Freshman Finds His Mission with FDM and Beyond


Kevin James, FCRH ’23, joined FDM his first semester of college. (Courtesy of Kevin James)

The first year of college is often about finding the thing you are passionate about and learning how to pursue it in the real world. For Kevin James, FCRH ’23, this passion involves bettering the world by helping those in need, which he has been able to pursue through Fordham Dance Marathon (FDM).

According to James, “FDM is a group that raises money for pediatric cancer and benefits families that cannot necessarily afford the treatments and everything that comes with the cost of healthcare, for their child.” 

James first learned about the organization through the Residence Hall Association (RHA), which he had joined at the beginning of the year. As a member of RHA, James has helped organize several events for his residence hall, Martyrs’ Court, such as midnight breakfasts. “We also did walkovers to the Bronx Night Market, and different events like that where we engage our residence halls and kind of come together as a community,” he said. 

Although he enjoys putting together creative programs for his residence hall, James knew that he wanted to do more, leading to his involvement with FDM. The organization often works in close collaboration with RHA to promote its cause, allowing James to “work closely with FDM to support their events and fundraise for them.” As someone with experience in nonprofit volunteering, James was excited to join FDM’s fight against pediatric cancer. 

“I didn’t know much about FDM,” he said, “but I had done events similar to it in high school where we fundraised for similar causes. Once I got elected for RHA, I knew I wanted to be involved in that.”

Since joining FDM, James has helped with many of their events including their “biggest event of the year,” the Fordham Dance Marathon. This year, the highly popular and impactful event took place on March 7, only the day before Fordham canceled all on-campus events. James said that he is grateful the Fordham Dance Marathon happened when it did, as FDM was able to raise over $100,000 for children fighting pediatric cancer.

James has already done so much to support and spread the cause of FDM, but he still has a lot to look forward to in his future with the organization. “One thing I look forward to for next year is meeting some of the B+ heroes,” he said, referring to the children that benefit from FDM’s fundraising events. He is eager to have the chance to welcome the children to the campus and spend time getting to know them.

In addition to his extracurriculars, James has also taken his love of helping others to his academics. He plans on majoring in international political economy with a pre-law track. He was inspired to pursue this major by his involvement with similar nonprofits in his hometown.

“I’m not sure what sector of law I want to go into,” he added, “but I really want to do something in the legal system that will make an impact.”

Having already completed their marathon, FDM is not currently working on any major events, but James is still keeping busy with online classes and other clubs. For example, he is also a member of The b-Sides, Fordham’s co-ed a cappella group. He and the rest of the club are currently working on putting together a video version of their set, which will be posted to their Instagram @fordhambsides.

The future is still not set in stone for Kevin James as he still has three more years of college to look forward to. Nonetheless, with his hopeful and determined attitude, whatever he chooses to pursue will certainly help make the world a better place.