For junior, KassieKares charity is personal

With her work, Braun honors her sister’s memory


Photo submitted

Many good works carried out by Kassie Braun ’15 are continued through KassieKares.

Emma Kress, Reporter

Junior Kyleigh Braun is taking on great responsibility in service work through her involvement in the charity KassieKares, as it is personal to her. 

Braun said, “Basically, KassieKares was started in honor or my sister Kassie (Braun ‘15) and throughout her life her basic goal was just to help other people. It didn’t even mean just donating clothes, donating this or donating that, it was actually getting involved with people, talking to them and learning about them.”

KassieKares performs service work in several different ways, all of which were important to Kassie. “One of the biggest things was that she went to a couple of places in Africa, specifically Ghana was one of her favorites where she went to a school with a bunch of little kids. She was just learning about them so that she could come back home and tell all of her friends and family about the kids there so that they could help.

“The whole charity is meant to promote student involvement in different kinds of service, specifically African outreach and then another smaller part of it is involvement with different service dog agencies. My sister loved dogs so much, so that was something we wanted to incorporate into the charity,” Braun said. 

Another goal of KassieKares is helping to provide an education for students who demonstrate a desire to help and serve others. Braun said, “We also fund a scholarship at (Kassie’s) college, which was St. Edward’s University in Austin (Texas). It’s a study abroad scholarship where the student is able to go to another foreign country and participate in service. We currently have two students at Cathedral who are on a full tuition scholarship from KassieKares based on their qualities as a student.”

Braun said that one of the biggest accomplishments of the charity involves a school that the organization has started in Africa, whose first classes in September.. She said, “The school is in Nigeria, and it’s called the Kassie Braun Memorial School. It will hold preschool through 12th grade kids and will be a boarding school. Its main goal is to help get kids off the streets. Our family priest who is helping to build it there actually grew up in the streets like those kids and knows how hard it is to make a future for yourself there.”

Along with being a charity organization, KassieKares is now a school club in which students can participate. Braun said, “I just started a (KassieKares) Club (at Cathedral) pretty recently. We are hoping to do something with different service dog agencies where kids can go and help train the dogs or learn about the people who are receiving the dogs as their service animal.”

The club will also do work with the school that KassieKares established in Africa. Braun said, “We will hopefully through the club be connecting (Cathedral) students to the students in Nigeria. Whether that will be through letters or pen pals, just talking to other students and learning about them, about their culture, what their ideas are, hopefully will be able to create connections so students can understand how other people live in other countries.”

Not only will students connect through writing, but they will have the opportunity to visit the Nigerian students. Braun said, “I know we are currently planning to have a mission trip in the summer of 2020 for not just students in the club but for anyone who wants to sign up. We would send them to the school in Nigeria and have them do mission work there.”

To get involved with the club, students can contact Kyleigh Braun or the faculty moderator, science teacher Mr. Howard Fogel. To get involved with the charity as a whole, Braun said to visit, where people can sign up to be placed on an email list to get notified about events and fundraisers.