The Dru Project

had been Drew's online name since high school, so it only made sense for us to use it for an organization honoring his memory. Meet the people behind The Dru Project:

 

Photo courtesy of Albert Harris Photography

Photo courtesy of Albert Harris Photography

Shawn Chaudhry | Founder | President 

Shawn Chaudhry attended UCF in 2004 and earned his bachelors degree in Management-Entrepreneurship. He later obtained a Masters in Medical Informatics and an MBA in Healthcare Administration. He currently lives in Tampa and works as a consultant. He and Drew met at UCF in 2005 and enjoyed going to concerts with one another. He inspired Shawn to always be himself and to always enjoy life to the fullest. 

Shawn Chaudhry attended UCF in 2004 and earned his bachelors degree in Management-Entrepreneurship. He later obtained a Masters in Medical Informatics and an MBA in Healthcare Administration. He currently lives in Tampa and works as a consultant. He and Drew met at UCF in 2005 and enjoyed going to concerts with one another. He inspired Shawn to always be himself and to always enjoy life to the fullest. 

Brandon Wolf | Vice President

Brandon Wolf met Drew in 2013, when they spent an evening debating the US healthcare system over Chinese food. For the next 3 years, they traveled the country together, went to music festivals, and enjoyed unwinding from work weeks together. Brandon spent Drew’s last night on Earth with him, dancing and celebrating as always. Brandon moved to Orlando in 2008 after attending the University of Oregon for Political Science. He now lives in Tallahassee, where he has become a leading activist for LGBTQ issues and minority youth. Following the Pulse tragedy, Brandon has been inspired by Drew’s words: “We never say ‘I love you’ enough”. He travels the nation speaking on behalf of LGBTQ+ youth education, common sense gun legislation, and the future of intersectionality, spreading a message of unconditional love and inclusion.

Brandon Wolf met Drew in 2013, when they spent an evening debating the US healthcare system over Chinese food. For the next 3 years, they traveled the country together, went to music festivals, and enjoyed unwinding from work weeks together. Brandon spent Drew’s last night on Earth with him, dancing and celebrating as always.

Brandon moved to Orlando in 2008 after attending the University of Oregon for Political Science. He now lives in Tallahassee, where he has become a leading activist for LGBTQ issues and minority youth.

Following the Pulse tragedy, Brandon has been inspired by Drew’s words: “We never say ‘I love you’ enough”. He travels the nation speaking on behalf of LGBTQ+ youth education, common sense gun legislation, and the future of intersectionality, spreading a message of unconditional love and inclusion.

  

Brittany Sted  | Co-Founder | Treasurer

Brittany Sted attended UCF and earned her BS in Psychology with a Sociology minor, and her MA in Counselor Education with a focus on Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of FL, and has a private practice in Orlando. She and Drew met in 2010 at a psychiatric hospital, where they both worked. Drew and Brittany enjoyed having nights in together, complete with movies, music videos, video games, and also enjoyed traveling and attending concerts together. Brittany and Drew often referred to one another as "twins," sharing many of the same characteristics, such as birthday, zodiac sign, profession, diet, and alma mater.  Drew inspired Brittany to live by his mantra "why not?" and to stray outside of her comfort zone, to be accepting of others, and to love them unconditionally.

Brittany Sted attended UCF and earned her BS in Psychology with a Sociology minor, and her MA in Counselor Education with a focus on Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of FL, and has a private practice in Orlando. She and Drew met in 2010 at a psychiatric hospital, where they both worked. Drew and Brittany enjoyed having nights in together, complete with movies, music videos, video games, and also enjoyed traveling and attending concerts together. Brittany and Drew often referred to one another as "twins," sharing many of the same characteristics, such as birthday, zodiac sign, profession, diet, and alma mater. 

Drew inspired Brittany to live by his mantra "why not?" and to stray outside of her comfort zone, to be accepting of others, and to love them unconditionally.

 

Sara Grossman | Communications Director

Sara Grossman attended UCF with Drew, where they met the first week of classes at UCF's GSA. She considered him to be a soul-brother.  Sara graduated UCF in 2007 with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Writing, Psychology, Humanities) and then went on to The New School in NYC to earn her MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing. She currently lives in Denver and is the communications manager for the Matthew Shepard Foundation. After the Pulse shooting, she had a newfound sense of purpose and has put all of her efforts into making sure those who no longer have a voice have one–through advocacy for LGBTQ+ youth, common sense gun safety, and hate crimes justice. Sara handles all press and communications for The Dru Project.

Sara Grossman attended UCF with Drew, where they met the first week of classes at UCF's GSA. She considered him to be a soul-brother. 

Sara graduated UCF in 2007 with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Writing, Psychology, Humanities) and then went on to The New School in NYC to earn her MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing. She currently lives in Denver and is the communications manager for the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

After the Pulse shooting, she had a newfound sense of purpose and has put all of her efforts into making sure those who no longer have a voice have one–through advocacy for LGBTQ+ youth, common sense gun safety, and hate crimes justice. Sara handles all press and communications for The Dru Project.

 

Christine Leinonen Board Member Emeritus

Christine was Drew's mom. She has been working on healing and speaking out on behalf of Drew since June 12th. She has spoken at the DNC, to the Iowa Safe Schools Group, CNN, and more. She is doing everything in her power to make sure that LGBTQ+ youth feel honored and accepted, and that common sense gun laws in America find their way to the books.  

Christine was Drew's mom. She has been working on healing and speaking out on behalf of Drew since June 12th. She has spoken at the DNC, to the Iowa Safe Schools Group, CNN, and more.

She is doing everything in her power to make sure that LGBTQ+ youth feel honored and accepted, and that common sense gun laws in America find their way to the books.  


It doesn't stop with the team, though. We want all of Drew's friends to help keep his name alive. Use the hashtag #thedruproject on Instagram and Twitter to share your memories. We are all The Dru Project.