Meet Our Directors

Troy Camp is overseen by elected undergraduate students at the University of Southern California Scroll over the pictures to learn more about each Director and how to get in contact with them.

Katie "Cap'n Crutch" Gaitan - Co-Executive Director - coexecs@troycamp.org   Katie is one of the Co-Executive Directors of USC Troy Camp. This is her third year in Troy Camp. She has previously served as a 3rd grade cabin counselor, family member, and last year’s Director of LIT. She has a vast range of experience working with children, which began with her volunteer involvement in an organization called, TACSC, a non-profit with a similar mission to that of Troy Camp. Through TACSC, she serves as a mentor in both summer and yearlong programs that are focused on growing leadership skills in students from 6th-12th grade. As one of Troy Camp's Co-Executive Directors, she is responsible for maintaining the Executive Board and ensuring that all things Troy Camp uphold our commitment to mentorship and growth. Outside of Troy Camp, Katie is a member of the USC Helenes and works in the USC Dornsife Office of Admission. Majoring in English with a minor in Organizational Leadership and Management, Katie hopes to continue her Troy Camp passion with a career in education upon graduating in May 2017.

Katie "Cap'n Crutch" Gaitan - Co-Executive Director - coexecs@troycamp.org

 

Katie is one of the Co-Executive Directors of USC Troy Camp. This is her third year in Troy Camp. She has previously served as a 3rd grade cabin counselor, family member, and last year’s Director of LIT. She has a vast range of experience working with children, which began with her volunteer involvement in an organization called, TACSC, a non-profit with a similar mission to that of Troy Camp. Through TACSC, she serves as a mentor in both summer and yearlong programs that are focused on growing leadership skills in students from 6th-12th grade. As one of Troy Camp's Co-Executive Directors, she is responsible for maintaining the Executive Board and ensuring that all things Troy Camp uphold our commitment to mentorship and growth. Outside of Troy Camp, Katie is a member of the USC Helenes and works in the USC Dornsife Office of Admission. Majoring in English with a minor in Organizational Leadership and Management, Katie hopes to continue her Troy Camp passion with a career in education upon graduating in May 2017.

Katie "Cap'n Crutch" Gaitan Co-Executive Director coexecs@troycamp.org
Kasey "Snuffles" Henderson -Director of Camp Programming - camp.programming@troycamp.org   Kasey is a senior majoring in Public Policy with an emphasis in Nonprofits and Social Innovation.  She serves as Troy Camp's Director of Camp Programming. Her role is to organize the weeklong summer camp held in the San Bernardino Mountains for 200 children from the South Los Angeles area. This is Kasey's fourth year in Troy Camp and some of her favorite Troy Camp memories are the times she's spent up at camp listening to stories under the stars with her campers. The experiences she's had in Troy Camp have not only fostered her appreciation for mentorship but have been some of her most memorable experiences at USC. 

Kasey "Snuffles" Henderson -Director of Camp Programming - camp.programming@troycamp.org

 

Kasey is a senior majoring in Public Policy with an emphasis in Nonprofits and Social Innovation.  She serves as Troy Camp's Director of Camp Programming. Her role is to organize the weeklong summer camp held in the San Bernardino Mountains for 200 children from the South Los Angeles area. This is Kasey's fourth year in Troy Camp and some of her favorite Troy Camp memories are the times she's spent up at camp listening to stories under the stars with her campers. The experiences she's had in Troy Camp have not only fostered her appreciation for mentorship but have been some of her most memorable experiences at USC. 

Kasey "Snuffles" Henderson Director of Camp Programming camp.programming@troycamp.org
Lauren “Fishstick” Jacobs - Director of Fundraising (Pass the Can) - passthecan@troycamp.org   Lauren is a sophomore double majoring in Narrative Studies and Spanish, and minoring in Screenwriting. As Director of Fundraising for Pass the Can, Lauren is responsible for organizing Pass the Can, a Fall event which serves as a primary method of raising funds to continue the mentorship that Troy Camp promotes. She will also plan a smaller fundraiser in the Spring. Lauren’s favorite Troy Camp memory is exploring nature with the ladies of the G5 Beehive. 

Lauren “Fishstick” Jacobs - Director of Fundraising (Pass the Can) - passthecan@troycamp.org

 

Lauren is a sophomore double majoring in Narrative Studies and Spanish, and minoring in Screenwriting. As Director of Fundraising for Pass the Can, Lauren is responsible for organizing Pass the Can, a Fall event which serves as a primary method of raising funds to continue the mentorship that Troy Camp promotes. She will also plan a smaller fundraiser in the Spring. Lauren’s favorite Troy Camp memory is exploring nature with the ladies of the G5 Beehive. 

Lauren "Fishstick" Jacobs Director of Fundraising: Pass the Can passthecan@troycamp.org
Taylor “Panda Express” Serafin - Director of Grants and Itemized Gifts - grants@troycamp.org   Taylor is junior from Tustin, California pursuing a major in Business Administration and a minor in Theatre. She currently serves as the Director of Grants and Itemized Gifts for USC Troy Camp. Her primary duties include writing grant applications, requesting tangible gift donations, and assessing the impact of Troy Camp's programs through survey collection. Apart from her involvement in Troy Camp, Taylor serves as the Director of Social Events for the USC Helenes and works for USC Enrollment Services Human Resources. One of Taylor's favorite Troy Camp memories occurred this past summer at camp when one of the kids came up to her and said, "Panda Express, I just wanted to say thank you for this experience. I really appreciate it! Also, thank you for being one of my new besties!”

Taylor “Panda Express” Serafin - Director of Grants and Itemized Gifts - grants@troycamp.org

 

Taylor is junior from Tustin, California pursuing a major in Business Administration and a minor in Theatre. She currently serves as the Director of Grants and Itemized Gifts for USC Troy Camp. Her primary duties include writing grant applications, requesting tangible gift donations, and assessing the impact of Troy Camp's programs through survey collection. Apart from her involvement in Troy Camp, Taylor serves as the Director of Social Events for the USC Helenes and works for USC Enrollment Services Human Resources. One of Taylor's favorite Troy Camp memories occurred this past summer at camp when one of the kids came up to her and said, "Panda Express, I just wanted to say thank you for this experience. I really appreciate it! Also, thank you for being one of my new besties!”

Taylor "Panda Express" Serafin Director of Grants and Itemized Gifts grants@troycamp.org
Kristen "Squishy" Nelson - Director of Communications - communication@troycamp.org   Kristen is a senior studying Animation & Digital Arts. As the Director of Communication, Kristen manages the Troy Camp website, facilitates communication between counselors and outside parties, and helps keep track of counselor involvement. Aside from Troy Camp, she works for a tutoring program at USC in a communication-related position and assists with program operations. Some of her favorite memories in Troy Camp are from the summer camp this past May, where she was fortunate enough to be a 3rd grade cabin counselor for nine incredible girls. 

Kristen "Squishy" Nelson - Director of Communications - communication@troycamp.org

 

Kristen is a senior studying Animation & Digital Arts. As the Director of Communication, Kristen manages the Troy Camp website, facilitates communication between counselors and outside parties, and helps keep track of counselor involvement. Aside from Troy Camp, she works for a tutoring program at USC in a communication-related position and assists with program operations. Some of her favorite memories in Troy Camp are from the summer camp this past May, where she was fortunate enough to be a 3rd grade cabin counselor for nine incredible girls. 

Kristen "Squishy" Nelson Director of Communications communication@troycamp.org
Caroline "Snapple" Cannan - Co-Executive Director - coexecs@troycamp.org   Caroline is proud to serve as one of the Co-Executive Directors of USC Troy Camp. Caroline is a senior from Orange County, CA majoring in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Psychology and minoring in Spanish and Applied Theater Arts. This is her fourth year in Troy Camp, where she has previously served as a 3rd grade cabin counselor, family member, and last year’s Director of Camp Programming. Caroline has a wide range of experience working with children, including serving as Vice President of USC Kicks for Kids and Assistant to the Executive Directors at Special Camp for Special Kids. As Co-Executive Director, Caroline will help oversee the Executive Board and ensure that Troy Camp continues its commitment to friendship through educational, extracurricular, and leadership programs. Apart from Troy Camp, she is also involved as the USC Panhellenic Council President, a USC Orientation Advisor, and member of Mortar Board, Trojan Scholars Society, and the Caruso Catholic Center. After graduation in 2016, Caroline plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Education and become a primary and special education teacher.

Caroline "Snapple" Cannan - Co-Executive Director - coexecs@troycamp.org

 

Caroline is proud to serve as one of the Co-Executive Directors of USC Troy Camp. Caroline is a senior from Orange County, CA majoring in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Psychology and minoring in Spanish and Applied Theater Arts. This is her fourth year in Troy Camp, where she has previously served as a 3rd grade cabin counselor, family member, and last year’s Director of Camp Programming. Caroline has a wide range of experience working with children, including serving as Vice President of USC Kicks for Kids and Assistant to the Executive Directors at Special Camp for Special Kids. As Co-Executive Director, Caroline will help oversee the Executive Board and ensure that Troy Camp continues its commitment to friendship through educational, extracurricular, and leadership programs. Apart from Troy Camp, she is also involved as the USC Panhellenic Council President, a USC Orientation Advisor, and member of Mortar Board, Trojan Scholars Society, and the Caruso Catholic Center. After graduation in 2016, Caroline plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Education and become a primary and special education teacher.

Caroline "Snapple" Cannan Co-Executive Director coexecs@troycamp.org
Steven “Microsoft” Rahbany - Director of School Programming - school.programming@troycamp.org   Steven is a senior majoring in Art and Design. This will be his third year as a Troy Camp counselor. As Director of School Programming, he oversees the many after school programs that Troy Camp offers in local elementary schools in the USC area. These programs include after school tutoring programs (SMASH), and multiple specialized programs, including art, science, sports, dance, etc. (SP). His favorite memories in Troy Camp come from leading and participating in the art program at West Vernon Elementary School, seeing the kids grow artistically week after week. The students always come into the room excited about art, and they're always open to practicing and getting messy with different materials.

Steven “Microsoft” Rahbany - Director of School Programming - school.programming@troycamp.org

 

Steven is a senior majoring in Art and Design. This will be his third year as a Troy Camp counselor. As Director of School Programming, he oversees the many after school programs that Troy Camp offers in local elementary schools in the USC area. These programs include after school tutoring programs (SMASH), and multiple specialized programs, including art, science, sports, dance, etc. (SP). His favorite memories in Troy Camp come from leading and participating in the art program at West Vernon Elementary School, seeing the kids grow artistically week after week. The students always come into the room excited about art, and they're always open to practicing and getting messy with different materials.

Steven "Microsoft" Rahbany Director of School Programming school.programming@troycamp.org
Allie “Rickshaw” Schmiesing - Director of Fundraising (Gala) - gala@troycamp.org   Allie is from Mountain View, California. She is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Business. As Director of Fundraising: Gala, Allie is responsible for organizing the annual fundraising gala in the Spring as well as smaller fundraisers during the Fall semester. Allie's favorite part of Troy Camp is hanging out with her G10 cabin of incredible fifth grade girls and attending SMASH at local elementary schools.

Allie “Rickshaw” Schmiesing - Director of Fundraising (Gala) - gala@troycamp.org

 

Allie is from Mountain View, California. She is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Business. As Director of Fundraising: Gala, Allie is responsible for organizing the annual fundraising gala in the Spring as well as smaller fundraisers during the Fall semester. Allie's favorite part of Troy Camp is hanging out with her G10 cabin of incredible fifth grade girls and attending SMASH at local elementary schools.

Allie "Rickshaw" Schmiesing Director of Fundraising: Gala gala@troycamp.org
Andie “Diglett” Furber - Director of Counselor Affairs - counselors@troycamp.org   Andie is a junior studying Communication and Social Entrepreneurship. As Director of Counselor Affairs, she has the pleasure of facilitating the recruitment and selection of Troy Camp's newest class of counselors. After recruitment, Andie ensures the retention of all counselors, new and old, through various programs. Her favorite thing about Troy Camp is the ability to make a difference in the lives of children and youth in South Los Angeles through all aspects of Troy Camp programming. From close mentorship relationships with her G1 third grade campers to supporting Troy Camp's high school students as they apply to college, Andie values Troy Camp's "commitment to friendship" above all else.

Andie “Diglett” Furber - Director of Counselor Affairs - counselors@troycamp.org

 

Andie is a junior studying Communication and Social Entrepreneurship. As Director of Counselor Affairs, she has the pleasure of facilitating the recruitment and selection of Troy Camp's newest class of counselors. After recruitment, Andie ensures the retention of all counselors, new and old, through various programs. Her favorite thing about Troy Camp is the ability to make a difference in the lives of children and youth in South Los Angeles through all aspects of Troy Camp programming. From close mentorship relationships with her G1 third grade campers to supporting Troy Camp's high school students as they apply to college, Andie values Troy Camp's "commitment to friendship" above all else.

Andie "Diglett" Furber Director of Counselor Affairs counselors@troycamp.org
Tiffany “Chia” Lee - Director of  TC Leads - tc.leads@troycamp.org    Tiffany is the Director of TC Leads, Troy Camp's high school program. She is responsible for planning and organizing TC Leads' biweekly workshops, where high school students work to build upon the leadership skills gained from LIT, develop personal and professional growth, and help transition to post-high school aspirations. Aside from Troy Camp, Tiffany is pursuing a major in Psychology and minors in Global Health and Natural Sciences. Her favorite part about Troy Camp is the unbeatable positive atmosphere and energy that is created when the campers and counselors come together. She'll never forget the time one of her campers told her that right after her cat died, the first thing she did was set a countdown until the next Troy Camp event because she knew Troy Camp would cheer her up. 

Tiffany “Chia” Lee - Director of  TC Leads - tc.leads@troycamp.org 

 

Tiffany is the Director of TC Leads, Troy Camp's high school program. She is responsible for planning and organizing TC Leads' biweekly workshops, where high school students work to build upon the leadership skills gained from LIT, develop personal and professional growth, and help transition to post-high school aspirations. Aside from Troy Camp, Tiffany is pursuing a major in Psychology and minors in Global Health and Natural Sciences. Her favorite part about Troy Camp is the unbeatable positive atmosphere and energy that is created when the campers and counselors come together. She'll never forget the time one of her campers told her that right after her cat died, the first thing she did was set a countdown until the next Troy Camp event because she knew Troy Camp would cheer her up. 

Tiffany "Chia" Lee Director of TC Leads tc.leads@troycamp.org
Meghan “Lamp” Jahnke - Director of Camper Recruitment - camper.recruitment@troycamp.org   Meghan is a senior majoring in International Relations and minoring in Social Entrepreneurship. She serves as Troy Camp’s Director of Camper Recruitment. Her role is to coordinate with schools and parents in selecting an extraordinary group of children to come to Troy Camp in the Spring. This is Meghan's fourth year in Troy Camp and the mentorship experience she's gained has not only been a defining part of her USC experience but has also inspired her to pursue a career in education upon graduation. 

Meghan “Lamp” JahnkeDirector of Camper Recruitment - camper.recruitment@troycamp.org

 

Meghan is a senior majoring in International Relations and minoring in Social Entrepreneurship. She serves as Troy Camp’s Director of Camper Recruitment. Her role is to coordinate with schools and parents in selecting an extraordinary group of children to come to Troy Camp in the Spring. This is Meghan's fourth year in Troy Camp and the mentorship experience she's gained has not only been a defining part of her USC experience but has also inspired her to pursue a career in education upon graduation. 

Meghan "Lamp" Jahnke Director of Camper Recruitment camper.recruitment@troycamp.org
Claire “Purpella” Chatinover  - Director of Yearlong Programming - yearlong@troycamp.org   As the Director of Yearlong Programming, Claire organizes and executes monthly events on and off campus for the elementary students who attended camp this past May. These events allow them to reconnect with their cabins and their counselors. Events from last year include Disneyland, the homecoming USC football game, and a beach day. Claire is a junior who studies Political Science at USC with minors in Applied Theater and Education. Through Troy Camp, she has found her passion in improving the education system both nationally and abroad. Her favorite memory was when one of her campers, who had rarely been exposed to nature, spent almost an hour running around the field catching lady bugs. Being able to experience something new with her camper and learn about the world around them was a wonderful scene to be a part of. 

Claire “Purpella” Chatinover Director of Yearlong Programming - yearlong@troycamp.org

 

As the Director of Yearlong Programming, Claire organizes and executes monthly events on and off campus for the elementary students who attended camp this past May. These events allow them to reconnect with their cabins and their counselors. Events from last year include Disneyland, the homecoming USC football game, and a beach day. Claire is a junior who studies Political Science at USC with minors in Applied Theater and Education. Through Troy Camp, she has found her passion in improving the education system both nationally and abroad. Her favorite memory was when one of her campers, who had rarely been exposed to nature, spent almost an hour running around the field catching lady bugs. Being able to experience something new with her camper and learn about the world around them was a wonderful scene to be a part of. 

Claire "Purpella" Chatinover Director of Yearlong Programming yearlong@troycamp.org
Josh "Pumbaa" Chung - Director of Finance and Donor Relations - finance@troycamp.org Josh is the Director of Finance and Donor Relations for USC Troy Camp. He prepares budgets, manages accounts, and works with the Directors of Fundraising and Grants to ensure the overall financial health of Troy Camp. In addition to this, he also looks for and follows up with potential corporate partners throughout the Greater Los Angeles area and Orange County. In addition to Troy Camp, Josh has over four years of experience working with children through organizing a leadership conference for elementary schools in Cerritos, California. Upon graduating in the Spring of 2016 with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Music Industry, Josh hopes to find a career that combines his love for music, public service, and business.

Josh "Pumbaa" Chung - Director of Finance and Donor Relations - finance@troycamp.org

Josh is the Director of Finance and Donor Relations for USC Troy Camp. He prepares budgets, manages accounts, and works with the Directors of Fundraising and Grants to ensure the overall financial health of Troy Camp. In addition to this, he also looks for and follows up with potential corporate partners throughout the Greater Los Angeles area and Orange County. In addition to Troy Camp, Josh has over four years of experience working with children through organizing a leadership conference for elementary schools in Cerritos, California. Upon graduating in the Spring of 2016 with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Music Industry, Josh hopes to find a career that combines his love for music, public service, and business.

Josh "Pumbaa" Chung Director of Finance and Donor Relations finance@troycamp.org
Schessa "Buckbeak" Garbutt - Director of Public Relations and Alumni Relations - public.relations@troycamp.org   Schessa is the Director of Public & Alumni Relations for USC Troy Camp. She finds creative new ways to tell Troy Camp's story by connecting alumni together, creating digital and print materials, and managing social media presence. She attended Troy Camp as a child, and continued to stay involved through their middle and high school programs. She is now a senior at USC, majoring in Fine Arts and minoring in Communication Design. 

Schessa "Buckbeak" Garbutt - Director of Public Relations and Alumni Relations - public.relations@troycamp.org

 

Schessa is the Director of Public & Alumni Relations for USC Troy Camp. She finds creative new ways to tell Troy Camp's story by connecting alumni together, creating digital and print materials, and managing social media presence. She attended Troy Camp as a child, and continued to stay involved through their middle and high school programs. She is now a senior at USC, majoring in Fine Arts and minoring in Communication Design. 

Schessa "Buckbeak" Garbutt Director of Public Relations and Alumni Relations public.relations@troycamp.org
Christina "2Lanez" Yang - Director of Leaders in Training (LIT) - lit@troycamp.org    Christina is the Director of Leaders in Training (LIT), Troy Camp's middle school program. LIT's biweekly workshops are centered around traits of an effective leader – including public speaking skills, confidence, and time management – and strive to provide an environment that will empower Troy Camp’s middle school students to grow into the leaders of tomorrow. A senior from Porter Ranch, CA majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Business, Christina is entering her third year in the Troy Camp family. Outside of Troy Camp, she divides her time between cancer research in USC's Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and clinical research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles with a focus on youth with PTSD. Trained as an EMT, Christina volunteers with Emergency Medical Services of USC and also serves as Troy Camp's Health Aid throughout the year. Her favorite TC memories are the LIT graduation speeches that the 8th graders give at the end of the program. Witnessing their growth at the LIT workshops, from the first day all the way through to graduation is truly inspiring to her and is why she loves being a part of this organization.

Christina "2Lanez" Yang - Director of Leaders in Training (LIT) - lit@troycamp.org 

 

Christina is the Director of Leaders in Training (LIT), Troy Camp's middle school program. LIT's biweekly workshops are centered around traits of an effective leader – including public speaking skills, confidence, and time management – and strive to provide an environment that will empower Troy Camp’s middle school students to grow into the leaders of tomorrow. A senior from Porter Ranch, CA majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Business, Christina is entering her third year in the Troy Camp family. Outside of Troy Camp, she divides her time between cancer research in USC's Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and clinical research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles with a focus on youth with PTSD. Trained as an EMT, Christina volunteers with Emergency Medical Services of USC and also serves as Troy Camp's Health Aid throughout the year. Her favorite TC memories are the LIT graduation speeches that the 8th graders give at the end of the program. Witnessing their growth at the LIT workshops, from the first day all the way through to graduation is truly inspiring to her and is why she loves being a part of this organization.

Christina "2Lanez" Yang Director of Leaders in Training lit@troycamp.org

Meet Our Advisors

Troy Camp's advisors are current USC faculty and staff committed to seeing our organization fulfill its mission in the community

Dr. Celso "Grinder" Delgado, Jr. - Assistant Professor - USC Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Lily Chowana-Bandhu - Director of Campus Activities

Adlai Wertman - Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship, Founding Director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab

Robert “Sensei” Hernandez - Adjunct Lecturer, USC School of Social Work

Monique Allard - Assistant Provost for Student Engagement
 

Financial Advisors

Mikayla Welborn - Chief Financial Advisor and USC Alum

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can go to Troy Camp?

    Troy Camp accepts students from a number of LAUSD schools in the USC area. Students can be in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade. We're non-demoninational and welcome students from all backgrounds.

  • How do you select who goes to camp?

    Due to limited space, applications are given out in the spring by school administrators and teachers to a select group of students. Our application is based on written answers by the student and his or her teacher . We carefully read each application and make our selections based on which students we believe will benefit most from his or her time at Camp, taking everything we can into consideration.

  • How much does Troy Camp cost?

    All of our programs are 100% free for all accepted students! We rely on donations from our friends in the USC community and beyond.

  • Can students participate in Troy Camp's other programs if they did not attend camp?

    Unfortunately, our limited space only allows us to accept students who went to our camp in elementary school. However, our after-school programs are available to everyone.

  • Who runs Troy Camp?

    Troy Camp is run entirely by students at the University of Southern California. Our counselors come from diverse places and backgrounds. We undergo rigorous training to ensure the safety and growth of the students. To learn about some of our current counselors, go to the "Our Counselors" section of this website.

  • How can I become a counselor?

    If you're an undergraduate student at USC, fill out an application in August! For more information about the application process for the 2015-16 year, please visit our "Become a Counselor" section of the website. 

 

Parent Contact Update

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Counselor Alumni Contact Update

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