From a young age, Alexandra “Sasha” Fairchock ’14 has devoted her life to helping others—especially those affected by HIV and AIDS. As a child, she spent summers with her mother (an infectious disease specialist) at REACH ministries, a camp located near her hometown in Seattle, Washington, for youth and families with the disease. Now, as a junior on the Hill, she is as committed to the cause as ever. Just last year, she organized the first ever Holy Cross Dance Marathon, an event that raised money and awareness for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. In total, the Marathon raised $26,000.
For this, and for her other service and social justice work, Citizens Bank recently recognized Fairchock with a $1,000 scholarship. Chosen from a pool of over 5,000 applicants, Fairchock was named a second prize winner of the bank’s TruFit Good Citizen Scholarship program, which recognizes students whose service efforts have made differences in their communities. Only 40 students nationwide were selected for the scholarship.
“We want to congratulate Alexandra, who is using her talent and passion for volunteerism to help those in her community who need it most,” says Jerry Sargent, President of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens.
“When I was a kid, some of my best friends had HIV,” says Fairchock. “I didn’t realize then how stigmatized the disease was, but I knew I wanted to help,” she continues.
“What I liked about the Dance Marathon was that it was brought so much awareness to the cause. People left really understanding the different issues people with HIV face, and hopeful that we’re really winning the fight against the disease. It was also great that we raised so much money, especially for our first year putting on the event.”
An international studies major and Peace and Conflict Studies concentrator, Fairchok also co-chairs the College’s Bishop Healy Multicultural Society; which promotes multicultural competency and social justice issues; and Medical Ministries International, a group of students who travel to Honduras for two weeks each summer in order to construct medical clinics for different villages.
In the future, Fairchock wants to earn a masters degree in public health, as she hopes to work in international healthcare. “I am incredibly honored to receive this award,” she says. “It gives me the opportunity to represent the College as a student dedicated to the Jesuit values of being a woman for others.” When thinking about what she might do with the award money, she states that it will help her to “further [her] goal of working to improve public health.”
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