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Dhivya Vadapalli

Updated: May 24, 2023

Dhivya is a recent graduate who majored in Global Health and and obtained her masters in Global Medicine. She is originally from Santa Clarita, California. She is the chapter co-director of Camp Kesem at USC. She has been involved in Camp Kesem since her sophomore year when she was a counselor for the camp. Her junior year she was the “Make the Magic” coordinator, which is the organization’s largest fundraising event of the year. She is also a student athletics tutor and works in two research labs. One lab centers on chronic conditions and the other on suicide prevention for minority groups.

Dhivya describes the mission of Camp Kesem as “ to provide children ages 6-18 who have been impacted by parents with cancer. The main role is a camp that provides a space for these children to have a safe space and rest from any unexpected stress in their lives.” Dhivya is quite obviously a leader who works with this mission in mind. The most important part of Kesem for her she says is the kids. “genuinely love them so much and everything we do is for them. As tiring as it can be all of that fundraising is for children to know that have someone that no matter what is happening in their worlds someone is looking out for them.”

Dhivya describes Camp Kesem’s role on campus as “We recruit counselors and people who want to be involved and provide the counselor role to campers. Our biggest thing is fundraising. We have worked with a couple of other organizations in the past such as Troy Camp, as well as a couple of greek organizations.” Her responsibilities as co-director are “With my co-director, we are overseeing everything. We make sure that our coordinators are doing their jobs, as well as being the liaison with nationals. We want to make sure that everyone feels safe in the space we are creating.”


Dhivya finds herself going back to her why Kesem which are the campers, however, to put on a successful camp experience for years to come she wants to leave a legacy. “I want everyone in Kesem to feel that everything we are doing something for a reason and our making a legacy. Even something as small as spreadsheet coordinators in Kesem will have that for 5 years. We want to continue having the motivation to do everything and make sure it is at the end of the day meaningful for the campers. For me, an impact means making sure that things are organized on the backend so that can outlive me. DEI has also been very important to me, most of our campers are people of color. I think it is important that we have people of color on our executive board and as counselors because it is important for children to be able to look up to someone who looks like them.”

Two songs that Dhivya recommends at the moment are Anti-Curse by boygenius and Sleeping Lessons by The Shins. Her favorite thing about the Trojan family is the sense of community she loves how you can walk into a room with a Trojan at any time and the two of you will have something in common - “there is an immediate sense of community.” Her advice to future Trojans and younger Trojans is: “Don’t rush trying to figure out who you are. Use college to explore every single aspect of who you want to be. There are so many different things to do at USC at every given point explore them - nothing is as final as we think it is. You do not have to be perfect in every decision that you make.”






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