Duquesne student wins $10,000, gives it to charity

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Duquesne University senior Kaitlyn Kerrigan won $10,000 in a contest this past summer but never spent a penny of it. She gave the whole amount to a charity that inspires youth leaders to tackle the problem of global hunger.

The charity, FeelGood, helps students set up delis at their schools to sell grilled cheese sandwiches for $1 or $2 donations.

Duquesne has a FeelGood student deli, which Ms. Kerrigan, 21, co-chairs. The charity donates all of its profits through the national FeelGood to The Hunger Project, which, Ms. Kerrigan said, works to help men and women end hunger on their own.

The money Ms. Kerrigan won came from Amway, the cleaning goods manufacturer that sponsored the contest "Who Cares Challenge: Youth Leadership Contest." She was one of 10 young people who won the prizes for writing about their community service.

Ms. Kerrigan, who is from Taunton, Mass., wrote about FeelGood and what she called its "mission to end world hunger one grilled cheese at a time."

Duquesne's FeelGood has been selling the grilled cheese sandwiches for about a year and a half, currently at 10 on Friday nights. Ms. Kerrigan said the group eventually hopes to move the operating hours to daytime. "Getting people to work during the day is tough," she said.

It must be tough indeed if all of the students are as busy as Ms. Kerrigan. A major in occupational therapy, a five-year program that leads to a master's degree, she has class about 25 hours a week and studies and does assignments about 10 hours a week. So far, she has earned an overall grade point average of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale.

"I also spend four hours every week at club meetings and sell sandwiches every Friday for a couple hours when I sign up for a shift," she said. In addition she works on service projects with Circle K, the college edition of Kiwanis International.

"Also I spend the rest of the time trying to find time to explore the city or on duty as a resident assistant. In other words, I don't like to sit still!"

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Pohla Smith: psmith@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1228. First Published October 8, 2013 8:00 PM


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