Staff Meeting

Meet the Team

Founder

Greater Cleveland Food Bank Internship
Greater Cleveland Food Bank Internship

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Hyland Software Showcase
Hyland Software Showcase

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Girls on the Run Coach
Girls on the Run Coach

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Greater Cleveland Food Bank Internship
Greater Cleveland Food Bank Internship

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Varuni Chopra is a junior at North Royalton High School in Ohio. She actually pitched the idea for "Bridge the Gap" as a school club, but the local senior center was closed to visitors. However, she still wanted to make a difference on the lives of senior citizens in Northeast Ohio, prompting her to start Bridge the Gap as a non-profit organization. In college, Varuni hopes to major in business on the pre-medical track. She is also a coach for Girls on the Run, an intern for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, a University Hospitals Care Rounder, and the founder/president of the Red Cross Club at her school. She has been recognized by foundations including Bank of America, T-Mobile, Ashoka, The Plain Dealer, Youth Service America, and Hershey's for her work helping senior citizens. 

Board of Directors

Our board is comprised of students across the nation who come together to support a great cause, complete with quarterly meetings and monthly check-ins. All of our student directors volunteer their time to improve our organization, and we are forever grateful for their support. From updating our social media to conducting interviews, our directors are involved in every facet of the organization. While our board of directors is complete, we are currently looking for chapter presidents to lead students in their own area. 

Sarani Puri
Sarani Puri

Director of Social Media (Larkspur, California)

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Sherry Chen
Sherry Chen

Director of Communications (Denville, New Jersey)

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Diya Patel
Diya Patel

Director of Human Resources (Copley, Ohio)

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Sarani Puri
Sarani Puri

Director of Social Media (Larkspur, California)

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Volunteers

Navya Chauhan
Navya Chauhan

Strongsville High School Ambassador

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Aashvi Kenia
Aashvi Kenia

Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School Ambassador

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Catherine Popa
Catherine Popa

Ohio Vice President

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Navya Chauhan
Navya Chauhan

Strongsville High School Ambassador

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Our organization is 100% volunteer-based, and we are proud to have both in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities. While our in-person volunteers visit senior facilities and work with senior citizens one-on-one, our virtual volunteers are able to choose the team where they can make the most impact. Our teams include: diversity and inclusion, education, social media, recruitment, and outreach. In just a few months, we have garnered over 120 volunteers from throughout the United States along with volunteers from Canada, Indonesia, and the Philippines! If you would like to get involved, please fill out the volunteer application and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Advisory Board

Last but definitely not least, our advisory board is truly the backbone of our organization. They are all professionals in the IT and corporate world, and we are able to learn from their experiences and expertise. Not only do they take time out of their busy schedules to assist us, they are always willing to hop on a quick Zoom call. Whether we are brainstorming for fundraisers or planning our next technology session, they never fail to contribute ideas. We would like to briefly introduce our advisors as well. Melissa Vergiels is the CEO of Changing Gears NPO (also our fiscal sponsor). Brenda Moncla is a retired Senior VP and Director of Enterprise Information Management at PNC Bank. Onkar Deshmukh is a Program Manager at TATA Consultancy Services. We cannot thank them enough for their constant support and weekly check-ins. 

Melissa Vergiels
Melissa Vergiels

Toledo, Ohio

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Brenda Moncla
Brenda Moncla

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Onkar Deshmukh
Onkar Deshmukh

Middleburg Heights, Ohio

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Melissa Vergiels
Melissa Vergiels

Toledo, Ohio

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