I Have a Dream – “This was the best and most beneficial summer of my life”

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

By Jamie Gallagher*

indexAll 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.

ellie roberts

Ellie Roberts

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.”

Please DONATE to the Casey Feldman Foundation to help other students realize their dreams.

Related Links:

PIIE Awards First Casey Feldman Memorial Scholarship 

PIIE Scholarship Recipient Aids Non-Profit Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center

Parents Making a Difference at CU-Boulder



jamie and caSEY

Casey & Jamie (R)

*Jamie Gallagher is Casey’s cousin. She and Casey were best friends and like sisters.  Jamie is currently an attorney with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office in NJ.

The Feldmans Meet With CU Students From the Volunteer Resource Center

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Brett Feldman (Casey's brother) and Kylie Bearse

Casey’s parents, Dianne Anderson and Joel Feldman, combined a trip to CO during the weekend of February 5th to attend a board meeting of the CU Parents’ Association with a dinner to meet with students of the Volunteer Resource Center at CU. Casey’s Fordham University roommate, Kelsey Butler and Casey’s cousin, Jamie Gallagher, accompanied the Feldman’s and enjoyed the opportunity to meet with the CU students. The students were excited to discuss recent happenings in the volunteer office as well as plans for the upcoming alternative spring break trips.

A pleasant surprise was the appearance of CU student, Alex Mondics, whom the Feldman’s met for the first time. Coincidentally, Alex’s father, Chris Mondics, Staff Writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote the January 7th front page article on Joel Feldman, “Loss of daughter helps lawyer feel clients’ pain”.

Scott Gemperline, Kelsey Butler (Casey's Fordham U roommate), Austin C. Grafa and Jamie Gallagher (Casey's cousin)

Allie Mills, Dianne Anderson, Devyn Lacey, Erica Larson, Sarah Mandos

Sarah Mandos, Scott Gemperline, Joel Feldman, Erica Larson , and Alex Mondics