Expanding to Serve More Children Impacted By a Parent's Cancer

Kesem is expanding in order to serve more of the 5+ million children impacted by a parent’s cancer nationwide and we need your help selecting our new chapters!

  • Get to know all of our finalists!
  • Promote them on social media!
  • Vote for your favorites here every day from January 28 - February 1!
  • Cheer our winning chapters on February 6!
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Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent's cancer. We are the largest national organization dedicated to supporting children impacted by a parent's cancer, at no cost to families, through innovative and fun-filled programs that provide children with peers who understand their unique needs, and create long-lasting impact. Our flagship program, Camp Kesem, provided free summer camping experiences to nearly 9,000 children in 2018. Through the efforts of 5,000+ college student leaders at 116 chapters at top colleges across the country, we hope to serve over 10,000 children in 2019.


  • Auburn University

    Get to Know the Students at Auburn University

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    Claire and Madison here and we’re excited about the opportunity to bring Camp Kesem to Auburn! Claire studies Public Relations, and is a big Dave Matthews Band fan; she has seen the band live 18 times! Madison studies Human Development and Family Studies (Child Life concentration) and loves to travel, with past mission trips to Canada and Nicaragua.

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    After learning about Camp Kesem, we knew that we had to bring this magic to Auburn! Both of us have had a parent diagnosed with cancer or a chronic disease. As a co-survivor, it is crucial to find your own support system, so you can support your loved one during their fight; that’s exactly what Camp Kesem offers.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    The campus and community are supportive and encouraging. In a sense, we’re one big family and get together to support great causes, including Camp Kesem.

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    Approximately 25,000 undergraduate students attend Auburn, with a culture centered around family.

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    To us, the word “Kesem” means unconditional love and compassion, and a new family of best friends, mentors, and supporters. Camp Kesem is a way of letting kids just be kids while providing them with a close-knit support system made up of others who know exactly what it’s like to have a parent affected by cancer or a chronic illness.

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    Auburn University is about 110 miles southwest of Atlanta, 110 miles east of Birmingham, and 150 miles from the closest Camp Kesem chapter in the state of Alabama (University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa). There are many families, particularly families in these rural regions of Alabama, that we must serve and support. Auburn students are equipped and eager to make a difference, and we are honored to be considered to bring CK to the region we love!

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Auburn, Alabama Claire Rose and Madison Newton

  • California State University Sacramento

    Get to Know the Students at California State University Sacramento

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    Meagan, from Pleasant Hill, is a Communications major and a Non-Profit Administration minor. After Sacramento State, she wants to get her master’s degree and work for Camp Kesem. Brianna, from Santa Clara, is an Art History major. After getting a Ph.D., Brianna aspires to become a museum curator.

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    Cancer became a prominent aspect of our lives when our moms were diagnosed with cancer. We have both witnessed the harsh effects of cancer and understand the importance of a support system. We aspire to help children experiencing a parent’s cancer with the opportunity to join the Kesem community.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    In our process to start a Camp Kesem chapter, we were able to witness the actionable resources and supportive community that Sacramento State has cultivated.

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    In a community of 27,641 diverse students, we are unified.

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    As a camper, Meagan had the opportunity to experience the magical and empowering effects of Camp Kesem. A positive outcome of the worst time in her life was an infinite family, strength, and love. Although Brianna did not attend camp, she wishes she had the opportunity to after her mother passed away. Her hope is that other children will not face the effects of cancer without the Camp Kesem family.

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    Sacramento is an underserved community that the resources of Camp Kesem would provide an invaluable experience too. As an influential city, Sacramento should have the opportunity to provide families with a Camp Kesem. Additionally, Sacramento State is a large university with many students who have been impacted by cancer. Kesem would help further bond a community that is committed to supporting people in a time of emotional and financial need.

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Sacramento, California Meagan Nachand and Brianna Morales

  • Denison University

    Get to Know the Students at Denison University

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    Rachel is a Biology major and Chemistry minor from Midland, Michigan. She loves to hike, sing, and bake. She’s seen three shooting stars and a meteor shower, and the Northern Lights are next on her bucket list. Andrew is a Chemistry major and Economics minor from Eaton, Ohio. He loves photography, cooking, and snowboarding, and he’s hoping to visit every national park during his lifetime!

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    When Professor Sue Davis passed away from cancer early in 2018, the loss touched all of us at Denison. Empathizing with her family increased our awareness of the devastating effect that a parent’s cancer has on children, and made us aware of the amazing work done through Camp Kesem. When we brought up the idea of starting a chapter to our campus, we were overwhelmed by the amount of support and enthusiasm shown by our faculty, students, and local community. Camp Kesem will be a way for us to strengthen our ties to the Licking County community and bring hope, joy, and happiness to children in our area.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    Because we are a smaller university, we have a really tight-knit campus community. Our students and faculty have deep and meaningful relationships with one another, and there are always new ways to get involved and discover new passions with interesting people who share your interests and values. It’s not uncommon to go from lab to a varsity sports practice and round out the evening with an acapella rehearsal, and that diversity and energy is what makes Denison such a fun place to be!

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    2,300. Community!

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    To us, “Kesem” means being in a place of refuge, fun, hope, laughter, and family. Kesem means being surrounded by others who not only want to know your story, but those who also want to become part of it. It means lasting friendships, joyful memories, muddy socks, belly laughs, and popsicle-stained T-shirts. Kesem means lasting, meaningful relationships with one another and our community, and it means hope for those relationships to run deeper and stronger in the years to come.

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    There really is nowhere else like Denison for a Camp Kesem chapter! Having fewer students creates an atmosphere where students take very active roles in learning, service, and leadership, and that culture of excellence and engagement defines everything we do as students. We are energized and prepared to become a part of carrying out the mission of Camp Kesem. Denison’s strong connections with the Granville and Licking County communities through collaboration with The Works Center, educational internships, service learning opportunities, and more gives us the knowledge and resources to provide the best possible experience for local children. The existing network of support for events like Pelotonia and Relay for Life will provide us with the ideal framework for garnering local support for our efforts. We have the students, resources, community, and passion that will make for an exceptional Camp Kesem experience for local children in need. All we need is your vote to make it a reality!!

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Granville, Ohio Rachel Reardon and Andrew Ferguson

  • Miami University

    Get to Know the Students at Miami University

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    I am currently pursuing a psychology major with a minor in criminology. I am a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honors Fraternity at Miami and I've lived in Mason, Ohio all my life. I love anything and everything involving art, creativity or kids.

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    Seeing what it was like for my mother when my grandma was diagnosed with cancer was devastating and took a toll on all of us. Being able to help anyone, especially kids, in this situation is incredible, regardless of the time commitment.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    The best part is definitely the sense of community. You will never find yourself in a situation where you feel like you don't belong.

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    Miami's culture is revolved around inclusiveness and all 17,327 undergraduates represent it.

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    Kesem means togetherness. It represents a community of people trying to cope with similar hardships through positivity and reassurance they are not alone. It defines the beginning of the healing process for families and an escape for the kids who need more support.

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    Miami University is well known for diversity, especially when it comes to international students who's first languages are not English. This will allow for us to accommodate children from all backgrounds because we won't have to worry about potential language barriers. Everyone can have a camp counselor to talk to! Secondly, having another camp in Ohio would be helpful for families who are unable to travel as far for support :)

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Oxford, Ohio Devin Bussell

  • Mississippi State University

    Get to Know the Students at Mississippi State University

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    Justin: My major is Interdisciplinary Studies. I am from Paducah, Kentucky. I am a non-traditional student. I served in the army prior to coming to school at MSU and am married with small children. I love hiking, camping, and fishing as well as baseball and working on cars. Madelyn: I’m a freshman psychology major from Savannah, Tennessee. I have been a camper at Kesem for four years, and I also have the word “Kesem” tattooed on my arm! I love to do anything outdoorsy, except for going in the ocean because I’m TERRIFIED of all fish!

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    Justin: My family and I have dealt with cancer so many times and it is devastating to watch someone that you care about suffer through the treatment. When I was five my younger brother was diagnosed with cancer and survived, but it was very difficult. Since then, I have lost an aunt to cancer, my mother and two grandfathers were diagnosed and are in remission, and an uncle and great uncle are currently undergoing treatment. Madelyn: Kesem has given so much to my family and I for eight years. I want to be able to give back to Kesem and be able to create the same opportunity for other children going through a parent’s cancer. I personally believe that children going through this are some of the strongest kids, and they just need an opportunity to not have to be so strong and just be a kid.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    Justin: The family atmosphere and cohesiveness between the campus and community. Madelyn: Having people around who are willing to help with any situation and at any time.

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    22,201 undergrads Justin: Family. Madelyn: Accepting.

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    Justin: I looked up the meaning after finding out about Camp Kesem, it means magic in Hebrew. I believe that having a camp like this for the children of parents who have been diagnosed with cancer will be a sort of magic to them because it will give them the support and understanding of other kids who are experiencing the same uncertainties about their parents. It will become a second family for them. Madelyn: Kesem to me has been a place of understanding. When you grow up with a parent having cancer, you have a different perspective than others. It’s hard to find people to communicate with who can understand cancer the way you do. Kesem has given me a place where I can freely talk about cancer and everyone around understands. Kesem have given me a second family. A family I can always come back to, even just for a week. Kesem is magic. It has the power to take away pain and give you memories and feelings you can always look back on during the hard times.

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    Justin: The state of Mississippi does not have a chapter of Camp Kesem and the children of this state need one. Mississippi State University and the community of Starkville will support this chapter and bring these children into the family. From my own experiences, I know this sort of camp and program is needed. Madelyn: Mississippi does not yet have a Camp Kesem. That makes it so much harder for kids in Mississippi to be able to have this support system, because of either the lack of information or the distances they would have to travel. Creating a chapter at Mississippi State would open up so many opportunities for more children to be able to experience the Kesem magic.

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Starkville, Mississippi Justin Crenshaw and Madelyn Slaten

  • Montana State University Bozeman

    Get to Know the Students at Montana State University Bozeman

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    Max is a freshman studying philosophy and pre-law. He is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Emma is a freshman studying cell biology neuroscience and political science. She is From Helena, Montana. They both are passionate about helping kids, and helping people impacted by cancer.

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    This is important to us because we both have parents affected by cancer, and want to help kids in our situation. Max's mom struggled with cancer, and he attended Kesem in Minneapolis. Emma's mom passed away from cancer, and she knows a camp like this would be great in Montana.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    The students are so passionate and kind, and the professors are always willing to help. Montana State really cares about giving back to the community.

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    16,000. Driven and adventurous.

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    Kesem means an unbreakable amazing bond shared by so many, forged through such a terrible thing. Kesem means support from your new Kesem family. Most of all Kesem means infinity. An infinite bond and an infinite support, not just during the camp, but through and beyond both the camp and the parent's cancer.

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    Montana does not have the support for children who have been affected by a parent's cancer that many other states do. There is no Camp Kesem in the whole state, and very little in terms of cancer support otherwise. We want to reach across the whole state and help each of the 100's of kids who feel alone and disconnected because of their experience. We want every child eligible, to have the magic of Kesem in their life.

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Bozeman, Montana Maxwell Rabidue and Emma Sihler

  • Randolph-Macon College

    Get to Know the Students at Randolph-Macon College

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    My name is Sophie Nelson and I am a business major, with a focus in management. I am from a small town, Madison County, VA. I did competitive gymnastics for nine years and now teach gymnastics at a local gym in my college's town. I am also a member of Randolph-Macon's Equestrian team. My name is Elizabeth Simmons and I am a political science/international studies major. I am from Gloucester, VA. I am a member of student government and a member of Delta Zeta. I love dogs and I make a great cup of English tea, hence the name Chummy aka friend in English slang.

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    Starting Camp Kesem is very important to us because we have seen first hand the difficulty cancer brings upon families. We fully believe that this organization would bring so much happiness and relief to families who are struggling with cancer.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    The best part about going to Randolph-Macon is the community aspect. Since we are a smaller college, it makes it easy to get to know your peers and professors, as well as forming a bond with the Ashland town community.

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    We have about 1,400 undergraduate students at Randolph-Macon. One word we would use to describe the culture of our college is, caring.

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    To me, Kesem means family. I started as camper and I have had the opportunity to grow with my Camp Kesem family. (Elizabeth) For me, Kesem means being there for a child when they need support and love the most. It means, giving them an unforgettable week where they can unwind and just be a kid for that moment. (Sophie)

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    You should vote for our chapter because we already have a tremendous amount of support throughout our college and town! The amount of love and support the college, as well as the Ashland community, has shown in this organization already, is astounding. The amount of interest shown in this chapter has been better than we could have hoped for. Everyone at Randolph-Macon is very anxious and excited to get the final decision!

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Ashland, Virginia Sophie Nelson and Elizabeth Simmons

  • University of Connecticut

    Get to Know the Students at University of Connecticut

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    I'm currently an Economics Major who's seriously considering a dual major in either Political Science, Exercise Science or Philosophy.

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    Because I feel as though I have a duty to bring the services I was lucky enough to receive to my home. I am eternally grateful for my years as a camper at Camp Kesem and being involved has been life changing in so many way. The kids in my community need this.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    The passion and energy that comes with that husky logo and the genuine desire to give back.

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    19,241. I'll give you two: BLEED BLUE.

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    Kesem means magic in Hebrew. I associate it with radical change and the power to take control of one's life and utilizing the same emotion we feel for our parents into making them proud. My mom became a pillar of her community; I feel an obligation to continue in her footsteps.

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    I have the connections and social web here in Eastern Connecticut that is unique to a native of the area and the desire and absolute passion for the cause that will allow me to make this one of the most successful chapters in the country. Uconn has the resources (as well as the network) and the student have the passion and the desire to give back.

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Mansfield, Connecticut Nathan Perez-Espitia and Allen Sfakios

  • University of Dayton

    Get to Know the Students at University of Dayton

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    Hi, my name is Tessa and I’m a junior at the University of Dayton! I study Early Childhood Education with an Early Childhood Intervention Specialist endorsement. I was born and raised in Jackson, Michigan and have three sisters — two who participate in Camp Kesem at Marquette University!!

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    I lost my mom to cancer when I was a senior in high school. Seeing the joy that Camp Kesem gave back to my sisters at Marquette has inspired me to take my experience and turn it into something good.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    The people! The community at UD is strong, and I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received throughout the Kesem application process.

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    We have 8,500 undergraduate students committed to building a spirit of community!

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    To me, “Kesem” embodies empowerment. Camp Kesem gives kids the opportunity to find strength in a community filled with joy and trust. I have always been so grateful to have my sisters to lean on when coping with the loss of our mom, and I believe that every child deserves to feel loved and supported by people who can understand what they’re feeling and going through.

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    This is Dayton’s second consecutive year running in the campaign to start a Camp Kesem. Bringing this organization to campus has become my greatest ambition, and I will continue to work towards this goal until we can make it happen. Camp Kesem and Dayton both place great value on building strong communities and meaningful relationships, and I believe that together, with that common ground, we can create a lasting tradition.

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Dayton, Ohio Tessa Fries

  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington

    Get to Know the Students at University of North Carolina at Wilmington

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    I'm a Communication Studies major and Journalism minor who loves to write, travel, and spread the magic of Camp Kesem. I actually attended Camp Kesem Northwestern as a camper/CIT for 3 summers before becoming a counselor at the NC State chapter last year.

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    My love and passion for Camp Kesem has grown from the moment I experienced my first session 4 years ago and I knew I wanted to continue being apart of CK no matter what. Bringing CK to UNCW would allow me to continue spreading the CK magic.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    The best part of going to UNCW is being so close to the beach and the unity within our campus.

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    16,487 undergrads. I would describe our culture/spirit as unified.

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    To me, “Kesem” means friendship, community, and magic. Specifically giving back the magic to kids affected by a parent/guardians cancer. Camp Kesem came into my life at the perfect time and helped me cope through my mother's cancer diagnosis and death. Camp Kesem reminded me what it was like to be a kid and not have to worry about cancer.

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    You should vote to bring CK to UNCW because it has been a dream of mine since I found out UNCW didn’t have a chapter. This is my 2nd year in the voting campaign and I wouldn’t be trying again if I didn’t love CK and didn’t think UNCW and local kids deserved to have a chapter. I want nothing more than to help CK grow and spread the magic.

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Wilmington, North Carolina Veronica Wernicke

  • University of South Carolina

    Get to Know the Students at University of South Carolina

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Columbia, South Carolina Julia Khan and Savannah Castleberry

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    We both are Exercise Science majors and out-of-state students! Julia is from Michigan and hopes to be an orthopedic surgery; Savannah is from Louisiana with a goal of physical therapy. Savannah has mentored and taught kids since the 7th grade. Julia's passion revolves around competing her horse nationwide.

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    Starting a new Camp Kesem Chapter is important to us because we want the kids to have a place where they can laugh and create lasting memories. We have seen the camp's impact first-hand, and we feel like it is important to bring that impact to South Carolina.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    The best part about going to USC is that there are so many opportunities to be involved and become a leader on campus.

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    USC has 26,362 undergrads. We would describe USC's spirit as extremely supportive.

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    To us, the word "Kesem" means an opportunity to positively impact the lives of parents and children going through a tough time. Kesem means a support group. It means that young, college students are growing as leaders while making a difference in their community. Kesem is bettering a community, a university, a home, a life. Kesem is about making a difference one camper at a time.

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    Everyone has the same goal: to make a difference. We deserve your vote because of the passion and love we have for Camp Kesem's mission. We started the application late, during finals, and somehow finished it through the holiday season. When we got the email stating that we would be part of the voting campaign, we were jumping up and down while buzzing with excitement. Camp Kesem matters to us.

  • University of Toledo

    Get to Know the Students at University of Toledo

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    My name is Jade McDaniel and I'm a third year student majoring in Medicinal and Biological Chemistry. I'm originally from Salina, Kansas, and yes, there really is no place like home!

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    I first heard about Camp Kesem when several local oncology genetic counselors told me about the organization and how they had several children of their patients who weren't able to attend because of the distance. It's important to me that this demonstrated need is met so these kids have an opportunity to learn that they're not alone in this fight.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    The best part about going to the University of Toledo has been the opportunity to get to know people from countless different cultures and locations. The experience has been eye-opening!

    By the way, how many undergrads go to your school? (And what's the one word you would use to describe the Culture/Spirit of your school?)

    Approximately 18,000; Diversity!

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    I know that "Kesem" means magic, but what it really means to me is hope! Camp Kesem arms campers with the knowledge that there is hope for a better tomorrow, no matter how grim things seem in the present. Kesem is all about reminding children in difficult situations that they are not alone and that they have a safety net of people who are invested in their success.

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    The public should vote for UT because there is a need in our community and we have what it takes to fill that need! To quote UT student Jacob Chinthagada, "I think Camp Kesem is about giving love, and UT has an abundance of love to share."

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Toledo, Ohio Jade McDaniel

  • Western Washington University

    Get to Know the Students at Western Washington University

    We want more than names! Tell us about yourselves! Majors? Hometowns? Fun facts?

    Our club members hometowns range from Puyallup, Portland, Seattle, Spokane, and many others! Some of our club members majors are microbiology, human services, and kinesiology! One of our members has been involved in the University of Washington's Camp Kesem since 2013, and another is in an auditioned choir at WWU!

    Completing an application to start a new Camp Kesem Chapter takes a TON of work. Why is this important to you?

    I went to camp for the first time in 2013, and haven't stopped yet. The past five years I've had the honor to see how much Camp Kesem changes lives for the better. Kesem gives these kids a place to be celebrated for who they are. These kids deserve it.

    So what's the best thing about going to your school?

    Most of the club members said the best part of attending Western is the inclusion on campus, and the feeling that students can be themselves.

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    15,000 undergrads attend Western Washington University. Club members described Western as welcoming.

    The word "Kesem" means a lot to the thousands of campers, parents and student leaders who have come to know our mission. What does it mean to you?

    "I believe Kesem revolves around supplying abundant opportunities that deeply fulfill the support one needs during dark times. Through Kesem, kids have the opportunity to be seen, heard and loved. " "It represents a community of understanding individuals who are willing to put others first and bring joy in any way they can." "Kesem, to me, means 'relief.'" "Kesem means a community of people who love unconditionally."

    There's a lot of great students (including you!) who are hoping to start a new Camp Kesem chapter. We wish we could accept each and every one of you! So here's your chance to tell the public why you should start a new chapter!:

    Our students provide a supportive, open-minded environment for all. We can guarantee that our hearts and souls will be poured out to ensure that this same environment is created for the kids of Camp Kesem. I fundamentally believe that it would offer not only healing for the community, but an opportunity for students on campus to connect with the town in a truly powerful empathetic way.

    Chapter Location and Applicant Names

    Bellingham, Washington Zoe Cardwell

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