During my four years at Monmouth University, I learned countless lessons and gained valuable skills that have contributed to success in my current career. But little did I know, one of the most valuable things I was able to walk away from college with — the inspiration and drive to make a difference — is partially due to my on-campus secretarial assistant job.
Working in the political science department was gratifying in countless ways, but my supervisor, Kristen Gillette, taught me an extremely valuable lesson that I take with me every day of my life. Kristen is the founder of the Kortney Rose Foundation (KRF), a non-profit organization whose mission is the find better treatment and eventually a cure for pediatric brain tumors. The Kortney Rose Foundation started after Kristen’s daughter Kortney passed away from brainstem glioma, an inoperable brain tumor in the brainstem.
Channeling her grief into something positive, Kristen has been able to raise over a million dollars to date for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) through KRF. In addition, their advocacy efforts resulted in an increase in increased the 2016 budget for childhood cancer research from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, and helped to pass legislation that names May brain tumor awareness month in New Jersey.
At Monmouth, I assisted with a few events benefitting The Kortney Rose Foundation, including the annual Kortney Rose 5K Fun Run. After leaving college, I was eager to find a way to continue to show my support.
Today, as an employee of R&J Strategic Communications, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work for an agency that emphasizes the importance of making a difference. When the holiday season rounded the corner this past year the agency sent out a memo requesting we nominate charities or organizations that we would like the agency’s annual donation to benefit. Immediately I thought of The Kortney Rose Foundation.
I was thrilled to find out my co-workers were moved by the story of KRF as much as I was, and it became the recipient of the agency’s holiday charitable donation. Being able to align two great organizations in this way has been so rewarding for me personally, and having the opportunity to share my passion for the Kortney Rose Foundation with the R&J team has been incredible. Putting our brand statement into practice in this circumstance is helping fund research at CHOP to “get brain tumors off kids’ minds.”
To learn more about The Kortney Rose Foundation visit www.thekortneyrosefoundation.org.