We are so honored to have worked with 10% of Tulane Center for Public Service's Top 40 Service Leaders. That's 4/40 10/10 service leading students! 

Andy Ridley, Joy Fu, Lucy Vanderbrook, and Samantha Rumsey not only served for a semester as interns with Culture Aid NOLA, but have continued to volunteer after their terms. They have shared CAN with their friends and families, and have helped recruit new interns for semesters to come. 

Read more in this Q&A with our interns:

When did you first start volunteering with Culture Aid NOLA?

Lucy Vanderbrook: Spring 2022

Joy Fu: January 2022

Samantha Rumsey: Spring 2022. I started volunteering with CAN because - as a non-native resident - I wanted to get more involved in the community while also supporting an amazing organization

Andy Ridley:  April 2022. I heard about a new volunteer opportunity from my friend Joy, who would be an intern later. I felt obligated to give back to the NOLA community however I could, especially after Covid and Ida during my first two years in the city.


What keeps you coming back?

LV: The great energy of the staff and volunteers

JF: I love working with the regular volunteers and I always have a lot of fun especially when our DJ comes out. Also, it's a great start to a Saturday morning :)

SR: The people!!! The work is extremely rewarding, but the people are absolutely incredible and why I keep going back. It is so refreshing to be surrounded by other individuals who are similarly passionate and dedicated to supporting their community. It is a chosen family.

AR: It feels like we're making a difference. I like to help clients for whom English is their second language with my Spanish skills whenever I can. Finally, the community of staff and volunteers is amazing! I love being able to catch up with everyone while doing good work to help the community.


What is your favorite veggie to bag and what do you like to make with it? 

LV: Brussels Sprouts! I like to roast them and serve them with goat cheese and crispy chickpeas

JF: Potatoes, mashed potatoes!!!

SR: Tomatoes! I love to make a Caprese salad because it is quick, easy, and delicious and the basil can be grown at home.

AR: Bell peppers. I put them in every dish I make, but I especially like my red beans.

How would you explain the coolest part of what we do to someone who might be interested?
LV: The fact that you get to meet and serve hundreds of people in less than an hour is incredible.
JF: I think the coolest aspect of CAN is that it's no barrier and no stigma, which I always explain to people as, you don't have to prove in any way that you can't afford food. If you show up for food, we give you food!
SR: Culture Aid NOLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support and resources to New Orleans' vibrant cultural community. Through several different initiatives, they bring together different stakeholders in the community to ensure that New Orleans' cultural heritage continues to thrive for future generations. It's an extremely streamlined process and an incredible way to spend a few hours a week engaging with wonderful people who embolden you to make a tangible difference in the city you love.
AR: We give out free food, without barriers, to people in need and support our culture bearers.
When you're not volunteering with us, what brings you joy?
LV: Dancing, cooking, and sitting on my front porch
JF: Biking, gardening, and cooking
SR: I love being outside in nature, so visiting nearby parks and trails is how I love to spend my free time. I also love jazz music, so ending the night at a small, live music venue is the perfect day.
AR: Latin dance and music, good food, reading books, working out, and hanging out with my friends.

We are so proud of their bright futures, commencing soon! 

Pictured left to Right Andy Ridley (Operations Fall '23), Joy Fu (Operations Summer '23) Tulane University President Michael Fitts, Lucy Vanderbrook (Communications Summer '23) Samantha Rumsey (Operations Fall '23) and Senior Program Coordinator of Internships for the Tulane University Center for Public Service Erika L. Bradford.