What has Jamie Haller been doing doing to “leave this world a better place”? An update on our 2012 ASB scholarship recipient

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

*By Dianne AndersonJamie with her students in Columbia

Jamie with her students in Colombia

“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”, said Jamie Haller in 2012. Jamie was able to spend her one week spring break from college working to help Katrina victims as a result of a Casey Feldman Foundation scholarship stipend which covered Jamie’s expenses for the trip. After that spring break experience, Jamie “vowed to leave this world a better place.”  What has Jamie been up to in the three and a half years since her work in New Orleans and has she been working toward that goal?

After graduating in May of 2014 with a degree in International Affairs and a minor in Education, Jamie knew that she wanted to head abroad to work in the realm of education, something she reports that, “I’ve always been passionate about.”  This led Jamie to Guatemala where she obtained a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. Jamie then worked at a language school in Antigua, Guatemala teaching adults and the local tourist police force for five months.

Wanting to make more of an impact,  Jamie accepted a teaching opportunity in Colombia. The program was right –  it involved working in underfunded and under resourced public schools where there is little access to quality English education. Jamie reports being grateful for her six months in Colombia where she learned a lot about herself as a teacher, her students and life in general.

Jamie is currently in New Mexico, teaching environmental stewardship at an outdoor education school for elementary students. From there?

Jamie has accepted an inviation to work for the Peace Corps in March of 2016. She will be heading onto to the Dominican Republic for 27 months to volunteer as a Literacy Promoter!

According to Jamie, “My experience with Alternative Breaks at CU Boulder has been such a huge stepping-stone to get me to where I am today. The leadership skills gained, the friendships formed, and the confidence I’ve obtained from my two Alternative Break experiences, have helped me grow as a person and work toward achieving many of my goals.”  I want to especially thank Dianne and Joel and the Casey Feldman Foundation  for granting me this opportunity. It is an honor to help Casey’s legacy live on.”

And, it is an honor to have Jamie Haller as one of the recipients of a scholarship which bears Casey’s name. In answer to the question? In everything that Jamie has done already, she will no doubt have already accomplished her goal of leaving this world a better place.

Support our efforts in fostering a generation who want to leave this world a better place and assist us in increasing the number of students who can participate. Donate to the Casey Feldman Foundation

Jamie Haller with goat

Related Links: 

Scholarship Recipient Vows to Leave this World a Better Place, Oct. 2012 (Casey Feldman Foundation article about Jamie and her Alternative Spring Break experience)

About the Alternative Spring Break Program (CU Volunteer Resource Center)

Alternative Spring Break Scholarships Fostering a Generation Who Wants to Give Back , Nov. 2014  (Casey Feldman Foundation) 


Dianne and Casey, Christmas 2006

Dianne and Casey, Christmas 2006

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

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…)