Meet Our Team

Ali Hornung

Founder // Executive Director

Ali is a 20 year old student at the University of Rhode Island, triple majoring in Global Business Management, German, and Human Development and Family Studies. She has been a passionate childhood cancer advocate since the age of 12. Coming from a family of public servants, she has always been inspired to find her passion and give it to others. Her grandmother has inspired her deeply, as a Lieutenant JG in the Navy for 2 years, and also coming from a family of Holocaust survivors. Both of her grandfathers also served in the Navy for 2 decades. ⁣

Her parents have always taken her up on the challenges she has brought to them, like when she begged them to volunteer at a food bank at the age of 6. At 12, she conducted a fundraiser, “Gift for Grace,” that raised $1,300 for a local family, and at 17, she won Student of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for raising over $43,000 in 6 weeks. ⁣

To date, Ali has raised over $200,000 for various organizations including LLS, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, The Izzy Foundation, Talia’s Legacy, The Tomorrow Fund and more. She is the founder of Miracle Masks, a small business where she has created over 2,500 face masks and donated all of the proceeds to childhood cancer foundations. She also donates her platelets and blood on a regular basis for kids battling cancer.

Her biggest inspiration remains her honorary “little sis,” Ella, who battled leukemia for 3 years. Ella lit a spark for Ali and all those around her that inspire them to fight for what they believe in. Ali has advocated twice to Congress members in D.C. for more funding for pediatric cancer in honor of Ella and all of the other fighters, survivors and angels. ⁣

Ally DeForge

Assistant Executive Director

Ally is a senior public relations major, entrepreneur, marketing and media coach, philanthropist, part time princess, nanny & female empowerment champion.

Ally believes in “seeing the world as it could be, rather than as it is”. She believes fundamentally in empowering her community to speak up and stand for those in need.

She started her own non profit, Wags & Wishes, that works alongside local animal shelters encouraging adoptions & donations. In high school, she started an organization called Ally and Her Feel Better Friends that decorated local pediatric emergency units and donated gifts for the children staying in them to encourage smiles and make a hospital stay a little less scary.

She is inspired by the incredible, strong women in her life, the wonderful children she has the blessing of getting to meet while nannying or “princessing”, and the magic of kindness. Her crazy chocolate lab, Wyatt, is the love of her life!

She is honored beyond words to have the opportunity to work alongside Ali & this incredible community.

Amanda Robertson

Social Media Specialist

Amanda is a 21 year-old Public Relations major at the University of Alabama and is currently serving as the Social Media Specialist for the Glimmer of Hope Foundation. With her creative eye and passion for children’s health, Amanda creates graphics and social media posts to promote GOH’s mission and raise awareness for childhood cancer. She hopes to one day run a non-profit of her own, but for now is loving supporting GOH and learning all she can from Ali and Ally.

Carrigan Nelson

Community Engagement Intern

Carrigan Nelson, 19, of Portsmouth is Miss Aquidneck Island for American Royal Beauties Crown to Serve Program. She is 2020’s Honorary Miss Rhode Island’s Outstanding Teen. Carrigan is an 8 time gold medalist and black belt in Taekwondo. She is an award winning vocalist who has been performing statewide for almost a decade.  She is a graduate of the Melissa Mulligan Vocal Studios Masters and Graduate Program for Contempory Artists NYC. She is a youth mentor, and the proud recipient of the 2019 NAACP Model of the Year Award for Newport County. She enjoys singing, volunteering, traveling, camping and hanging out with her friends.

Her greatest passion is her work as a Pediatric Cancer Advocate. Carrigan has raised over $20,000 in donations for her fellow pediatric cancer warriors.  Carrigan herself has been fighting  Osteosarcoma – a rare aggressive  bone cancer for almost 2 years.  She is a recent above the knee amputee and is currently undergoing monthly chemotherapy.  She continues her cancer advocacy in honor of her friend and guardian angel Hannah Wertens who bravely fought Leukemia for over a decade.  Carrigan is truly honored to be part of Glimmer of Hope. 

Caroline Parente

Chief Operating Officer

Caroline is so excited to join the Glimmer of Hope team! She is currently studying political science and international affairs at Brown University, with hopes of attending law school in the future.She is a youth trainer for CADCA in DC, which has made me extremely passionate about youth advocacy. She is also a recipient of the 2020 Lieutenant Governor Leadership Award, as well as the 2019 Claiborne Pell Medal. She is a P.E.O star scholar and an “AP scholar with distinction”.

She loves singing and acting and became close to Ali through the Miss America Organization! She considers Ali to be like an older sister and is so excited to join in her mission to change the lives of the brave childhood cancer fighters in our community and beyond!

Jade Ramos

Director of Special Initiatives

Jade is a 20 year old undergraduate at the University of Rhode Island majoring in Nursing. She is an active member of her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau, where she is the former diversity and inclusion chair. One aspect of her sorority that Jade is committed to and involved in is raising money for Jewish Women International and Prevent Child Abuse America, two philanthropies that are meaningful to the sorority. 

Jade was inspired to pursue Nursing by the Nurses who helped her grandfather when he was fighting his battle with cancer and the Nurses who helped her mother when she had a cancerous polyp removed. She also has hopes of one day working in pediatric oncology. One important lesson Jade learned from her grandfather was the meaning of strength, which is something that she always takes with her through life. She always admired his drive, passion, and positivity no matter how much he was going through, and feels there is still so much she wants to learn from others. 

Jade was inspired to join the Glimmer of Hope team from her sorority big sister, Ali, who is the Executive Director. Ali and Jade immediately bonded over their connections in life with cancer and loses they had experienced. Jade feels as though she has so much to learn from Ali and is excited to join the Glimmer of Hope team, expand her knowledge and help make a difference!

Kara Skrubis

Intern

Kara Skrubis is a 19 year old osteosarcoma fighter from Ithaca, New York. Diagnosed in January 2020, Kara underwent 9 months of chemotherapy as well as a left above the knee amputation. She currently receives immunotherapy treatments. Kara is a sophomore at the University at Buffalo with a major in psychology and intended minor in health and human services. She aspires to become a child-life therapist and help ease the pain of medical diagnosis for children just like her. Through her cancer journey, Kara has raised over $1000 for pediatric cancer research, and is now super excited to be serving as an intern for Glimmer of Hope!

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