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 board and staff behind The Dru Project:

 

Photo courtesy of Albert Harris Photography

Photo courtesy of Albert Harris Photography

Shawn Chaudhry | 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. After a stint in Tallahassee, Brandon is back in Orlando 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. After a stint in Tallahassee, Brandon is back in Orlando 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.

 

Sara Grossman | Communications Director

Sara Grossman attended UCF with Drew, where they met the first week of classes at UCF's GSA and were close ever since.  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 runs a  LGBTQ+ digital marketing firm.   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 and were close ever since.

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 runs a LGBTQ+ digital marketing firm.

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.

 

JP Cortes | Outreach Coordinator

JP Cortes was a long time friend of Drew's. They met in 2006 at a college party and became fast friends, having similar nerdy interests. Over the years, they both bonded over Doctor Who, Eurovision and super hero flicks. JP is also a UCF graduate with a degree in Interpersonal/Organizational Communications. His love for Drew sparked his drive to keep the spirit of Drew alive, especially in Orlando, where he serves as The Dru Project's local outreach coordinator.  JP leads up the organization's Orlando Pride efforts.

JP Cortes was a long time friend of Drew's. They met in 2006 at a college party and became fast friends, having similar nerdy interests. Over the years, they both bonded over Doctor Who, Eurovision and super hero flicks. JP is also a UCF graduate with a degree in Interpersonal/Organizational Communications. His love for Drew sparked his drive to keep the spirit of Drew alive, especially in Orlando, where he serves as The Dru Project's local outreach coordinator.

JP leads up the organization's Orlando Pride efforts.

 

Christine Leinonen | “Mom Mascot”

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.

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