For the past year, Danielle DePaul, a senior letter, arts and sciences major at Penn State Brandywine, has been involved with an organization that holds personal meaning for her--the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Philadelphia.
The experience has been an important chapter in DePaul's life.
"It provides me with the opportunity to engage in the search for a cure for type-1 diabetes, a disease I live with everyday," she said. "However, it also gives me the chance to spread my knowledge and experiences."
Over the summer, she worked at a children's diabetes camp as a volunteer counselor.
"The camp was a four-day experience that enabled me to share my knowledge and experiences with type-1 diabetes with other children living and dealing with it," DePaul said. "It was an overnight camp that allowed me to engage in activities outside of diabetes, giving the children a sense of camaraderie instead of feeling like an outsider."
DePaul has also served as a volunteer staff member for the Walk for Diabetes at the Philadelphia Art Museum and has as a Junior Ambassador leader at the Philadelphia Gala Event.
"I have had diabetes for 18 years, and with the obstacles I have overcome, I know that there are children out there going through similar situations and I want to be someone they can talk with and relate to. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the diabetic camp I worked for this summer both gave me a chance to share new experiences with children who have taught me more than I could ever hope to know. They showed me strength, courage, kindness, understanding and discipline, all of which I was impressed to see at such a young age. I am forever changed by them, and will continue to stay active in finding a cure for a disease so close to my heart."