Founded after the school tragedy of Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, the Koshka Foundation was started to ensure the memory of April 16th is continued in meaningful ways.
Dedicated towards impacting school safety and student education initiatives, our vision is a world that strongly believes in the power of youth and awareness as the greatest assets to a safer future.
Our work is focused on 3 goals:
- Improving campus safety
- Empowering student activism
- Forging connections between survivors of various causes
Kristina Anderson was a sophomore at Virginia Tech when she became one of the injured victims of the shooting tragedy of April 16th, 2007.
Working to continue the memory of her classmates and spark positive influence on campus, Kristina founded Students for Non-Violence (SNV), the student-led component of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech. Building SNV’s foundation and initial philanthropy, Kristina first learned how to activate student campaigns and inspire action towards violence prevention on her campus.
In late 2007, Kristina launched the Koshka Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to improving campus safety, educating students, and building a comprehensive network of survivors. By engaging students in the “Dear Future” essay project, Kristina hopes to raise student awareness around school safety and promote safer learning environments year round.
As an advocate for survivors of violence, Kristina formed the Immediate Help Fund in April 2012 to provide critical financial aid to victims of school violence and their families. One of her ultimate goals is to establish April 17th as National Survivor’s Day in recognition of individuals who overcome adversity.
A frequent speaker, Kristina works to raise awareness on the importance of school safety and violence prevention through sharing her significant encounter with gun violence, as well as working and meeting others affected by irrational acts of aggression.
Heidi Miller is a 2010 graduate of Virginia Tech. She graduated magna cum laude with dual degrees in International Studies and Geography with a French minor.
Heidi was also in room 211 on April 16th and sustained multiple shots to leg. In the aftermath of the event, Heidi worked closely on the development of the Teach for Madame program at Virginia Tech that was created in memory of her French teacher. Heidi also worked on the Executive Committee for The Big Event-the largest day of community service for the university.
Since graduating from Tech, Heidi has worked in a high school English teacher in inner-city Philadelphia which is consistently on the “persistently dangerous” list in the state of Pennsylvania. Currently Heidi lives in Denver, Colorado and works at an alternative school in the Denver area that provides mental health services and education to its students.
Heidi firmly believes in the power of education as a means for teaching and living out nonviolence principles.
John Allyn Welch oversees communications and assists with program development for The Koshka Foundation. Shortly after the Virginia Tech tragedy, John spearheaded the creation of a student outreach program in memory of French instructor Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, who was killed while teaching in Norris Hall on April 16, 2007. The program, named “Teach for Madame,” matches Virginia Tech students with elementary schools in Blacksburg, Virginia to coordinate after-school French classes. The program is currently managed by Virginia Tech student leaders.
While studying at Virginia Tech, John also co-founded with Kristina Anderson Students for Non-Violence, now known as Students for Caring Communities, which is the student-led component of the Virginia Tech Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention. John is an avid supporter of campus safety, sensible gun laws and violence prevention initiatives and is involved with several other organizations working in these areas, including the Campaign to Close the Gun Show Loophole, The Brady Campaign and Legal Community Against Violence.
John graduated from Virginia Tech in 2010 with a B.A. in international studies and a minor in French. He currently resides in San Francisco, California, where he is a corporate communications and public relations consultant with Edelman.
Eric Anderson is a leading entrepreneur in the space industry. An aerospace engineer by training, he has led the development of commercial human spaceflight and the space tourism industry since its inception over a decade ago.
Anderson co-founded Space Adventures, Ltd., in 1998, and serves as the company’s Chairman. Space Adventures is the only operational company providing opportunities to the world’s marketplace for private citizens to experience space. Anderson’s vision is to open space frontier to all and to enable access to space-based energy and resources to fuel humanity’s future.
Anderson also serves as CEO of Intentional Software Corporation, where he and his business partner, Dr. Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., have developed the “Intentional Knowledge Workbench” technology whose unique capabilities include drastically reducing the cost of encoding, processing, and utilizing knowledge. The Intentional Knowledge Workbench reduces costs & error incidences, accelerates innovation, and saves time in the development of software applications and other digital work products.
Anderson graduated magna cum laude from the University of Virginia with a degree in aerospace engineering. He is 37 years old and lives in Bellevue, Washington with his wife and their children. Anderson is currently Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. In addition to the Koshka Foundation, he is also a Board Member of the X Prize Foundation.
In 2008, Anderson received the “CEO of the Year” award, presented by SmartCEO magazine and in 2010, was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award recipient in Greater Washington. Anderson has been an active member of Young Presidents’ Organization and in 2008 was chosen by the World Economic Forum to become a member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders.
For the past two decades, Mr. Modzeleski has held senior-level positions at the Department of Education. During that time, he was instrumental in designing and implementing programs, policies, training and technical assistance for safety in schools and Institutions of Higher Education. He also developed strategies and programs for responding to a wide range of crises (natural and man-made disasters) that disrupt teaching and learning. Other areas of responsibility included alcohol, drug, and violence prevention; issues related to violent extremism; health and mental health. Mr. Modzeleski has authored several studies on school safety, violence prevention, and emergency management.
During his career as a FBI Official and subsequently as an International Security Consultant, Revell has authored numerous articles on Terrorism, Counter-Intelligence and Organized Crime. As the founder of a global business and security consulting firm, Oliver Revell draws on his 30 years of working his way up in the FBI to consult his clients. He has spoken and lectured at the national and international level on these and other criminal justice and National Security subjects on a frequent basis.