A note from Exec,
(currently Community Relations)
As I finish my freshman year and look back on my year, I have so many memories and lessons that I have to reflect on and learn from. First off, one of the best decisions that I have made is to be involved in organizations on campus and in the Athens community. When I first came to UGA, I was overwhelmed at the size and the number of students on campus. One of my biggest worries was definitely not finding a group of people that I would fit in with. Being in a smaller group of people has truly been able to “make a big campus smaller.”
I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to meet and to work with all the amazing, welcoming people in Dawgs for Diabetes. Each and every one of them has had a positive impact on my experience so far at UGA. I am so thankful that I met Mindy this year, and can say that she has made me feel at home since I first started going to the meetings. She has been nothing but approachable, caring, and always willing to help. On top of that, I can truly say I have met so many amazing people through D4D and have gotten to know many of them well. I have learned how important it is to surround with people that are positive and encouraging. When I am feeling down or frustrated after a bad day at classes or work, I know I have a group of people that I know I can talk to about how my day was. I am thankful for all my friends that have been there to lift me up when I am not feeling my best.
On a more general note, college can be an extremely stressful period of time in your life, especially the first semester. You have to live with a group of people you most likely haven’t met before, make new friends, attend class with hundreds of students, stay on top of your school work, start a new job, etc. The list goes on and on. You can definitely get overwhelmed physically, mentally, and emotionally. One of the most important things that I have learned from my freshman year is to not spread yourself too thin. Don’t take too many hours the first semester, manage your time wisely, do not procrastinate, and always do everything in moderation. While this is harder than it may sound, these are some of the main points to having a smooth transition into college. Also, during times when I am feeling stressed, I try to step back and look at everything from a different perspective. And while it may be disappointing to make a less than good grade in a certain class, it is not going to be that horrible in the bigger picture. What is important is that as you have learned something from your mistakes so that you can make the needed improvements.
These are just some of my thoughts that I have while looking back of my first year of college. I wish all of the incoming freshman good luck, and I hope to be seeing some of you at our D4D meetings next year! Go Dawgs!
Senior (and send-off) Spotlight
Hey y’all! My name is LauraKate! I am finishing my second year at UGA but I’m transferring to Georgia Regents University (a.k.a. Medical College of Georgia) for nursing school this fall. I plan on becoming a nurse practitioner in a pediatric E.R. and I ultimately want to become a life flight nurse on a helicopter. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on January 23, 2000 but I’m proud to say that it doesn’t tie me down! I have been on 4 mission trips, one of which was nearly 4 weeks long with no family when I was 17. I enjoy decorating cakes as well as watching Grey’s Anatomy of course!
Sarah was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in March 2000. “I was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, their philanthropy raises money for juvenile diabetes research, here at UGA in my four years. I was also a member of Dawgs for Diabetes and Camp for a Cause benefitting Camp Twin Lakes. I studied psychology, on the pre-nursing track and will be graduating in May 2015. Starting in the fall of 2015, I will be pursuing my second bachelors in Nursing at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, Georgia in the hopes of one day working at Children’s Health Care in Atlanta on the pediatric oncology floor- it’s my dream! I have been an active camp goer for 14 years and I currently spend my summers living the dream working full time for Camp Twin Lakes as an outdoor adventure leader. It is bittersweet to be leaving Athens, but I cannot wait to see where D4D goes in the future. I owe a lot of my success to my support system here at UGA, which is made up of the amazing people I have met through camp and these clubs. My support system, as well as my family, has helped me reach my goals and I cannot thank them enough for everything that they have done to support and encourage me.”
Senior Quote- “When you have a passion for something you tend not only to be better at, but you work harder at it too.”- Vera Wang
Nate was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in March of 2011. He has been involved with D4D since the spring of his freshman year in 2012. “I majored in accounting in the Terry College of Business; was active in my fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi; volunteered my time with several clubs, including UGA Rotaract, Aces For Athens, and Dawgs For Diabetes; and participated in several intermural sports leagues. Upon Graduation, I will intern in the tax department of an accounting firm called McGladrey in Atlanta. I will also be volunteering at Camp Kudzu this summer during session one! In the fall, I will be coming back to UGA to earn my Masters of Accountancy.”
Senior Quote- “That which you manifest is before you.” from “The Art of Racing in the Rain”
Abbey does not live with Diabetes, but she has several friends and family members who are impacted by Diabetes. She has been involved since her Freshmen year when everything was starting to get off the ground. “Abbey is a journalism major with a magazine emphasis, a communication studies minor, and a new media certificate, and she is graduating this May! In addition to D4D, Abbey has been involved with TEDxUGA, Grady Sports, UGA Rotaract Club, and UGA impact Trips (Charlotte, NC; Mobile, AL; and Durham, NC). In D4D,, she has attended every JDRF walk in Athens and a few in Atlanta, since her freshmen year. She was also involved The Campus Tour and many other programs! After graduation she is hoping to work in digital media or sports media. Abbey enjoys watching college football, especially SEC, and educating those around her about it. A few of her other favorite things include Disney, Harry Potter, and revisiting funny memories.”
Senior Quote- “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” -Albas Dumbledore.
Meagan was diagnosed with type one diabetes in October of 2002, and she was a major contributor to The Campus Tour, JDRF Walks, and keeping track of the little things that would have been missed. “These last four years have passed by so quickly, it’s hard to believe I will be graduating soon. Within my time at UGA I have been involved with Miracle and Dawgs for Diabetes (since the beginning when our meetings were filled with two people haha). I am so fortunate to be a part of an organization such as D4D and to be able to see it grow so much in the past few years with the dedication of everyone involved. It took me some time, but I found what I am passionate about – I will receive a B.S. in Health Promotion this May. I will soon be going on to get my MPH and hopefully someday work in NYC helping the lives of others and spreading public health awareness through means of health communications.”
Senior Quotes- “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt and “Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” -Gloria Steinem.
Mindy was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in March of 2000. “I’m about to graduate with a Bachelor in Social Work and a minor in Sociology! I’ve been involved a little all over the place on and off campus since my freshmen year, but my consistent involvement has been with Camp for a Cause, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Camp Kudzu, JDRF, Division of Student Affairs Student Advisory Board, the Disability Resource Center’s Speaker’s Bureau, causing trouble for change, and of course Dawgs for Diabetes. I spent my senior year interning at Hope Haven (working with adults with developmental disabilities). I will be moving to Boston after classes are finished to start working at CDN as the Program. I’ve truly enjoyed my four years at UGA and being a resident of Athens, and I’ll cherish all the memories and people who are in my life. I will also miss; walking on North Campus, eating at Ted’s and Trappeze, experiencing the arts and creativity scenes that are everywhere and most of all Dawgs for Diabetes. I’ve enjoyed my time in D4D these past four years and as president the past two and half years, and I have grown so much because of my involvement. I will never say it wasn’t hard, but I will be cliché and say it was worth it. All of the amazing parts (and the-not-so-great-parts) have gotten D4D where it is today! Wait- this is also a reflection of my life? Truly, it hasn’t been easy. I hope that I can use my experiences to help, advocate, and empower others in all that I do in the Diabetes community and beyond! I hope to dabble in writing and public speaking alongside my big girl job, and of course always causing trouble for change. Besides camp and the Diabetes Community, I thoroughly enjoy travel, binge-watching Netflix, crafting/Pinterest-ing, reading, and being obsessed with Disney, Harry Potter, and what people may see as “weird.” The passion and motivation makes me so proud and sentimental- I cannot wait to comment ‘my babies’ on everything I see. D4D is what I will miss most out of my college experience, but I am glad that I have made friendships that aren’t going anywhere. I cannot wait to see where D4D goes, and I am so proud of the motivation and compassion that I see in everyone in D4D!”
Senior Quotes- “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”- Walt Disney and “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”- J.K. Rowling
2015-2016 Exec Board!
We are SO truly excited to introduce you to 2015-2016 Executive Board for D4D!
They worked on applications, sat through interviews, attended placement meetings, and worked on their bios! They are already hard at work planning and making decisions for next year and meeting everyone they will be working with in the future! They attended the first Exec Training and Bonding Day that lasted over 6 hours (and we could have kept going). We have included a leadership and a brief description of what they are doing in their role. (We would like to mention that much of what D4D does is done together, and this brief description barely covers all they will do). We cannot wait to see the amazing work they will do in the future, not just with D4D! Good luck to this passionate group of leaders! And Go Dawgs!
Sarah Gibson, President
Leadership Quote- “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.
Sarah will be involved in a little of everything, and it is hard to write everything that she will be doing. You’ll notice a lot of her behind the scenes work come out in D4D, and leading the exec board. She will be working closely with all exec members making sure they have everything they need. She will serve as the JDRF Support Group Leader for UGA.
Hi! I’m Sarah Gibson, an upcoming Senior Dietetics major at UGA. After graduation, I plan to get an internship in the Atlanta area and start my journey to becoming a Pediatric Diabetes Educator. I’m from Bethlehem, GA – just a hop and a skip down the road from The Classic City. I never really knew where I wanted to go to college, but I know now that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on March 15, 2010 and have used this illness to teach, inspire, and empower other type 1s and their families while also discovering my passion for Diabetes Education. I have been volunteering at Camp Kudzu since the summer after my Freshmen Year, and this summer I will be attending Session 3 as Dietary staff for the first time. Dark chocolate peanut M&Ms, watermelon, and Cherry Coke are my weaknesses, while procrastination still rules my life. I have a twin who can still push my buttons, even after almost 21 years. I find joy in sitting by the pool, binge watching Netflix, and stalking Pinterest (even though I rarely finish any projects or recipes from there).
I’ve been involved in Dawgs for Diabetes since my Spring semester of my freshman year here at UGA. I soon became treasurer in 2013, then Vice President in 2014. I am so excited to be your President for Dawgs for Diabetes for the 2015- 2016 school year. We have accomplished so much in the past 3 years, and I don’t plan on slowing down. Go Dawgs.
Riley Jenkins, Vice President
Leadership Quote- “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” – Douglas MacArthur
Riley will be working closely with internal affairs and president in her role. She will also be in charge of t-shirts and a point person for the campus tour.
My name is Riley Jenkins, and I am a biological sciences and nutrition science dual major from Canton, GA. I plan to graduate in spring 2018 and attend dental school. Professionally, I want to get into dental school (I just toured GRU in Augusta this past weekend and loved it) and become a dentist. Personally, I want to stay living in Georgia, would love to have a family, want to take the occasional vacation (Mexico, where ya at?), and encourage confidence in everyone I meet (especially diabetics because we’re special).
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 11 and have had Type 1 for almost 8 years now. Being my own advocate at such a young age taught me valuable leadership skills and gave me an insurmountable drive.
At UGA, in addition to Dawgs for Diabetes, I am involved in Camp for a Cause, the Pre-Dental Society, and will be involved in the DRC’s Speaker’s Bureau next year. In my spare time, I like to volunteer, paint, attend sporting events, spend time with family and friends, explore new restaurants, and check out the latest movies.
To pursue my passion for leadership and advocacy for my disease, I joined Dawgs for Diabetes and became an executive member as a freshman. My experiences with Diabetes include going to Camp Kudzu, raising money for JDRF, and speaking about my disease. This past year, I participated in the JDRF Walk, the Campus Tour: A Diabetes Perspective, and dorm programs among other things. I enjoy being an advocate for disabilities and educating others about Diabetes. I also love inspiring confidence and acting as a role model for those with a disability.
I love to paint, eat with friends and family, get my nails done, go shopping, and finish a good movie or TV Show. I also enjoy tanning on a boat or at the beach while listening to country music or Michael Buble. Currently my favorite show are Scandal, Homeland, Say Yes to the Dress, Tattoo Shows (although I do not have one), any Housewives shows, and sports. I am not a fan of people cutting me off in traffic, whipped cream on milkshakes, skipping a good song on Pandora, grammatical mistakes, when my pump site messes up, when my blood sugar is high and when I’m hungry, and mean people.
I am very excited for what’s in store for Dawgs for Diabetes next semester! Go Dawgs!
Laura Gillespie, Internal Affairs and CDN Rep
Leadership Quote- “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” – Sam Walton
Laura will be representing D4D at the CDN Student Retreat in Maine this May! She will also serve as our CDN Rep to make sure D4D stays up to date with everything happening at CDN! As Internal Affairs, she will be working closely with the President and Vice President; be in charge of correspondents and emails, and be taking over the newsletter!
Laura is a rising senior and majoring in biology. In the future, she hopes to go to PA school and become a pediatric endocrinology PA. She’s from Suwanee, GA and have been involved with D4D for the past 3 years. She was diagnosed with type 1 at age 2, and have had diabetes for 18 years. Dawgs for Diabetes is important to her because it is a place where people with any connection to diabetes can come have fun and be surrounded by people who understand, encourage, and support each other while dealing with diabetes. When Laura is not in school, working on school work, or being involve in other activities on and off campus, she loves to be outside, watch all kinds of sports, listen to music (John Mayer is the best), and being sill with her friends. She loves a good “ice dream” from Chick-Fil-A, red skittles, and the smell of freshly cut grass. Her favorite color is blue, she likes watching movies (When Harry Met Sally might be her favorite movie ever), practicing her handwriting and doodling, and reading cheesy but cute novels.
Gina Huang, Director of Development
Leadership Quote- “My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.” –General Montgomery
Gina will be in charge of behind the scenes outreach. She will be working on creating relationships with various groups on and off campus. She will also be heading up fundraising and keeping track of our budgets!
Gina is currently a freshman at the University of Georgia and is part of the Class of 2018. She is majoring in biology and is on the pre-pharmacy track with the hopes of one day obtaining her Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Although she was born in New York, she grew up in Georgia and graduated from Northview High School in Johns Creek. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, reading mystery books, and taking long road trips. She one day hopes to have the opportunity to backpack through Europe and visit all the countries. Her dislikes are sharks and traffic.
Since August in her freshman year, she has been involved in Dawgs for Diabetes as the Community Relations Chair. Participating in the campus tour and other events, she quickly became more involved in the group and was able to learn more about Diabetes and how D4D spread awareness and creates an opportunity for students all over campus to come together for a common cause. Even after only being involved for less than a school year, she sees all the positive benefits D4D has brought to all the people they work with. She is eager to see what the next school year has in store for D4D and cannot wait to be a counselor for Camp Kudzu this coming summer.
Trevor Blake, Community Relations
Leadership Quote- “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
Trevor will be a major point of contact and outreach in D4D. He will be in charge of social media, design, and photography. He will also be a point person for Diabetes Awareness Month!
The name’s Blake. Trevor Blake. I am a first year at the University of Georgia pursuing a double major of Advertising and Fashion Merchandising. When I am not off saving the world, I run my own clothing line and participate in many philanthropic groups on campus. It did not take long for me to realize that Dawgs for Diabetes Awareness was the stand out organization among the rest. Being Type 1 Diabetic myself, I have a huge appreciation for the community that D4D strives to create and the passion from each member to reach this goal. I cannot wait to see what the future holds! Go dawgs!
Nidhi Aggarwal, Head of Committees and Director of Education
Leadership Quote- “Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.” – Vince Lombardi
Nidhi will be the point person for our dreams of education programs off campus at schools (as well as programs on campus). She will also be in charge of committees. She will work with all members and other exec members to make sure that everything is done, and that people can increase their involvement.
Nidhi is an academic scientist and free-time artist, aspiring pre-medical student, and Bulldog enthusiast, but most importantly, a citizen of the world who hopes to use her passion for understanding perspectives to positively influence the practice of medicine from a public health standpoint.
As the defining first year of Nidhi’s college experience comes to an end, she reflects upon her experience as Freshman Liaison of Dawgs for Diabetes for the past year with affection, keeping in mind the successes, such as the recently award-winning Campus Tour, along with the ever-present potential for expansion. She is especially excited for the upcoming year, when she will serve as Head of Committees and Director of Education, continuing to contribute to Dawgs For Diabetes’ important message through community-outreach-based programs. She believes that the most crucial facets of current diabetes-related issues are centered on public education and awareness of the condition, distributing facts rather than leaving people’s perceptions of the condition to imagination, as well as continued support toward youth affected with diabetes to instill confidence and contentment in the otherwise confusing series of lifestyle changes caused by diabetes. Although Nidhi does not have diabetes, she has been familiar with the condition through family history of the temporary, lifestyle-based Type 2 Diabetes, as well as through her Type-1-diabetic friends, the experiences of whom have shown her glimpses of the daily routines of diabetics and have solidified her interest in further pursuing the topic as part of her collegiate goal to improve her understanding of the complexities of human health. Nidhi could not have asked for a better and more cooperative group to be collaborating with this year, and she is hopeful for all that can be accomplished when a dedicated group such as Dawgs for Diabetes unites for such a wonderful cause.
Nidhi plans to graduate from the University of Georgia as a graduate of the Class of 2018, with degrees in Genetics, Chemistry, and Cognitive Science, and continue her education towards simultaneously earning MD and MPH degrees as an aspiring physician.
Briana Warner, Events Coordinator
Leadership Quote- “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” –Dale Carnegie
Briana will be involved in a little of everything. She will be keeping track of our “tabled ideas,” and letting us know if we need to create a committee. She will also be in charge of any new programming in its first year as well as assisting members in any ideas they may have.
Hey, my name is Briana Warner. I am a rising third year, majoring in Linguistics and minoring in Spanish and Communication Studies. I hope to become an interpreter or translator once I graduated from UGA in May of 2017. My hometown is Byron, a small town in Middle Georgia.
My previous involvement in Dawgs for Diabetes includes regularly attending monthly meetings, helping out with face painting at the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes last fall, participating in tabling events at Tate Plaza (including the bake sale), and helping out with brainstorming for other evens. My connection to diabetes began when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on June 23, 2009 before my freshman year of high school, as well as having a few family members with Type 2 Diabetes. As immense as the University of Georgia is and how easily you can get lost in it, Dawgs for Diabetes provides that special sense of community for me on campus. It is comforting knowing that there are other students who I can reach out to if I ever needed help, support, or just someone with a bit of understanding about life as a college student living with diabetes.
I love watching movies, especially action, romantic comedies, and “chick flicks.” My favorite shows include Once Upon a Time, The Librarians, Castle, Rizzoli and Isles, and Criminal Minds I also enjoy baking, cooking, and grilling. Another fun thing I like to do is wrestle and play around with my Golden Retriever, Molly. As far as dislikes go, I’m not a big fan of cleaning. I like organizing things, but serious cleaning does nothing for me.
Ahzuree Herbert, Member Relations
Leadership Quote- “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” – Maya Angelou
Ahzuree will be working closely with members to create more AHA moments. She will also be in charge of member submissions for spotlight and for events. She will also be in charge of member applications.
Ahzuree is a psychology major and Spanish minor from Thomasville, GA; and plan to go to medical school to become a psychiatrist after her scheduled graduation in spring 2017. In 2009, she found out that she had Type II diabetes and had a hard time wrapping her head around everything. In the last few years I she has been actively paying attention to her health. Joining Dawgs for Diabetes is another step in learning about taking care of herself. She was just introduced to D4D a few months ago through a friend of hers (Briana Warner). She is really excited about being appointed as Member Relations this semester and learning more about this organization and the people in it!
We are so excited to share everything we did this semester since February; most involved members, senior spotlights, SOAR Awards, and meet our exec!
Why I Camp- LauraKate Buttrill
I camp because I was a camper. I remember how much camp meant to me and how much I grew from those experiences. I had so many firsts at camp: first time ever changing my own site, first time putting my site in a new place, first time going out of my comfort zone. I made so many friends at camp, friendships I still have today. Yes, I had a diabetic sister, but camp was somewhere where everyone had diabetes and you had this common connection. You were in the minority if you didn’t have type 1 diabetes! Every year, I always looked to the week of camp, it was, and still is, my favorite week of the year. Once camp ends, I start the countdown again! I want my campers to have as great of a time I had as a camper! I camp for my campers!
To Learn More About Camp Kudzu
To Volunteer at Camp Kudzu
D4D is on Instagram!
Follow us at @dawgs4diabetes
CDN on CNN!
Dawgs for Diabetes represented the College Diabetes Network on CNN’s Accent Health. D4D Members were filmed in November, and the clip went live in January all over the country. Shortly after, the clip started playing in doctor’s offices around the country. According to the CDN Newsletter, CDN received a record number of people contacting them for information and to start chapters. Check out the clip here!
Night of the Arts
Mark your calendars for March 26 from 5:30-7:30! Come Support Camp for a Cause with Camp Twin Lakes at UGA and their event Night of the Arts at Terrapin. Camp Kudzu has two sessions at Camp Twin Lakes. Many of our members are also members of Camp for a Cause. For more information check out their Facebook event! There will also be a silent auction and the Get Cooler for Camp Painting Competition. Dawgs for Diabetes’ members Elise Roche and Laura Gillespie are painting a cooler for Dawgs for Diabetes!
Mindy Bartleson, president since January 2013, was selected as one of UGA’s Amazing Students. She was also selected as an Outstanding Senior Leader through Pandora Yearbook, and she be attending a banquet with other outstanding senior leaders in March.
UGA Miracle’s Dance Marathon
From Left; David, Mindy, and Meagan
Congrats to UGA Miracle for Raising $683,251.15 for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) at their 20th Annual Dance Marathon February 21-22, 2015. Many of our members have a history with CHOA; getting diagnosed there as children, and many pediatric endocrinologists are located there.
Many D4D members are involved in Miracle in various capacities. We would love to recognize Meagan Will, Class of 2015, for surpassing her fundraising goal, and raising $569. She also spent all 24 hours dancing for the kids (FTK). Meagan has been involved in Miracle for all four years while also serving on committees; Fundraising Freshman Year and Hospital Relations her other three years. Meagan currently interns at Safe Kids through CHOA.
JDRF GA’s TypeOneNation
Mindy and Trevor
D4D also attended TypeOneNation on February 21 in Atlanta. We had a table to spread the word about what we do and our Campus Tour. Mindy and Trevor also lead the Teen Breakout Session with Teens ages 13-18. They talked about life and Diabetes, Netflix, theme songs, and they played “Where the Wind Blows.”
A Note from Exec- Riley Jenkins, Freshman Liaison
The first year at UGA is definitely overwhelming in many ways. As a freshman, I speak from experience by saying the first semester is like a whirlwind. There are so many things to be involved in, classes to take, professors to meet, and things to experience in Athens. It can be quite a challenge staying organized and not letting opportunities pass you by all while staying on top of classes and learning to live on your own. One of the most important things I have learned this year is to be more flexible. I have learned that it is okay to change plans, and I have several times. I feel that many students, like myself, have trouble accepting anything less than perfection or that plans must be adjusted sometimes, but freshman year is a great time to learn to do just that.
With that being said, I have involved myself in organizations, classes, and programs that I am passionate about. For example, in the fall, I enrolled in an FYOS class that I knew I would enjoy: Communicating with People with Disabilities taught by Dr. Kevin McCully. Through this class, I met people with a wide range of disabilities and learned many things while forming relationships with the guests, my classmates, and Dr. McCully, whom I still keep in touch with. I have always been passionate about disability advocacy, as I learned to be an advocate for myself at 11 years old when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Being my own advocate at such a young age taught me valuable leadership skills and gave me an insurmountable drive.
As a Freshman Liaison for Dawgs for Diabetes, I gain valuable experience by spreading awareness about Type 1 Diabetes, connecting with students at UGA and beyond, and addressing our members during our meetings. I work closely with the executive board to create, implement, and improve programs for students on campus and the community. I enjoy being able to deliver news about our exciting achievements and upcoming events while gaining public speaking experience. As an organization, we pride ourselves on being organized and efficient. This is largely due to the hard work of our executive members. I hope to help continue this trend throughout my years here at UGA to allow Dawgs for Diabetes to continue to grow.
Dawgs for Diabetes is an outstanding club that seeks to make college just a little bit easier for students with Diabetes, like myself, by providing a strong community that truly cares about the wellbeing of all students. Not only do we provide resources for current students, but our club also hosted our first tour this past fall, The Campus Tour: A Diabetes Perspective, for prospective students. The tour was even more of a success than we had imagined. As a Freshman Liaison, I had the pleasure of being a speaker and joining one of the discussion panels for this event. Besides speaking on a panel, I also assisted in planning the event while at the same time preparing for the JDRF Walk that same weekend. I know just how scary it can be for both students and parents to begin the college journey, but it is even scarier to do so with a chronic disease or disability. That is why I enjoy being a leader in Dawgs for Diabetes so much; it has given me a home away from home.
Through Dawgs for Diabetes, I have also had many opportunities to give back to the community. We served as volunteers at the annual JDRF, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s, Walk for the Cure at Sandy Creek Park in the fall, hosted the campus tour, started a mentor program, and lead dorm programs to spread awareness about Type 1 Diabetes, among many other things. One of my favorite Dawgs for Diabetes events was a freshman dorm program that I helped lead with our president. We lead an interactive program explaining Diabetes and the myths associated with it and also addressed many questions. Most of the students did not know about Type 1 Diabetes, so it made me feel good to know that I was able to make a positive impact on fellow students. I hope to continue to be involved in the dorm programs, as spreading awareness about our disease is very near and dear to me.
Besides Dawgs for Diabetes, I am also involved with Camp for a Cause, an organization with ties to Camp Twin lakes, a camp for children with disabilities and chronic conditions, and the Pre-dental Society at UGA. In my spare time, I like to volunteer, paint, attend sporting events, spend time with family and friends, explore new restaurants, and check out the latest movies.
In my professional career, I hope to continue to be a strong leader in my community. I am a biological sciences and nutrition science student with hopes to attend dental school after graduation. Because of my Diabetes, I recognize just how precious health really is, and I want to give back to my community by serving them as a health professional and teaching others the importance of health in its entirety.
Riley is studying biological sciences and nutrition science, Class of 2018. She plans on attending Dental School after she graduates undergrad. Follow Riley on Instagram and twitter @stonewalljenkins
Grateful for my D4D Family!
Because I was previously very active in healthcare organizations in high school, I was searching for one upon arriving in Athens. I do not personally have diabetes; however, several of my family members, including my childhood dog, were diagnosed with diabetes during adulthood. Once I discovered the great things Dawgs for Diabetes has done for UGA students and the community, I immediately emailed Mindy to join.
Since I have joined, I have participated in several events, most memorably the JDRF Walk. The JDRF Walk funds scientific research for better methods of treating and curing diabetes. When I was at Sandy Creek Park for the walk, I enjoyed meeting a variety of joyful people affected by diabetes. The event featured several local organizations and individuals that were all gathered to support the fundraising for JDRF and diabetes. In retrospect, it was surely a highlight of my first semester.
On top of the great things Dawgs for Diabetes does for the fundraising of diabetes, D4D also provides a home for students with diabetes, relieving the anxiety associated with treatment of diabetes away from home. The Campus Tour that we hosted in the fall allowed incoming students with diabetes to be guided by D4D members, making the students feel at home. For me personally, I’m very grateful for the D4D family because I have made great friendships and have been able to be a part of a change in people’s lives.
Will is an Exercise ad Sports Science Major, Class of 2018. Follow Will on Instagram and twitter @willdufoeee.
Check out our February Newsletter!!