This week, I was honored to interview SJU alumni, DJ Carlino. DJ has been able to stay connected to Hawk Hill through Relay For Life, an organization that hosts overnight, community walks to raise funds for cancer research and awareness, by turning his participation with the event into a full-time job. If his philanthropic career doesn’t make him a complete heartthrob in your eyes, our interview with this Alumni Campus Cutie definitely will.
DJ on the right and his girlfriend, Kelly Devine, looking partiotic.
Name: DJ Carlino
Class Year: 2013
Hometown: Kennett Square PA
Current City: Philadelphia
Single or Taken: Taken by my own personal Cougar Kelly Devine, Class of 2012
Zodiac Sign: I have no idea
DJ on the right and his brother on SJU’s favorite holiday!
HC: Favorite study spot on Hawk Hill when you were there?
DJ: Old Drexel library in the quiet section. That was the only place I got stuff done because I couldn’t talk to anyone.
HC: Whats the thing you miss the most about Hawk Hill?
DJ: Being with my friends constantly. It isn’t the going out with them even, it’s the little things we would do on a daily basis together I miss the most. And sing-alongs at house parties.
HC: Any regrets (things you didn’t do while at SJU, but wish you did)?
DJ: Nope. By the time I graduated in May, we left nothing on our personal bucket lists, and I have no regrets.
HC: What else were you involved with on campus?
DJ: There were a lot things I enjoyed being a part of on campus, but my favorites were being an Orientation leader, Community partnership coordinator for weekly service, and being Chair of Relay For Life my senior year.
HC: What is Relay for Life’s importance to the American Cancer Society?
DJ: Relay For Life is an American Cancer Society branded event, and is the largest overall fundraising event in the United States when the over 2,500 relays are combined nationally. It is integral to the success of the American Cancer Society because it raises a majority of the money that goes towards funding the different programs the ACS provides, whether that be research or patient services programs such as Road to Recovery, Hope Lodge, Look good feel better… the list is very large.
HC: What kind of impact is SJU able to create for Relay For Life?
DJ: SJU is becoming one of the most accomplished Collegiate Relay For Life events in the Philadelphia region. Considering this will only be our third annual event, we are doing our best at building a culture at SJU that makes Relay a premiere event on campus, and make Relay For Life a known name throughout the SJU community, with both alumni and current students. If we can continue to grow, I have no doubt with the kind of people we have on this campus we can have SJU make Relay For Life a staple in our community.
HC: What is the involvement level at SJU for Relay for Life? Did you see it increase over the four years you spent there?
DJ: I have seen it grow exponentially since its inception. We doubled our money raised and total participants last year from the previous year, and I am hoping we can continue that trend with our new venue at Hagan Arena this year. As for involvement, while we are growing, I think Relay on campus is still a not as well known event, and has much room to grow in both awareness and numbers in our community
HC: Why is Relay for Life personally important to you? What impacts does it have in your own life ?
DJ: Relay is important to me on many levels; I personally am a two time cancer survivor, which is how I got involved with Relay over 15 years ago. Cancer does not define me, but it has been a large part of my life, and will continue to be forever. I have met countless people through my circumstances that were affected by cancer, including here at SJU most recently. Relay is a way to emotionally and physically fight back and raise awareness for a disease that does not discriminate. I am truly a walking miracle according my doctors, I feel like it is my duty as a survivor to not only to provide hope and support to those battling the disease, but do my part in making sure that no mother ever has to hear that her child may not make it through the night, as mine did 15 years ago. We need more miracles on this earth.
HC: What are you doing in your position to increase awareness and involvement with Relay for Life?
DJ: That is almost the description if my job; to increase awareness and participation of Relay For Life, specifically for my events. Spreading the word and getting people to sign up, while constantly keeping my mission to fight cancer by whatever means I can. I am a marketer, fundraiser, communicator, coordinator, and hopefully a hope provider to those who I am fortunate enough to come into contact. This job means more than dollars raised. It’s counted in the intangibles that I can never measure. Whether it be raising money to help pay for Hope Lodge funded by the ACS, or me personally meeting a baldheaded 11 year old, and telling him I went through the same thing when I was his age, and him replying “Wow, so I can be normal again too?” Those are the things Relay does, and why I do this every day.
Relay For Life is being held on April 26th at 7pm in Hagan Arena. It is an overnight team event, and you can sign up online at www.relayforlife.org/pastjoes
Grab your friends and form a team for a meaningful and the chance to meet this cutie!