Monday Motivation & Sunshine from our CDS Alumni

Monday Motivation & Sunshine from our CDS Alumni

CDS Class of 2017 Alumni Ashlyn Gionis and Nicole Wang have been busy since graduation. Both headed to the University of Florida to continue their education and paths towards medicine. While volunteering at Shands Hospital in various units they saw a need for volunteers within the geriatric unit. Not content with ignoring this need, Ashlyn and Nicole set out to rectify it. Using their entrepreneurial skills and recruiting some additional CDS alumni, Michael Contu and Sydney Ross, they created Solace!

Solace at the University of Florida is a non-profit, student-run organization affiliated with UF Health Shands Hospital. The purpose is to serve the geriatric populations within the hospital, providing them with exceptional levels of care and companionship throughout their stay. The importance of caring for elderly patients while they receive treatment is unparalleled. Keeping them awake during the day allows them to sleep through the night, feel less anxious and agitated, and help their healing process overall.

Read more about our amazing Class of 2017 Alumni:

Nicole Wang
Ashlyn Gionis, Class of 2017
Michael Contu, Class of 2017
Sydney Ross, Class of 2017

Nicole Wang is the Co-President/Co-Founder of Solace. She is a fourth-year pre-med student, majoring in Biology and minoring in Portuguese. She adores volunteering within her community and came up with the idea to start Solace to bring the same level of care, by volunteers, to areas of the hospital that were in need. 

Ashlyn Gionis is the Co-President/Co-Founder of Solace. Ashlyn is also a fourth-year pre-medical student, majoring in biology and minoring in public health. She is passionate about serving her community and always knew she wanted to leave a lasting impact at UF. By joining forces with Nicole, Co-Founder, she was able to make this dream a reality by starting Solace. 

Michal Contu is a fourth-year biology student at the University of Florida and serves as Solace's Chief of Membership.

Sydney Ross is a fourth-year Business Management Major with a Minor in Real Estate and serves as the Chief of Finance for Solace.

CDS is so proud of our alumni and what they have created in Solace and in their mission.

"We believe in the uplifting power of a smile. We are committed to bringing joy and laughter through companionship and strive to give ourselves to those who may be in a weak or lonely state, understanding that love and compassion have infinite healing capacity."

You have all certainly brought a smile to our faces. Nice work Patriots!

CDS Alumni, we want to hear what you're up to. Email your updates to and check out our Alumni page