Hello all! The ADA and the YPLC are working together to help spread awareness of diabetes, and part of that outreach for the YPLC is a focus on young adults and college students. The ADA College Connection provides college students with a chance to work in the community to help spread the awareness and stop diabetes. This past week I had a chance to interview Kelsey Reckinger, a current student at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the founder and leader of the ADA College Connection group at UMD.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 3. Diabetes has always been something that I have struggled with but being involved with walks and Camp Needlepoint for 10 years has gave me so many great friends and amazing opportunities. I am a sophomore at the University of Minnesota Duluth, my current major is Communications with a Public Health and Promotion minor.
Q: What exactly is the YPLC College Connection?
KR: The YPLC ADA College Connection is a group that is going to be run through college campuses around Minnesota and North Dakota and hoping to spread nationwide in the future with the support of the American Diabetes Association. The mission of the crews is to raise awareness about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, advocate diabetes, and fundraise money for the ADA.
Q: What gave you the inspiration to start College Connection on your campus?
KR: I have been a type 1 diabetic for about 16 and half years. I have always been an active member in participating in walks and I have been a camper and now I’m currently a counselor at Camp Needlepoint. When Sean Finn, the chair of the YPLC, approached me with this idea to start a campus crew all about diabetes, how could I not say yes? Helping children and families who fight this disease that I have been fighting too has always been a passion of mine. I want to help in any way I can and help make a difference in the lives of the 30 million Americans fighting diabetes. Starting the ADA College Connection crew gives me the perfect chance to make a difference in many lives and do something that I have a deep passion for.
Q: What events or activities does the College Connection group plan on doing in the near future?
KR: I am currently in the process of starting the ADA college connection group up at the University of Minnesota Duluth. We are still recruiting people to join and in the early stages, but starting right away for spring semester we hope to take off. We have two ideas for events during the spring semester. One is the ADA Step Out walk up here in Duluth on April 9th. The walk is being held at UMD this year and I hope to start up a team on campus and get as many students involved as possible and raise money. Another event that we are thinking of doing is a dodge ball tournament to get students involved and have it be a fun day of awareness and fundraising. We want to call the event “Dodge out Diabetes.” I believe this event will help raise awareness about our crew and get people interested while also raising money for the ADA.
Q: What is the overall goal for College Connection?
KR: Our main goal is to raise awareness. Many people do not realize how many people in our generation are at risk for diabetes. Just getting people more aware of diabetes, type 1 and type 2 could have a huge impact and that is what we want to do.
Q: I’m interested! Where and how do I sign up? Or how can I start a College Connection on my own campus?
KR: If you are interested in joining an ADA college connection group, we have groups starting up at University of Minnesota, University of North Dakota, Mankato State, and University of Minnesota Duluth. If you are interested in starting an ADA College Connection on your campus, you can contact Kunal Tandon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well there you have it! If you are interested in joining the college connection, please feel free to reach out to us at the information above, or leave us a comment, and we’ll be happy to help you out!