Change Builds Recipient

We’ve been fortunate to know Elise Van Vuren for the last three years. She decided to volunteer with Shirts Across America after graduating from high school, before heading off to Washington State University in 2009.

It was apparent from the moment we met Elise, she was someone who impacted everyone around her.  She didn’t know anyone on that initial trip to New Orleans, but by the end of the week it felt as though we had known Elise for years.

Fast forward to the 2011-12 school year. In August, Elise had been named a College Manager for SAA and helped develop our marketing and intern programs for high school and college participants.

Year of Awards

Elise was nominated and won Shirts Across America’s MVP Award, the Change Builds Award, at our annual kick off event at the Moore Theatre in October.  The awards haven’t stopped there.

In February, she won two different awards from her national sorority, Kappa Delta.  She won the Sara Davies Kravik Sigma Tau Scholarship and the sorority’s most prestigious Corre Anding Stegall Collegiate Leadership Award.  Out of the 17 recipients of the Corre Anding Stegall Award across the country, Elise was the only student to receive this recognition on the West Coast.

In her own words

Shirts Across America has provided me an opportunity to live out my passion and develop as a young woman. The first chance I had to rebuild New Orleans was right after I graduated from Bishop Blanchet High School. The trip is one that cannot be described in words, but is something I will never forget.

The feeling I get from helping others is truly irreplaceable. I came home inspired with a drive to spread awareness about New Orleans and the families trying to get home. After beginning college, I decided to bring the women from my sorority, Kappa Delta, down for spring break. The most rewarding feeling was watching these women embrace New Orleans while developing a similar passion for the people of the Gulf Coast.

Shirts Across America has also given me the tools to become a more effective leader. I have discovered my talents in life and this organization has given me the outlet to utilize those gifts for the greater community. Shirts Across America has made a lasting impression on my heart.

-Elise Van Vuren

2010 Washington State University
Citizenship Award

2011 Shirts Across America
Change Builds Award

 2012 Kappa Delta Sorority
Corre Anding Stegall Collegiate Leadership Award
Sara Davies Kravik Sigma Tau Scholarship