A Bridge for Kids alum and San Diego State University student Tyler Leptich (pictured above) is the co-founder of SDSU’s first chapter of Camp Kesem, a nation-wide organization that provides free summer camp for kids who have been affected by cancer. The week-long program gives children ages 6-18 the opportunity to enjoy the magic and joy of summer camp while bonding with other kids who have been touched by cancer.
Camp Kesem operates 116 university chapters across the country with each campus setting individual fundraising goals. Last school year alone, SDSU’s chapter headed by Leptich and chapter co-founder Olivia Di Santo raised enough money to send 24 kids to summer camp at Cedar Glen Camp in Julian.
In addition to raising money, student organizers also develop the camp’s curriculum and activities and volunteer as counselors. Typical activities include hiking, swimming, arts and crafts, ziplining and more. In addition to traditional camp activities, Camp Kesem provides an outlet for kids to share their experiences and stories in a safe environment.
Leptich, a former Camp Kesem camper himself, first learned about the program after his father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. When Leptich’s father passed away in 2012, he relied on the close network of friends he made at camp as his support system. When he graduates, Leptich hopes to work at Camp Kesem’s corporate headquarters. Click here to learn more about Camp Kesem and Leptich’s inspirational work.