Ascend Camp and Retreat Center
5218 Kiwanis Rd
Dallas, TX 75236
Fall Friends + Family Day
December 1, 2018
Please contact us for more details!
Spring Friends + Family Day
April 6, 2019
Please contact us for more details!
March 30, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Lone Star Park – Alysheba Room
1000 Lone Star Pkwy
Grand Prairie, TX 75050
Angel “Grumpy” Roberson: I’m Grumpy (well, not usually) and I’m currently a junior Pre-Med Biology major at UTD. This year I have the privilege of serving as one of the Co-Directors for our chapter, in addition to being a Terry scholar and serving as an officer in that student organization. Watching our chapter grow from the ground up has been one of the most incredible things I’ve ever been a part of. Kesem is where I’ll always find a family and I can’t wait to continue building so we can bring the magic to more kids!
Christopher “Hot Sauce” Fogel: HI I’m Hot Sauce, a Historical Studies and VPACommunications double major My Kesem Journey started my freshmen year when I joined as a counselor. The following year I became a Co-Volunteer Coordinator and also became the yellow unit leader! Now, I enter my third year as Co-Director, and am excited to lead our team to the promise land. Along with Camp Kesem, I am heavily involved with the Terry Scholars & am on the club Ultimate Frisbee Team. I love to play all types of sports in my free time!
Karina “Starbucks” Gloria: I’m Karina “Starbucks” Gloria and I am a Senior Marketing Major. My Kesem journey began my sophomore year, as a counselor and the following year I became an Outreach co-coordinator. I’m very excited to be in AMP this year with my Co Otter! We are going to make all of our social media pages look beautiful and share all the fun CK-UTD has all year long!
Bianca “Otter” Verasammy: Hii! I’m Otter! I am Junior studying Speech Language Pathology and Audiology! Along with Camp Kesem, I am a part of Doctors without Borders Advocates and NSSLHA. I have been a part of Camp Kesem for 2 years now and I can honestly say it has made a huge impact on my life and I love taking part in it each year! I am beyond excited for this year and I look forward to working with my Co, Starbucks , along with the rest of the Coordinator Board in being involved to create the#bestweekever! Much Love
David “Fishsticks” Gutierrez: I’m David “Fishsticks” Gutierrez! I am Senior accounting major here at UTD. All I really do outside of school is Kesem and i’m looking forward to our third year. After serving as Director my first year as a coordinator and counselor at camp should be a fun perspective to gain! Excited to see what this year holds!
Alexia “Te Fiti” Alexander: I’m Te Fiti and I am a Pre-Med sophomore at UT Dallas majoring in Healthcare Studies. I am passionate about healthcare and hope to pursue Pediatric surgery. I am also an Enrichment Advisor to the freshmen of the Terry scholars program at UTD. I’m excited to see our chapter grow this year and help us go above and beyond our fundraising goals!
Ariana “Arizona” Hadden: My name is Arizona, and I am one of the Development coordinators! I’m a senior political science major, and I want to go to law school to become an attorney who represents people who have been falsely convicted. I am actively involved on campus, whether that be volunteering on weekends with my fellow Terry scholars, taking photos for my on campus newspaper, or of course, devoting the rest of my free time to Kesem! Kesem has shown me what family and giving truly mean, and i’m excited for camp!
Ryan “Chancho” Townsend: I am a proud Terry Scholar and also a member of PPA 11! My Kesem journey began my sophomore year, as one of the founding coordinators. I served as Treasure, co- director and now I am super psyched to be one of the Make the Magic coordinators this year. One of my goals in life is to help the UTD chapter become the biggest Kesem chapter in the country because every kid deserves the chance to come to camp. Also, it would be pretty cool to own my campsite one day!
Brittney “Hei Hei” Shiue: Hey I’m Hei Hei. I am a Senior Healthcare Studies major and I am involved with the Power Dancers Dance Team, Freshman Mentor Program , and a National Merit Scholar. I hope to eventually attend medical school after graduation! I’m super excited to get to see the old campers, while getting to know all of the new campers, and our annual Make the Magic Gala!
Afza “String Cheese” Mohammed: I’m Afza/”String Cheese,” a sophomore molecular biology major following the pre-med track! I’ve been in involved in Kesem for at least two years now, and hope to be for many more. I love to read, sleep, and hike. I’m excited for Kesem 2019 because it’s going to be fan-flippin’-tastic! Also, fun fact, I don’t eat string cheese by peeling layer by layer. I gobble it all down in three bites so I can eat more!
Cori “Oreo” Weaver: My name is Oreo and I’m a junior molecular biology major with a minor in psychology. I hope to pursue a career in genetic counseling. I’m am attending UTD thanks to the Terry Foundation, which I am the vice president of. This is my second year in Kesem and I can’t wait to make camp the best week ever!
Abby “Pooh Bear” Lewis: Hi everyone! My name is Pooh Bear, and I am a sophomore biochemistry pre-med at UTD. I also am a Terry scholar, and I like to spend my free time conducting research in lab and cuddling with my cat. This is my first year being a part of the Kesem Operations team, and I am so excited for you guys to see what we have in store! After all, our initials do spell out OPS.
Chloe “Sparky” Verhaeghe: Hellooo! I’m Sparky! I am a Junior at UTD majoring in neuroscience with a minor in visual arts. I just had my first summer at Camp Kesem as a program counselor and it was AMAZING, and I am so excited to be working with my co, Pita Chip. My camp name was inspired by my childhood dog Sparky who can live on forever through my Kesem name. Hobbies? yeah, I’ve got those. I enjoy civil war reenactments and role playing Dungeons and Dragons on the second Saturday of every month.
Khalid “Pita Chip” Atieh: Hey I’m Pita Chip and I’m a senior neuroscience/ child learning and development double major. I have been a part of Camp Kesem since the beginning of 2018! Camp Kesem has been the most impactful, most fun, most rewarding experience of my life and the kids at our camp are the absolute best! Other than Camp Kesem, I tend methodically to my exotic short hair cat, Eustace Bagge, play tennis, splishy splash in puddles in my favorite boots when it rains.
Drew “Duck” Cannedy: I’m Duck, a Senior Software Engineering Major and the Treasurer this year. I’ve been with Camp Kesem for two years now and hope to make my last year the best year yet. You can catch me in the Nanotechnology lab during the day, playing video games at night, and bathing in donations on the weekends.
Kiana “Kiwi” Shirmanesh: Hey I’m Kiwi and I am a Junior Biology Major with a Music Minor. A part from Camp Kesem I am a Co-Chair for New Student Programs Orientation Leader Program and Campus Relations Chair for CometTHON. Last year I was a counselor for the Mint Green Cabin and it was SO much fun being with those girls. This year I am serving as a Volunteer Co-Coordinator with T-Bone! Kesem was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I’m so stoked for summer to be here!
Tanner “T-Bone” Cannedy: Hey I’m T- Bone! I’m a sophomore International Political Economy major and have been involved with Camp Kesem UTD since last year. I play the saxophone, love learning languages, and speak Spanish, Portuguese, and German! I’m excited to be a part of Camp Kesem again this year as Volunteer Cordinator and can’t wait to go to camp again this year.
In addition to the year-round support, services, and training we receive from Kesem National,
we are grateful to those who provide support to our local Camp Kesem chapter including:
Our Advisory Board who provides ongoing guidance to our chapter’s leadership team.
Our corporate and foundation donors who provide critical resources to help fund the services we deliver locally.
The many retail and service providers who offer in-kind support for our summer camp as well as many or our year-round services.
Countless individuals – including our families and friends who honor our commitment to Camp Kesem with their financial support and unwavering encouragement.
Kesem’s national staff of over 30 professionals is involved in all aspects of establishing and supporting each of our 100+ chapters nationwide as well as the training and oversight of all college student leaders. Our leadership program has been developed over the last 17 years and, while both rigorous and demanding, is focused on providing the highest level of support, service and safety for the children who participate in our programs.
The Kesem Program Director for this chapter (see below) is involved in all aspects of camp and our additional services. While your local student leaders are your primary contact for questions, you are also welcome and encouraged to contact their Program Director with other specific questions.
Kirsten first got involved with Camp Kesem during her undergraduate career at Northern Arizona University as a Marketing/PR Coordinator for two years. After she graduated, she went to Arizona State University for her Masters in Social Work and worked within the behavioral health/criminal justice system. Her passion to work with families impacted by cancer never faded and she was thrilled to return to the Camp Kesem team as a Regional Program Director in 2018.