On New Year’s Day, USC junior Selah Kitchiner floated down Colorado Boulevard on a conveyance both dazzling and ephemeral. The purple and gold 2022 Donate Life Rose Parade float was covered in roses, sunflowers and seaweed with Venetian columns and arches that rose two stories. Kitchiner was just above street level, posing as a gondolier, oar in hand. No rowing was required, though she did plenty of waving during her hour-long Rose Parade ride.

“I waved to anybody with a USC chair or sweatshirt, anybody who made eye contact,” Kitchiner said. “If a spectator was daydreaming and they saw me wave at them, they would kind of snap out of it.”

Her knack for connection has served her well in her quest to increase participation in organ donorship, especially in the Black community.

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