Feldmans Meet with 2011 Alternative Spring Break Scholarship Recipients

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Scholarship recipients with Casey's parents. From left to right: Joel Feldman, Nicholas Zhou, Erika Durbin, Ricky Bell, Amber Diaz, Patrycja Humienik, and Dianne Anderson.

For the second consecutive year, several students from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where Casey’s parents are active in the parents’ association and Casey’s  brother Brett is a student, are recipients of an Alternative Spring Break scholarship that has been set up in Casey’s memory. This year’s scholarship recipients are Ricky Bell, Amber Diaz, Erika Durbin,Patrycia Humienik, Abigail Lane, Nicole Rodriguez, Amy Moore Shipley and Nicholas Zhou.

 Casey’s parents, Dianne and Joel,  had the opportunity recently to meet with  some of these  impressive students and share in their excitement about the upcoming spring break trips. All of the students expressed their gratitude in receiving the scholarships which have made their upcoming trips possible.

Casey made volunteering and helping others a priority in her life. These students will be doing the same, performing community service during their week off for spring break. The service trips include working at  an animal sanctuary in Woodstock, NY; aiding in disaster relief in New Orleans; preserving a rare coastline habitat in Oregon; filming a documentary about minority populations and human rights in San Diego; and working with the homeless in Cincinnati. 

There are many more  students who would like to particpate but who do not have the funds to do so. Contribute to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation so that more deserving students may experience the rewards of an “Alternative Spring Break”.

Related Links:

–  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 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.

–  University of Colorado – Boulder Volunteer Resource Center , Volunteer office at CU which organizes the Alternative Spring Break trips

 – Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation News and Updates – University of Colorado, Alternative Spring Break, all of the Foundation articles concerning the Alternative Spring Break scholarships, recipients, trips and student testimonials

CU Airs TV News Clip “Casey Feldman Inspiration”; Feldmans Meet Scholarship Recipients

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
Danielle Sandoval, Dianne Anderson, Ricky Bell, Amy Aberra,Tsion Zergaw and Joel Feldman (rear)

L to R: Danielle Sandoval, Dianne Anderson, Ricky Bell, Amy Aberra,Tsion Zergaw and Joel Feldman (rear)

The Feldmans combined a trip to the University of Colorado to visit Brett with a meeting with students from the Volunteer Resource Center and this year’s scholarship recipients for the Alternative Spring Break program. While there, the Feldman’s were filmed by CU student, Kylie Bearse for a news story about the Foundation’s establishment of scholarships for the Alternative Spring Break program. The two minute news clip, titled, “Casey Feldman Inspiration” , aired on CU’s television station on April 19, 2010 and is available to watch on You Tube.

The scholarship recipients in attendance at dinner,  Danielle Sandoval  (Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless), Ricky Bell (Catalina Island, CA), Amy Aberra (New Orleans Disaster Relief)  and Tsion Zergaw (NYC God’s Love We Deliver) discussed their trips and the impact that it had on their lives and the lives of those they were serving.  Check back for future stories on the students’ experiences spending their spring break helping others.

Kylie Bearse, CU Volunteer Resource Center student and Broadcast Journalism major, filmed "Casey Feldman Inspriration"

Who are the faces in CO of the Casey Feldman Memorial Fund?

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

This March, several students from the University of Colorado at Boulder will be spending their spring breaks doing service with a program called Alternative Spring Break. Just as Casey dedicated her time to volunteering and reaching out to others, these students are using their time off to travel to different areas of the country and volunteer their time. With the help of the Casey Feldman Memorial Endowment Fund, these seven students have now been given this opportunity. Who are the faces of the Casey Feldman Alternative Breaks Endowment Fund?

Gintare Ambotaite, Nashville Area, TN

Growing up in Lithuania, Gintare was able to experience nature and farm life before moving to New York City. Though she has volunteered with various organizations including God’s Love We Deliver, the environment has always been a priority for Gintare. Her group will be traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and will work on trail building as well as learn about the logistics of organic farming on Sulfur Creek Farm.

Danielle Sandoval, Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless

Danielle’s trip to Cincinnati will allow her to work with various organizations committed to working on hunger, homelessness, urban poverty and racism in the Cincinnati area. She feels that alternative breaks will be an opportunity to spread the word about the impact that each life can have on another. Danielle has volunteered with Invisible Children, which works to fight against child enslavement in Northern Uganda and To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit that works to battle addiction, suicide, self-injury, and depression.

Amy Aberra, New Orleans Disaster Relief

Amy will be volunteering in New Orleans during her spring break. Originally from Ethiopia, Amy says that she shares Casey’s passion for helping others, right down to donating her prom dress and volunteering in a soup kitchen. With goals such as improving environmental awareness, and eventually running her own clinics, schools, and orphanages, her work in New Orleans is very fitting. Amy’s volunteer work will include rebuilding homes in the Lower Ninth Ward, helping out at local shelters, working with youth, and assisting community members to access social service.

Tsion Zergaw, New York, NY

Tsion will be heading to New York during her spring break, where Casey spent her college years at Fordham University. Tsion says she was attracted to Alternative Breaks because of the exposure to real life struggles. Along with eleven other volunteers, she will be working with a non-religious group called God’s Love We Deliver, to prepare and deliver meals to those living with HIV/AIDs in New York, a cause that was also close to Casey’s heart.

Ricky Bell, Catalina Island, CA

Inspired by Casey’s story, as well as the first victim of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings, Ricky Bell says that he is motivated to do service and make a difference. In high school, as part of “Rachael’s Challenge,” a club that he helped to create, students got together with the purpose of promoting positivity, standing up for others, and standing up for what is right, inspired by the club’s namesake, who had dedicated her own life to service, similar to Casey. Ricky will be traveling to Catalina Island in California to participate in various environmental projects.

Lauren Carter, Catalina Island,CA

Lauren’s compassion for both humans and animals is a quality that she shares with Casey. She has volunteered at the Boulder Humane Society, taking care of cats and dogs, just as Casey had done at Animal Haven in New York. Lauren will be embarking on a trip to Catalina Island, CA, working with the Catalina Island Conservancy, an organization that is dedicated to restoration and preservation of the land and waters of the island. In addition to being passionate about animals, Lauren says that helping the environment has always been close to her heart.

Veronica Lamas, Urban Poverty, Atlanta, GA

Just as Casey volunteered at soup kitchens, Veronica volunteers on Thanksgiving at a soup kitchen so that families may have a decent meal. Growing up as a daughter of immigrant parents has made her want to help out low-income children by being a mentor, she says. Working with impoverished youth in Atlanta will allow Veronica to directly serve in the community. Her main goal is to “touch people’s hearts by helping them with their problems,” she says, “because everyone deserves to be happy regardless of their financial situation.”