Senior strives to strengthen families in Romania

Dec. 2, 2004 12:14 a.m.

Senior year has a lot of pressures, but it typically does not include finding ways to help abandoned children thousands of miles away. For Clare Vierbuchen, a psychology major from Houston, Texas, her academic rigors often pale in comparison to her struggles to strengthen families in Romania.

Five years ago when her family was living in London, England, Vierbuchen went on a week-long school trip to Romania to visit several orphanages. After that, there was no ignoring what she had seen, not even after her family returned to the United States and she enrolled at Princeton.

Now, from her room in Dod Hall, Vierbuchen runs a nonprofit organization called Open Doors, through which she raises funds to support a household of five abandoned children -- and pays the salaries of two women who serve as their foster parents -- in the town of Bistrita in northern Romania. She also is working to establish a community center in or near Bistrita, an area that has a large ethnic Romany population (commonly called "Gypsies").

Read the full story in the Weekly Bulletin.

Contact: Lauren Robinson-Brown (609) 258-3601