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Being a part of the Duchesne Center has helped us realize, even more than ever, our passion to give back to the community. All three of us were born and raised in New Haven, CT. Unfortunately, we were not able to receive the best education or live in the safest community, however, growing up in New Haven has helped us to understand and appreciate the impact that giving back to the community has on individuals. Although we may not have had ideal circumstances, volunteers stepped in to mentor us. They showed us many opportunities that we thought were unachievable. We are grateful for the volunteers that impacted our lives, without them we may not have believed that we could become first generation college students.
We all are passionate about helping children because we want them to see that they can exceed their invisible boundaries, as we did. One of the things we love to do with the Duchesne Center is create fun activities for children that live in shelters. One of our favorite programs that we created was our overnight camping event. In September of 2013 we put up tents outside the Duchesne House and created camp activities to do with the kids throughout the weekend. We shared a great bonding experience with children. It was heartwarming to hear them express their joy and excitement of their new experience. After the camping event we decided to visit their shelter and support them during their Jazz performance. It was amazing seeing them again and we enjoyed watching them explore new talents.
Sometimes it can be challenging seeing what others have to go through on a daily bases but it is definitely an eye opener. It shows us to appreciate everything that we have, and most importantly, give to those who don't. We are proud to be "Valiants" because of the relationships that we can build with our community through the Duchesne Center.