Background: As DeVos students, we have a community service requirement each semester that we must fulfill while in the program. While each of the first three semesters has a required number of hours to fulfill (40, 42, 10), the final semester’s requirement is to participate in a weekend-long camp focusing on individuals with disabilities, or life-altering medical conditions. Deliver the Dream is an example of one of those camps, specifically focusing on families with a member battling a serious illness. As of July 20th, the Class of 2013 has completed 3,625.5 hours of service, with many more to come. Here are two students’ thoughts on their experience at Deliver the Dream.
Deliver the Dream was exactly that. I felt that we as volunteers did our best to deliver the dream to the mothers and fathers that opened up and trusted us with their children. I quickly realized how seldom the parents of my assigned family were able to simply hold hands. They were always so busy with their 5-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy and their two year old who had more energy than three volunteers combined. So as I, and a fellow classmate chased and watched over our two angels for the weekend, it warmed my heart to get to see them spend time with each other and really just let their hair down. It put a lot into perspective for me as I realized having children is both a rewarding and continual gift. I will never forget Emma And Joey.
After the first day, I immediately began to shut down. It had already been a long week and there were a million things going through my head. All I could think was, I can't handle this for two more days.
After sitting down with my roommate for the weekend however, we both helped each other put things into perspective. The entire weekend was about being selfless. Our biggest struggle was to step outside of ourselves and really focus on our families. It taught me to really look outside of myself and make this weekend about my little girl with cerebral palsy, Maryn. When I started to look at things with that perspective, I was able to gain so much more then I originally expected to. I admired these parents and their incredible strength. No one planned for this to happen, but they stuck by their kids and it brought a warmth to my heart that can't be explained. To say the least, it was truly a humbling experience. It made me appreciate simple things such as being able to help myself. I'd recommend this camp to anyone. It was probably one of the hardest weekends I've worked both physically and emotionally, but the benefits and lessons I learned far exceeded the hours of time I gave.
About the Authors:
Rahman Anjorin is currently a member of the 2013 DeVos Class. His graduate career is preceded by completing his Exercise Science degree at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA. After graduating from the DeVos Program, Rahman hopes to transition into Player Engagement and Athlete Development. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Burnett is a current member of the Class of 2013. She graduated with a degree in Advertising/Public Relations from the University of Central Florida and hopes to work in brand activation and experiential marketing upon completion of the DeVos Program. You can follow her on twitter @_ClaireMia