Our Story

SODA: Student Organ Donation Advocates was founded at Washington University in St. Louis in 2014. In 2017, SODA’s second chapter was established at Marquette University, followed by its third chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After this success, SODA began to grow nationally.

In Spring 2021, SODA hired its first employee, Nicole Nidea, thanks to a generous gift from the Contigo Foundation and tremendous support from the community.

Today, SODA supports students who want to make a difference by helping them to host events and lead organ donation chapters on their high school and college campuses. These students' efforts save lives and create positive ripple effects throughout their communities.

Our Work

At SODA, we believe students represent a promising segment of the population to become educated about the critical need for organ and tissue donation and to register as organ donors.
We reduce barriers for high school and college students so they can mobilize organ and tissue donation ambassadors and their peers, spark a passion for organ donation that can last a lifetime, and fulfill an unmet need for student-focused organ and tissue donation education and registration efforts across the United States.

To support our events and chapters, SODA works with the Community Outreach Teams at more than 20 OPOs to support and inspire student advocacy on high school and college campuses across the country. 

Full-Time Leadership

Program Manager

Nicole was first introduced to SODA in 2015 she has been devoted ever since to educating others about organ donation. She served as the Marketing Chair then President of SODA at Washington University in St. Louis until she graduated in 2019 with a BA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Nicole joined the SODA National Team in 2020 as the Director of Development to lead SODA's fundraising efforts as a volunteer. In April 2021, Nicole became SODA’s first paid employee. As Program Manager, Nicole ensures student advocates have the resources needed to succeed, manages the national team, and builds programs and partnerships. 

You can reach Nicole at nicole@sodanational.org.

Part-Time Leadership

President and Founder 

Since founding SODA in 2014, Sara has been passionate about activating passionate students to advocate for organ donation. In her role as Board President, she helps determine the organization's strategy and build its partnership within the community. Additionally, she supports SODA's fundraising to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization. Sara studied Healthcare Management and Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to her volunteer leadership at SODA, she works full time as a Senior Operations Analyst at Optum in Denver, Colorado.

You can reach Sara at sara@sodanational.org.

Join the SODA National Leadership Team
  and help cultivate this nationwide movement!


Student Engagement Advisor

One of SODA’s original founders, Shana is currently a third-year medical student pursuing an MD, an MPH in Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, and an MS in Anatomy at the Tulane University Schools of Medicine and Public Health & Tropical Medicine. In addition to her studies, Shana also conducts research, including roles as a Research Assistant for Trauma Surgery and Research Executive Director for the Medical Student Pride Alliance. She supports SODA as its Student Engagement and Social Media Advisor.