To Give Back
As with all great institutions of higher education, Trinity relies on the continuing generosity and loyalty of alumnae, alumni, parents and friends to keep it strong. Your support, whether new or continued, is your opportunity to help support a new generation of Trinity students. Annual Fund giving, in any amount, expresses the enduring commitment that binds the Trinity family from one generation to the next. Meet current Trinity students who benefit from the generosity of alumnae and friends through the Trinity Annual Fund:
- Alexis Santiago
- Taylor Smith
- Egochi P. Achinonu
- Moraima Zaida
- Amy Cookson
- Jameka Hodnett & Taylor Smith
- Anastasia Broadus
- Davina Burgess ’12
- Kaitlyn (Katie) Breslin ’13
Senior Alexis Santiago arrived at Trinity eager to make a difference. The oldest of eight children from Bronx, New York, Alexis has become a role model for her siblings and her Trinity sisters by getting involved with her community, with the intent of increasing its quality and influence.
This past semester, Alexis interned at The Family Place, located in Columbia Heights, D.C. The Family Place provides low income families with necessary resources for their children, such as literary programs, health and nutrition services, emergency care and other educational and support services. Alexis assisted educators in the early childhood education classes to ensure that the basic needs of all children were met. She interacted with parents and engaged the children in a variety of activities, including reading and painting.
During this experience, Alexis realized that her true passion is working with children. “I find myself often applying many of the concepts that I learned in my courses. I am reading about developmental stages, and am able to witness them first hand.” Through employing various methods of interacting with the children, she has enhanced her communication skills and is also developing her Spanish speaking skills in conversations with parents. A psychology major with a political science minor, Alexis does quite well filling her “free” time outside the classroom. She serves as historian for the College Democrats, is on the political science honors society board, and is also a member of the Spirituality Advisory Board for Campus Ministry. Her interest in history has led to work in the college archives with Sr. Mary Hayes ’57.
Last year, Alexis was selected to participate in the 2012 Campus Ministry Alternative Spring Break in Selma, Alabama which was led by Sr. Mary Ellen Dow. Alexis and eight other Trinity women spent a challenging week immersed in service projects that included painting homes, picking up trash, and maintenance work at schools. The week ended with a special celebration and re-enactment of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, which included speeches by participants of the original march in 1963. Alexis reflected on the week, “It was very rewarding seeing my Trinity friends doing something so special. I am grateful for the experience and hope to return again someday.”
On a recent visit back to her high school, one of Alexis’s favorite teachers presented her to the class and said, “Go to college and make a difference like Alexis has!” This continues to motivate Alexis as she strives to help others. Donors to the Trinity Annual Fund are helping students like Alexis to experience the world beyond their neighborhoods, and to translate their educational experience at Trinity into service to others. If you have made your gift to the Trinity Annual Fund this year, thank you for your important support! If you have not, now is the time to make your impact – through education. Give now!
Senior Taylor Smith is always looking for a new challenge. A photo in a Trinity professor’s office of volunteers in Haiti captivated her attention and she set her sights on volunteering there. Her experience was indeed challenging and, unexpectedly, life-changing. In the midst of devastation, she was inspired by the faith and optimism of young children.
Taylor’s work site was located three hours north of Port-Au-Prince, in Gros-Morne. Although her classes in international development as an international affairs major helped to prepare her for the experience, she was sobered to see such complete devastation even two years after the disaster, and her heart broke for the people in the countryside. “The streets are covered in garbage. There is no trash disposal so people resort to fires to burn the trash,” Taylor said. “Most of the people bathe in the river and have to filter their own water. There is no electricity or running water.”Despite the devastation, Taylor saw the glimmer of hope in the young children of Haiti. She was delighted to find that she, along with 20 other volunteers from all around the world, would be in charge of running a summer camp for children ages 7-11. The joyful spirit of Camp Claudine quickly won Taylor over, from the children’s bright shirts with “We still know how to dream” emblazoned in French to the raucous soccer games the children played. She was also moved by the gatherings that featured local pastors and artisans as speakers. “Religion is a huge part of the children’s culture. They prayed numerous times a day and were so grateful and happy to have the volunteers there,” Taylor explained. The volunteers participated in nightly reflections as well. “We discussed the importance of being compassionate, open and tolerant. We really wanted to take the time to listen to the people of Haiti and see what they needed the most. We didn’t want to assume we knew what was best for them.”
“I would recommend this trip to all Trinity women. It was such a great opportunity to give back and also to utilize so much of what I have been learning in my coursework at Trinity. I would go back in a heartbeat if given the chance. This experience made me so grateful, happy and appreciative of what I have,” Taylor reflected.
Taylor, who is from Maine, is exploring what her next steps will be after she graduates in May. She co-founded the Students for Environmental Responsibility club on campus and has always been interested in working for an environmental nonprofit organization. However, after her transformative experience in Haiti, she is discovering a new world of opportunities. Whichever path she chooses, she knows she will always be seeking new challenges.
A Trinity education instills the values of community service and social justice as part of the liberal arts foundation that will serve Trinity graduates throughout their lives. Your financial support directly impacts the quality of today’s Trinity educational experience. Please consider making a gift to the Trinity Annual Fund now – it’s easy, quick and secure! If you have already made your for gift this year, we thank you for helping us to serve students like Taylor Smith.
While the world of national and global politics seems to ring with strident voices, senior class president Egochi Achinonu leads by example – an intelligent and engaging young woman whose soft voice and smile belie a determined spirit that is destined to bring change through her dedication to faith and service.
Egochi knew as a high school senior in Baltimore she wanted to attend college in Washington, D.C. She instantly fell in love with the Trinity “sisterhood” and completely immersed herself in the campus community her freshman year. Her involvement with student government began as sophomore class vice president, then junior class president and now she has the distinct honor to serve as senior class president. She is also a member of the Psychology Club and can be found working at the Trinity Center for Women and Girls in Sports. As she balances these on-campus responsibilities, she is finishing her coursework for her psychology major while also interning at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and assisting Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Debbie Van Camp with research on spirituality.
A true Trinity woman, Egochi has reached for every opportunity that has come her way. As a recipient of the prestigious Seton Cunneen, SND ’65 Summer Fellowship, she spent the summer working in Baltimore for Turn-A-Round, a nonprofit organization founded to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Her duties ranged from routine stocking of the center’s pantry, to assistance with the Abuser Intervention Programs. She was trained to assess visitors who might pose a threat to themselves and to others and was proactive in creating a safer environment for those who frequented the center.
True to her nature, Egochi passed on the “typical spring break on a sunny beach” and searched for a “meaningful experience” where she could make a difference. She applied and was accepted as one of eight Trinity women who joined Campus Minister Mary Ellen Dow, SND, on the 2012 Campus Ministry Alternative Spring Break (ABS) in Selma, Alabama. The alternative spring break offered a week of service projects varying from painting homes and picking up trash to performing maintenance work at local schools, capped off by a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with Selma residents who lived through the genesis of the civil rights movement. Long, physical days were balanced with evenings spent in reflection with the other ABS participants. “After I met with activists who fought and continue to fight in the civil rights movement, I realized it was time for us, my generation, to fight and to take on the issues of the world. I want alumnae to know that this trip should happen every year.”
As she begins her final year at Trinity, Egochi is more than prepared to work hard to achieve her goals. They include a PhD in clinical psychology and service as a youth pastor, working to educate young people in order to make this world a better place. A bit wise beyond her years, she notes, “There are many things that I wish someone would have told me growing up that I want to share with younger generations.”
Support for the Trinity Annual Fund has a direct impact on the quality of the educational experience students like Egochi receive. Please take a moment to make your gift to the Trinity Annual Fund. If you have already made a gift this year, thank you for helping us educate tomorrow’s leaders!
In 2008, Moraima Zaida was given the opportunity of a lifetime: a full scholarship to Trinity Washington University. This bright young woman, originally from Cuba, lived in a migrant farming community in Apopka, Florida, that had been established forty years earlier by Sr. Ann Kendrick ’66 and three fellow Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Sister Ann saw Moraima’s talent and promise, and also the tremendous financial challenge of obtaining a college education. Knowing of Trinity’s founding mission to provide educational opportunities to women in need, she reached out to alma mater. The Classes of 1964 through1968 responded to the call, helping to fund Kendrick Scholarships for Moraima and fellow student Reyna Trinidad.
Fast forward four years: on May 20, 2012 Moraima received her Trinity degree, a bachelors of science in biochemistry. She graduated cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. During her time at Trinity, Moraima proved herself to be a spectacular student. In addition, she volunteered countless hours of community service not only in Washington, D.C. but also at home in the migrant community from which she came. She spent a summer as a Sr. Seton Cunneen Summer Internship Fellow.
Moraima has already begun putting her Trinity degree to good use. She is working at the Dental and Craniofacial Lab at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. After finishing her contract at NIH in June 2013, Moraima plans to attend dental school. Currently her top choices include Howard University, the University of Maryland and West Virginia University.
When asked about the impact of the Trinity scholarship on her life, Moraima replied, “Alumnae have no idea how much this scholarship has changed my life. There are so many students like me who want to break the chain! I’m ready to move on, but I’ll never forget that gift that was given to me.”
Students like Moraima count on the support of alumnae to help make their dreams a reality. Your gift to the Trinity Annual Fund makes it all possible. Thank you for supporting Trinity!
Amy Cookson, a rising senior in Trinity’s nursing program, feels incredibly blessed for the opportunities that her Trinity education has provided. Amy takes nothing for granted and continues to “keep her eye on the prize,” advice that was given to her sophomore year by Assistant Professor LaVerne Green in the nursing program.
Originally from Sierra Leone, Amy and her family moved to the United States when she was six years old. Committed to success, Amy got an early start on her college search. She spent hours searching universities with nursing programs and immediately felt drawn to Trinity’s program.
Amy explains, “I chose Trinity because I wanted to be in a school that provided leadership opportunities and motivated its students.” From the moment Amy stepped on campus she thrived in the small classroom settings with support from her professors. Professor Green mentored Amy through the nursing program and continuously reminded her that life changes and hardships will cross your path, but if you work hard, you will achieve your goals. Amy, preferring not to take any short cuts, and to soak up as much knowledge as possible, said, “I’ve learned the importance of really knowing my subjects, because as a nurse my actions may have a big impact on people’s lives.”
As part of her financial aid, Amy was awarded the Beverlee Balch Lehr ’61 and Bill Lehr Scholarship. “When I found out I was selected to receive this scholarship I felt so surprised and blessed. I was at a loss for words.” Amy noted that the scholarship assistance allowed her to reduce her hours at a part-time job so that she could more fully concentrate on her studies.
Looking back on the past three years at Trinity, Amy can’t believe how much she has grown personally. She credits her classmates, professors, and family for being such positive influences in her life: “My family inspires me all the time. The most goal-oriented people I know are my mother and grandmother. I aspire to be as kind-hearted and generous as they have been.”
After graduating Amy hopes to become a nurse anesthetist or community nurse. Amy concluded, “I don’t want to just earn a degree to benefit myself. I am at Trinity to gain the knowledge to help those who are in need.”
If you have made a gift to the Trinity Annual Fund this year, “Thank you!” Your generosity makes Amy’s success possible. If you have not yet given, please consider making your gift now. A Trinity education provides students like Amy with rigorous academic experiences in a challenging environment that prepares them to serve their communities and give back. Gifts made by June 30, 2012 will be credited to the 2011-2012 Trinity Annual Fund.
Take a moment to make a gift online today—it is fast, convenient, and secure!
When Taylor Smith and Jameka Hodnett met, you could say it was “friends at first sight.” One night, both women were out to dinner with mutual friends, and Jameka’s waiter kept taking her empty soda glass from the table and replacing it with a brand-new refill. “This is such a waste!” Jameka said. “They have to use so much more energy to clean and replace my cup every time, when I’d be perfectly happy if they just refilled the old one!” Those words were music to Taylor’s ears. What followed was a passionate discussion about waste, sustainable energy and the environment. “In all my classes at Trinity, I hadn’t found someone like Jameka yet, someone who cared about the environment like I did,” she recalled. It was the start of something big.
Taylor arrived to Trinity from a tiny town in Maine, and was always interested in the relationship between environmental issues and the well-being of our global society. Jameka, from Roanoke, Virginia, discovered her passion for the environment through her classes at Trinity. She remembered the first time she saw the documentary “The Story of Stuff” and how it changed her perspective on human waste. Now, both women are international relations majors, and have focused their studies on how to improve our global sustainability. They also both realized that before they could change the world, they had to change their own backyard. So, they decided to team up as the founders of the “Students For Environmental Responsibility” club at Trinity.
The mission of the club, Taylor explains, is to educate the Trinity community about environmental issues both globally and locally. They try to set up easy ways that Trinity women can make a difference. For example, the club encouraged students to sign a “green pledge,” to take shorter showers. They hosted a clean-up day for the Anacostia River. They even taught students to crumble their garbage into tiny balls to take up less space in landfills.
The club has been successful so far, but the women hope they can make an even bigger impact on the Trinity campus. For example, they’d like to see Trinity have a better recycling program campus-wide. And they want to see a huge turnout for the Earth Day Rally on the national mall. They’re hoping to get everyone on campus using reusable water bottles. The list goes on and on.
Both women have a bright future ahead making the world a better place – quite literally. Taylor has already worked with a number of nonprofits that focus on the environment. Jameka was selected as a Sr. Seton Cunneen ’65 Summer Service Fellow, and spent last summer working with Girl Scout campers, teaching them about environmental issues and sustainability. Both are hoping to be accepted to a prestigious internship program at the Environmental Protection Agency, where they can gain experience that will lead to careers protecting our planet.
And both women say they could never do what they’re doing without their Trinity education. “Women here come to be empowered,” Taylor said. “Their education – that’s their sole focus.” Jameka agreed. “I found myself at Trinity. I found my calling. I would not be the person I am today without Trinity!”
Support for the Trinity Annual Fund has a direct impact on the quality of the educational experience which students like Jameka and Taylor receive. Please consider making your gift to the Trinity Annual Fund today. If you have already made a gift to the Trinity Annual Fund this year, thank you for helping us to educate tomorrow’s leaders!
First-generation college student, Anastasia Broadus, a native of Hagerstown, Maryland, is a lifelong Girl Scout. The budding history teacher was formally introduced to Trinity through her association with scouting. A recipient of the prestigious Silver and Gold Awards and a recipient of “lifetime membership” status, Anastasia also received a Trinity Girl Scout scholarship to help defray the costs of attending college.
Anastasia is very clear when she describes herself as goal-oriented, and in her quest to find a place to embark on her college education, she sought a school that matched her personal qualities. She wanted to attend a school with an “involved president,” and she remembers fondly when Kelly Gosnell, vice president of admissions, greeted her by name at a Trinity open house.
Anastasia has found her Trinity classroom experiences to be academically challenging and helped her to make “lots of discoveries about the world” around her. She believes that everyone at Trinity—from her professors to her classmates—is invested in her success. This experience fits well with Anastasia’s professional ambition of becoming a classroom teacher, focusing on high school students. She believes that students at this age need extra attention and she is devoted to using her role as a teacher to help them graduate. She wants to invest in her students the way Trinity has invested in her.
This Trinity freshman had been attending classes “under the radar” when she was discovered at the Girl Scout Dine Around held annually in the spring at Trinity. Anastasia attracted attention when she addressed the high school students in attendance about the merits of achieving Girl Scouting’s highest honor, the Gold Award. She spoke eloquently about reaching the pinnacle of an organization where she spent most of her life learning about service, and her maturity and focus made her stand out.
As a result of Anastasia’s heartfelt testimonial at the Girl Scout event, she was selected to open the United Way National Education Town Hall held at Trinity on March 31, 2011, welcoming more than 200 education and nonprofit business leaders. Anastasia spoke warmly of Trinity’s mission and history, and shared her own experience with the audience before introducing CNN’s Soledad O’Brien as moderator of the event. It was a great event for Trinity and, as Anastasia notes, an unforgettable one for her as well.
Continuing with her focus on children and scouting, Anastasia has big plans for summer 2011. She will return to her hometown to work as co-director of music for a Girl Scout summer program and she will also plan a program for 50 children that will take them “around the world” with activities and lessons.
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If you’re looking for a cheerleader for Trinity, you will surely find one in Davina Burgess ’12. Along with a bright smile, Davina brings to Trinity a unique story and a level of enthusiasm matched by few. When she speaks of her time here, which she describes as “amazing,” you would think that she had just received the best gift imaginable.
A military “brat” originally from San Diego, CA, Davina grew up with a Marine father and a very involved mother who have shown the support and direction that she truly appreciates. That involvement includes coming to take photos of Davina as she participated in the traditional signing of the Honor Code at Trinity. Davina does not shun the attention or feel smothered, but rather feels fortunate to have parents who have a healthy amount of investment in their eldest child.
Perhaps this strong system of family support is what makes Davina so excited about Trinity. After attending another local university and not finding the support she expected, she chose to attend a smaller, local community college and earned an associate’s degree. She then discovered Trinity and thought it might be the place to earn her bachelor’s degree. Although college tours do not always reveal what a school is really about, Burgess notes that Trinity was everything she was told, and much more. She immediately felt a welcoming atmosphere in the College of Arts and Sciences, a traditional college that fully accepted a transfer student who was a bit older than her peers.
Having three younger brothers, the all-women environment was different at first, but Davina came to recognize that there is a commonality among the students—a focus on achieving goals and completing their educations. She says that focus and determination also create a healthy competitive edge that makes students work even harder to prepare for class discussions and assignments. The classroom competition is tight, but respectful.
Davina has plans to graduate in 2012 with a degree in political science. For her, an interest in political science is deeply rooted. Her mother is Belizean, so her family has very personal experience with immigration issues, much of which has caused Davina to have serious concerns about the treatment of immigrants. Her courses at Trinity have only served to broaden her interests and her intellectual inquiry into issues of foreign policy and international relations. She also credits her Trinity professors with helping to expand her thinking and her outlook on a legal career. Davina says that the professors create classroom experience s with open lines of communication and “they help women to be more assertive so that they can thrive in male-dominated fields.” Her professors and her experience at Trinity have made her a more disciplined, focused student with a clear direction.
As this Dean’s List student moves into her senior year (with a 4.0 GPA,) she is working hard to fulfill her dreams by seeking an internship position for summer 2011 and studying for this fall’s Law School Admissions Test. As she strives for perfection by carrying a full load and immersing herself in studies every night, Davina also holds a job and manages to find time for lunch with her mom from time to time. She feels very lucky to have found Trinity, and it appears Trinity is also fortunate to have her.
Hailing from Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Blue Class president Kaitlyn (Katie) Breslin ’13 knew that she wanted to study in the nation’s capital; she also had a strong interest in attending a women’s college. Though she received an offer from neighboring Catholic University, she was won over by Trinity’s mission, history, and rich traditions. Her visit to Trinity’s campus truly sealed the deal.
In only three semesters thus far, Katie has collected a tremendous number of college experiences. During the spring of her freshman year she interned for Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (PA) and witnessed history in the House gallery as healthcare reform legislation was passed. Also in the spring, Katie worked to raise awareness of the murder of Sr. Dorothy Stang, SND, who gave her life in the fight to preserve the Brazilian Amazon.
Having been involved in political issues since high school (including work on the Obama presidential campaign), she was eager to become a leader at Trinity, and was elected Blue Class president in her sophomore year. She also serves as president of Trinity’s chapter of College Democrats and vice chair of the women’s caucus of College Democrats of America. It should come as no surprise that Katie has chosen political science as her major.
Katie is driven by her belief in social justice, a major tenet of Catholicism. At the close of her freshman year she was selected for the prestigious Sr. Seton Cunneen ’65 Summer Fellowship and chose to work at Catholic Social Services in her hometown. She found her work in the food pantry most rewarding, but her experiences with the immigration office served to fuel her growing interest in immigration issues. The need for greater funding at the Catholic Social Services office drove her to explore grant writing opportunities.
Of these combined experiences, Katie says, “Trinity has taught me who I am, and helped me to focus.” Her time at Trinity has led her to become more involved in her Catholic faith. Like the vast majority of Trinity students, she praises her professors, saying that many of them are “like our mothers,” always offering support and time.
Katie is particularly pleased to attend a college that continues to offer a liberal arts education. Trinity’s broad-based curriculum adds richness to her path and allows her to make her education her own. Although Katie is as yet undecided as to her career path, she is encouraged to explore Trinity’s liberal arts offerings.
Katie is in the honors program, earning a place on the Dean’s List each semester while holding a campus job in the admissions office. She is also a current member of D.C. Students Speak, an advocacy group for District students.
Each and every gift counts. Trinity’s Annual Fund is essential and you are essential to the Annual Fund. Your participation in the Annual Fund is a strong expression of your affection for, and commitment to, Trinity. Foundations and corporations that are considering a grant to Trinity expect a high percentage of alumnae participation in the Annual Fund.
For Tax Advantages
Tax laws intentionally encourage charitable giving. Because of the income tax charitable deduction, anyone who makes a gift by December 31 and itemizes can reduce income taxes for that year. Trinity mails a receipt for every gift made to the University. For additional information you may contact Judy Tart at 202/884-9704 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or consult your financial advisor.