Danielle Friz, a Nursing student minoring in Gerontology and Global Health & Social Medicine at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, is an engaging student committed to improving the campus and the broader community. As a member and community service chairperson for the Pierre Laclede Honors College Student Association, Danielle works to tackle issues of food insecurity along with helping address the unique needs of foster families in our community. She does this by coordinating monthly meal preparations for Angels' Arms, a charity that provides resources and emotional support to foster children and families. Danielle not only makes sure that groceries are provided and food is prepared for families, but she also personally delivers meals. During the holiday season, she also spearheaded an Adopt-a-Family program for a foster family with a single mother and three children. She raised funds and coordinated the shopping, wrapping, and delivery of gifts. On campus, Danielle is committed to helping other first-generation students navigate the world of academia through mentorship, providing them with personalized, one-on-one support through the Opportunity Scholars Peer Mentoring Program. Additionally, she serves as a Student Mentor Advisory and Recruitment Team mentor for the Honors College.
I first became involved in addressing food insecurity and alleviating the hectic schedules and financial burdens of foster parents by volunteering through the Pierre Laclede Honors College Student Association (PLHCSA) with Angels' Arms. This local nonprofit organization strives to provide loving homes for foster children. After speaking with foster parents, I came to understand how difficult it is to provide both the time and financial resources to prepare dinner for several foster children every day. Becoming the community service chair for PLHCSA, I have organized and actively participated in monthly meal preparations for Angels' Arms foster families. I make sure that groceries are provided, food is prepared, and meals are delivered to families. Having meals provided allows these foster families the freedom to spend more time together while also helping them with grocery costs. In addition to the meal preparations, I facilitated PLHCSA's role in the Adopt-a-Family program for the holiday season. For this, I coordinated the shopping, wrapping, and delivery of gifts to a foster family including a single mother and three children. I believe my volunteer service is important because it allows the UMSL community to address food insecurity along with needs of foster families in our community.