A Summer at the Chef Ann Foundation: What One Intern Learned

Friday, September 6th, 2019

For the second year in a row, the Casey Feldman Foundation has sponsored a summer intern at the Chef Ann Foundation. Learn why Ally Roberts chose to be a School Food Reform Intern and what she learned during her stay this summer.

By Allison Roberts, School Food Reform Intern, Summer 2019

Growing up, I remember food made me feel lethargic, bloated, and anything but energized. Following the summer of my sophomore year of high school, I discovered a slew of food allergies and sensitivities that, once I took into account (in conjunction with eating healthier, whole foods), transformed both my physical and mental health. This realization of the stark correlation between physical and mental health fueled my decision to study Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder. When I learned about the Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) through CU’s Public Interest Internship Experience (PIIE) program, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to explore the nonprofit world, learn the intricacies of school food, and gain a deeper understanding of the undeniable impact food can have on the minds and bodies of children.

I quickly learned that the school food world is complex, multifaceted, and also a really exciting place for innovation and positive change. Through programs like Get Schools CookingSalad Bars to Schools, and the School Food Institute, CAF sits in a unique niche area of school food reform, with a focus on working with food service directors and staff to implement sustainable changes to their procurement practices, finances, marketing, and more—all to provide kids with access to healthier, scratch-cooked food.

Throughout my role as the School Food Reform Intern, I hoped to challenge myself and learn as much as possible about the nonprofit sector and more specifically the Chef Ann Foundation. With a group of passionate, unyielding, caring, and driven co-workers, it was easy to dive in to projects and help out in any way I could. To highlight a few specific experiences: it was incredibly rewarding to help integrate Spanish subtitles into our current School Food Institute online courses, as this will be a huge step in increasing accessibility for school food workers who speak Spanish. Additionally, my work with the development team on our Real School Food Challenge event not only taught me valuable skills in outreach and event logistics, but showed me the power of generosity and how communal support is integral to deep-seated change. Outside the office, I had the privilege of sitting in on our board meeting at the Google campus, attending a conference on Youth Health Policy and Wellness, learning more about Slow Food, and spreading the word about CAF at the Colorado School Nutrition Association conference.

Without the support of the Casey Feldman Foundation through the CU PIIE program, and the incredible people working at CAF, such a transformative, growth-filled and unique experience would not have been possible. After 12 weeks at the Chef Ann Foundation, the correlation I see between child nutrition, child health, and performance in school has been further solidified. When children eat calorie-dense, yet nutrient-deficient meals, their concentration, grades, and mood are all compromised. It is imperative to have organizations like the Chef Ann Foundation to lay the foundational groundwork for better school food practices. This summer allowed me to see the complexities of school food and both how far we have come and how far we still have to go. Here’s to healthier minds and bodies for children!

Ally Roberts with Casey Feldman Foundation founders Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson at the PIIE recognition dinner in August

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

 

 

Casey Feldman Foundation Scholarship Recipient Learns About Forest Preservation

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

By Jaela Zellers*

Alice Haugland

Alice Haugland was one of two recipients of this past year’s Casey Feldman Foundation PIIE (Public Interest Internship Experience) Scholarship, which enabled her to intern for the summer with the Council of Western State Foresters. Through our PIIE scholarship program, students receive a stipend to work with a non-profit or government agency, which does not have the funding to pay student interns. The Council of Western State Forester’s, based in Denver, CO, is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of state, territorial and commonwealth foresters whose role is to protect, conserve and enhance Western and Pacific Island forests.

A Colorado native and currently a junior at The University of Colorado Boulder (CU), Alice is in the Leeds School of Business, majoring in Operations and Information Management with a minor in Economics and a certificate in Socially Responsible Enterprise. Alice came to CU with the intention of working for a non-profit after graduation and interned her freshman year at Goodwill in New York City.  She describes her experience at The Council of Western State Foresters as “extremely meaningful and engaging” where she “had the opportunity to learn about Western forestry, the environment, and the experience of working with a nonprofit organization”.

As a communications intern, most of Alice’s day-to-day tasks included updating and generating content for the organization’s social media platforms and website as well as tracking analytics. In addition to assisting in the day-to-day operations, Alice was able to work on more long-term projects as well. One of her favorites included helping to edit and revise a written publication on Urban & Community Forestry, summarizing videos regarding forestry in the Pacific Islands, and developing out a social media campaign.

Alice looks forward to a lifelong career of working with nonprofits,  making her a well-deserving recipient The Casey Feldman Foundation PIIE Scholarship. We give our best wishes to Alice in all of her future endeavors!

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*Jaela Zellars is a junior at The University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in integrative physiology and double minoring in Spanish and Women and Gender Studies. She currently works as a Peer Mentor in the Multicultural Living and Learning Community as well as the Volunteer Resource Center at CU where she uses her position to get first-year students engaged in service work.

 

PIIE Scholarship Internship at Women’s Health Center Reinforces Recipient’s Desire to Pursue a Medical Career

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

By Gail Roth*

Ramya

Ramya Palaniappan

University of Colorado, Boulder 2015 Public Interest Internship Experience (PIIE) scholarship recipient Ramya Palaniappan’s experience working as Development Event Assistant at the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center was transformative and may prove to be life changing. Ramya, a senior Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology major who will receive her Bachelor of Arts in May, 2016 applied for a scholarship through the Casey Feldman Foundation to be able to intern with a non-profit organization that provides accessible health care to lower income families. With newly gained insight into how medical centers can provide integrated and holistic approaches to health care, especially in ob/gyn and women’s health, along with a greater awareness of the part that advocacy and social justice play in our complex and expansive health care system, Ramya believes she will pursue her career in this public interest area.

While learning many new skills and enhancing her general experience in the non-profit arena, Ramya felt it was a privilege to work in a positive environment which preached the value of “empowerment for all individuals.” Raised by a single parent with a sibling in medical school, who is paying her own way through college, receiving the scholarship enabled Ramya to plan for her future, including taking the MCATs or GREs, applying to graduate or medical schools and travelling to investigate post graduate opportunities.

During her internship Ramya worked on substantive projects including Condom Couture solicitations, public speaking on the Center’s work in women’s health as well as the specific health care issues confronted by the population served by the Center. She participated in a Women Powering Change conference and researched how organizations create inclusiveness so that the community the Center seeks to serve can have its needs met. She also conducted grants research and constructed a patient survey.

Ramya learned an enormous amount about women’s health and its position in the social and political realm in the United States. In fact, the experience was so impactful that she will continue volunteering at the Center. While the internship focused on the development side of the organization, with her deepened understanding of the impact of health on individuals, she believes she will seek a career after graduation in the medical field relating to reproductive health and women’s issues.

The Public Interest Internship Experience for students at The University of Colorado Boulder began in 2005 and provides students with  paid summer internships at a government agency or non-profit, organizations that may not otherwise be able to provide compensation. The Casey Feldman Foundation has funded one student per year since 2010, following Casey’s death in 2009.

Donate to the Casey Feldman Foundation so that additional students may experience the rewards of a Public Interest Internship (PIIE) internship.

PIIE 2015

Ramya Palaniappan (center) with past PIIE Casey Feldman Foundation scholarship recipients, Colin Mayberry (L) – The Nature Conservancy, 2013 & Dylan Mark – Boulder Valley Humane Society, 2012 at the Feldman home in August

Related Links:

I Have a Dream – “This was the best and most beneficial summer of my life”   (Ellie Roberts PIIE 2014)

PIIE Scholarship Recipient Aids Non-Profit Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center (Lynette Schweimler PIIE 2011)

PIIE Awards First Casey Feldman Memorial Scholarship (Mercedes Ruiz PIIE 2010)

 

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gail roth*Gail Roth is an attorney with Bookspan Family Law in Radnor, PA.  Having also experienced the traumatic loss of a loved one, Gail  focuses her practice on helping clients move through difficult transitions and building happier futures. She is a former colleague of Casey’s father, Joel Feldman.

PIIE Foundation Scholarship Recipients Connect This Summer

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

By Dianne l. Anderson*

L to R: Colin Mayberry - The Nature Conservancy, 2013; Ramya Palaniappan - Boulder Valley Women's Health, 2015 & Dylan Mark - Boulder Valley Humane Society, 2012

L to R: Colin Mayberry – The Nature Conservancy, 2013; Ramya Palaniappan – Boulder Valley Women’s Health, 2015 & Dylan Mark – Boulder Valley Humane Society, 2012

The Casey Feldman Foundation is proud of all of its scholarship recipients, including the PIIE (Public Interest Internship Experience) students at The University of Colorado Boulder.  The PIIE program, established at CU in 2005, provides students with a paid summer internship at a government agency or non-profit, organizations that may not otherwise be able to provide compensation. The Casey Feldman Foundation has funded one student per year since 2010, following Casey’s death in 2009.

Our 2015 recipient, Ramya Palaniappan, interned this summer with the non-profit Boulder Valley Women’s Health, which provides gynecological and reproductive healthcare services and education to adults and teens regardless of a patient’s insured or immigrations status and economic circumstances. Ramya is a major in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and aspires to be a physician.

My husband, Joel Feldman and I held a dinner at our home in Nederland, CO for our University of Colorado scholarship recipients, past and present from both the PIIE and the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) programs.  It was a great opportunity for us and our current recipients to see what our scholarship alums are doing now and to provide a comfortable atmosphere in which to connect.

In addition to Ramya, two previous PIIE recipients were able to attend, Colin Mayberry (PIIE 2013) and Dylan Mark (PIIE 2013).

Colin’s PIIE internship was at The Nature Conservancy, the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters. Colin continued to intern there for two more summers and graduated this year summa cum laude with a  Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Environmental Studies and Spanish & Portuguese Language and Culture. Colin is now a first year student at The University of Colorado School of Law and plans on a career in environmental law.

Dylan Mark interned at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley through his PIIE scholarship in 2012. The Humane Society of Boulder Valley provides shelter and care to more than 7,000 animals each year, with 92 percent of these animals being successfully adopted or reunited with their guardians.  Dylan graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Sociology and is currently an Internship Development Specialist in Career Services at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he directs the CU-PIIE program, runs training seminars for internship programs and is the main resource for employers seeking CU student interns.

We are looking forward to continuing to hold informal dinners for our scholarship reipients and fostering a Casey Feldman Foundation scholarship alumni group.

Colin Mayberry (PIIE 2013) and Ramya Palaniappan (Piie 2015) with our Alternative Spring Break recipients Nejat Kassahun (2015), Priyanka Guragain (2014), Jamie Haller (2012)

Colin Mayberry (PIIE 2013) and Ramya Palaniappan (Piie 2015) with our Alternative Spring Break recipients Nejat Kassahun (2015), Priyanka Guragain (2014), Jamie Haller (2012)

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PIIE ASB 2015

PIIE ASB 2015

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Related Links:

I Have a Dream – “This was the best and most beneficial summer of my life”   (Ellie Roberts PIIE 2014)

PIIE Scholarship Recipient Aids Non-Profit Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center (Lynette Schweimler PIIE 2011)

PIIE Awards First Casey Feldman Memorial Scholarship (Mercedes Ruiz PIIE 2010)

“The struggle that I have seen my mother go through is my motivation to achieve my dreams”  (Priyanka Guragain ASB 2014)

Scholarship Recipient Vows to Leave this World a Better Place (Jamie Haller ASB 2012)

 

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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.

 

 

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

 

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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.

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

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

By Dianne L. Anderson

“Through this internship, I was reminded of the difference that one single individual can have”, stated Lynette Schweimler, who received a scholarship stipend from the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation to intern at the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center this past summer in Boulder, CO. Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center offers safe and affordable reproductive and sexual health services to both men and women. Lynette served  as the Social Media Coordinator through the University of Colorado – Boulder PIIE (Public Interest Internship Experience) program. The scholarship from the Casey Feldman Foundation enabled Lynette to be paid for her full time work there.

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PIIE Awards First Casey Feldman Memorial Scholarship

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

 

Mercedes Ruiz, CU PIIE Scholarship Recipient

The University of Colorado at Boulder’s Public Interest Internship Experience (PIIE) Program has awarded the first Casey Feldman Memorial Scholarship. The first award in Casey’s memory will be given to Mercedes Ruiz at an Alumni Association event on May 5, 2010. The Public Interest Internship Experience Award aims to encourage civic leadership by promoting internship opportunities and supporting students interested in bringing about change in the public sector.  The scholarship will provide funding to Ms. Ruiz for a summer internship at the I Have a Dream, Boulder County, which is dedicated to helping low-income youths achieve a brighter future.

Ms. Ruiz is a nontraditional student who has sought a college education after owning and operating her own cleaning business for the past 15 years. She is a single mother whose youngest daughter is also a full time college student. Her sole source of income to support herself and her family comes from the financial aid that she receives at CU.

According to Ruiz, “Giving back to the community and being a mentor is what interests me the most. I would like to focus on providing educational opportunities for young people in the fields of education, youth services, and women’s issues….”

The I Have a Dream 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.

Ruiz hopes to eventually work with a non-profit organization or develop her own organization that provides youth with the resources that will make a college education a part of their educational future:  “My own education is benefitting my future so that I can assist others in succeeding in theirs…”

Due to the generosity of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, Mercedes will have the funding to be able to reach her goal of giving back to the community, something that was also important to Casey.

Please donate  to the Casey Feldman Foundation and help others give back in Casey’s memory. Read more about I Have a Dream, Boulder County.