she champions. Bridget leads by example and keeps her judgment for herself and does not project it on her peers. Bridget is determined yet resilient-she practices, practices, practices, does all the legwork and homework and puts in unlimited hours to complete her work for her courses and her activities…Bridget is an insightful, focused, confident and thoughtful young woman who  … focuses on the bright world around her.”

Ms. Clawson was a four-year member of SADD serving as an officer for three years; a four year participant in the Dance Marathon, serving as committee member for two years and captain for one; a member of the PEER Facilitators; played multiple sports and participated in all four musicals during her high school career.

The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation awards an annual scholarship to a graduating senior who possesses a superior work ethic, has compassion for the world around her/him , is caring and supportive of those in need,  is loyal and maintains a diverse group of friends.

Congratulations Bridget!

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Joel & casey*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 34 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, End Distracted Driving program. Joel also provides death notification training to law enforcement and the medical community. Joel can be reached atInfo@EndDD.org.