Student Org Profile: Chaldean American Student Association

Falin Hakeem, Staff Reporter

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The Chaldean American Student Association (CASA) provides students with volunteer opportunities, possible internship and job opportunities, scholarship opportunities, guest speaker lectures and a way to network throughout the Chaldean community. President of the organization, Ashley Robin, says the group does a lot to benefit its members and those they serve.

“We bring in guest speakers who educate our members on how to successfully write a resume or prepare for a job interview,” Robin said. “We also had the Chaldean Chamber Foundation come in and educate our members about what they do for the community and also offered a scholarship opportunity for our members.”

According to Robin, CASA also brings in Chaldean charities to inform their members on current situations with projects in Iraq and America and how the organization can get more involved.

“We also collaborate with Chaldean charities and send volunteers to all their events when they need them,” she said. “It gives students a chance to get volunteer hours which most need for their resume.”

To be a part of CASA, students need five community service hours each academic year, attend one meeting per semester and attend one event each school year.

Some of the events the organization hosts are charity events such as Rebound for Relief.

“We rent out a huge suite at the Pistons game that is exclusive to CASA and the tickets sales go to a charity of our choice,” Robin said. “It makes spending money worth it since it goes to a good cause and it gives everyone a chance to have a good time, meet new people and watch the game with friends.”

The organization also collaborates with the other CASA chapters for events.

“For CASA specially, we have Rebound for Relief and CASA Blanca,” Robin said. “Rebound for Relief is usually around Thanksgiving and CASA Blanca is actually coming up in 2 months. It’s one of the bigger events. It’s formal attire and black and white themed. We have a fashion show at 9 p.m. where our models wear Chaldean-owned boutique clothing.”

The fashion show also features a photo booth, snacks, a desert table, music, booths provided by sponsors and booths guests can buy themselves.

“We usually raise a lot of money and give it to a charity of our choice,” Robin said. “For the past four years we have been giving the money raised to Chaldean American Ladies of Charity’s special needs program. After Christmas, all the CASAs get together and host CASA Christmas at a restaurant/bar. This year it will be at Boscos in Ferndale.”

The money raised from CASA Christmas in the past was given to the Shlama foundation, which was used to build a family a house in a village in Iraq that was destroyed by ISIS.

“The most exciting part of CASA is giving back and I really mean that, as cliche as it sounds,” Robin said. “It makes me happy to know I’m president of an organization where the youth of the Chaldean community comes together to try and give back and help our own people whether it’s refugees in America or helping students or families in Iraq.”

For more information, visit CASA’s GrizzOrgs page.