NextStep Fitness DC
For the last few years, I have been a part of a core team trying to raise at least $1 million to open a NextStep Fitness facility in Washington, DC.
Founded by fellow Georgetown alumnus Janne Kouri, NextStep is a nationwide movement that aims to revolutionize the quality of healthcare for the physically challenged community, This is accomplished by opening rehabilitation facilities that offer Locomotor and activity-based training to patients at little cost. After the first facility opened in Los Angeles, NextStep is currently in the process of fundraising to open multiple locations across the United States.
I am lucky and proud to call Janne a good friend and clearly remember the day in 2006 when he was paralyzed during a diving accident almost identical to mine. I was called by two friends (who didn’t know each other) to tell me about their friend Janne’s accident and asked if there was anything I could do. I was immediately put in touch with Janne’s then girlfriend (now wife) to offer advice, insight and a positive voice. Once Janne was able to speak to me, we had our first conversation and have been good friends and champions ever since!
To learn more about NextStep Fitness, please visit www.nextstepfitness.org .
Peter F. Karches '74 Scholarship Fund
In 2006, I helped found the Peter F. Karches '74 Scholarship Fund at Georgetown University that is dedicated to students who are first in their families to attend college. The scholarship fund was established in honor of my friend Peter Karches's father who died of leukemia in 2006.
Through the incredible generosity of The Karches Family and friends of all ages, the scholarship has raised over $10 million since its inception and currently supports eight undergraduate students on full-scholarship and has seen another six students graduate over the last few years.
There are very few, if any, projects at Georgetown University that I am more proud to have been involved and associated with.
Georgetown University Conference on Employment of People with Disabilities
In 2010, I co-founded the Georgetown University Conference on Employment of People with Disabilities along with two fellow Georgetown alumni, John Kemp (’71) and Michael Marshall (’95, ’05). This conference was designed to examine the challenges and opportunities in the area of employment of people with disabilities and since its inception has hosted featured panels focusing on public policy, business and technology, the societal effects of increased employment of people with disabilities, and veterans. This conference has been privileged to have had panelists representing some of the most recognizable companies in the United States, all of which are leaders and champions in increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities, including J.P. Morgan, Walgreens, IBM, AMC Entertainment Inc., Ernst & Young and the U.S. Federal Government.
A highlight of every conference is the opportunity to present the Georgetown University Human Spirit Award to an individual for their lifetime commitment and contributions to the independence and employment of people with disabilities. Previous recipients have included Senator Bob Dole, Congressman Tony Coelho, who was one of the primary authors of the Americans with Disabilities Act, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thomas Donohue, and former Senior Vice President of Walgreens Randy Lewis.
John, Michael and I have always believed that this conference is the perfect platform for a larger conversation to begin and we are excited and proud that Georgetown University remains at the forefront of this important issue!