The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation chose to honor me as their patient hero for their annual spin4 crohn’s and colitis cures event on December 5, 2020. Due to the pandemic, this event was held virtually. As the patient hero, I created a team of four to spin/dance at this event. Each member of my team pledged to fundraise $250 for the Foundation to help find cures for Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. My team surpassed our goal and we raised over $2,500 for the Foundation! In addition to fundraising efforts, I created videos and took part in interviews to help spread the word and increase fundraising. Check out my interview here.

Once again, I participated in fundraising for the annual spin4 crohn’s and colitis cures house party event that took place on December 4, 2021. My team of three this year raised a total of $1,000 for the Foundation to help fund research in finding a cure for IBD!

As a volunteer for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, I spent a year creating an IBD support group in the Reno area. When I was diagnosed with IBD, the closest support group was in Sacramento and I did not want to spend the time driving once a month to attend a meeting. In November 2019, I attended a Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation conference in Berkeley, where I met an employee of the Foundation who has helped me build the blocks to create a successful support group. I serve as the support group leader, meaning I recruit people with IBD in Northern Nevada who may be interested in joining. Our first meeting was in November 2020 over Zoom, and we will continue meeting on a regular monthly schedule for 2021. Check out this link for more information on meeting times and contact.

As the Health and Safety Assistant at USAC, I mainly work with students who have disabilities or chronic health issues, but also spend time assisting my team during crisis management situations. Prior to departure, I prepare these students for what to expect once they arrive at their program site. This includes providing medication information, insurance coverage, and setting up counselors for students who may need or want that service. For students who utilize classroom accommodations at their home university in the United States due to a documented disability, I work with the on-site staff at all of our program locations to get the student’s same accommodations in the classroom abroad. My favorite thing about working with these students is making their dream of studying abroad become a reality. Being an alumna of USAC, I know how scary it can be to go to an unfamiliar place with a chronic health issue. I want to be a resource for these students and let them know that health doesn’t have to set you back. Visit our website for more information.

Being an international education advocate and a long-time employee at University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), I blogged about my experiences studying abroad and the opportunities it gave me. USAC has a blog website that reposts content from students who have or are currently studying abroad. USAC has featured four of my blog posts on their website, “Dragonstone?” “Home Means Nevada,” “Buen Camino!” and “Post Study Abroad Feels” to help promote USAC and offer tips to students who are planning on studying abroad.

During my college career, I had the opportunity to serve as a Marketing Intern for a local non-profit, the Jessica Ann Faber Foundation (JAFF). This non-profit helped low-income public school students afford private arts lessons, which included piano, singing, dance, etc. As the Marketing Intern, I assisted in creating and sending donation letters, event flyers, implementing a database system, and posting content on their social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram). Unfortunately, the non-profit is no longer operating.