Hi there! I'm a 21year old UC Berkeley student and was diagnosed when I was 11. I recently developed and started a mentorship program called Diabetes Relationship Building for Empowering Youth (DRBEY). I have been emailing Manny in hopes of building some community support, and he suggested I appeal to all of you.
Tomorrow, Thursday December 2nd I will pitch the DRBEY program project for a grant that will sustain the program throughout the first year of operation. I am very excited, but also nervous, because the organization providing the funding is not associated with diabetes per se. However, I feel good about it.
Right now, I am looking for support from individuals who have diabetes in the Bay Area. Would this kind of a program have helped you as a teen with diabetes? Is the approach useful? I have included the DRBEY mission statement below, which briefly describes the approach and broad goals. I am willing to email around the entire project proposal if anyone is interested. Any feedback would be absolutely amazing and appreciated.
Diabetes Relationship Building for Empowering Youth (DRBEY) is a mentorship program that aims to inspire and empower teens and pre-teens living with type-1 diabetes in the Bay Area. DRBEY aims to improve the lives of the children faced with the challenges and struggles of life with diabetes by helping them to understand their personal diabetes story and dynamic relationship to it. DRBEY also aims to open dialogue and create partnerships that have the capacity to build and strengthen the diabetes community as a whole. We feel that participating in this program will improve the lives of youth living with diabetes as well as those living around them, and will thus foster a tighter diabetes community in the Bay Area.
DRBEY Program: What it looks like:
The DRBEY program has been designed around personalized ‘My Diabetes Books’. Both mentees and mentors will create, maintain, and utilize their own log books to track diabetes management, both physically and mentally. I designed the program in this way because of how the creation of my own diabetes book inspired a drastic change in my overall diabetes health. Before creating my own, I tried to use books made by my doctor or diabetes companies. I just couldn’t motivate myself to do it. The main reason why I had a difficult time logging was because the only thing their books asked for was numbers: blood sugar numbers, insulin numbers, carbohydrate numbers, and calculation numbers. There was no room to explain what happened that day. There was no place to write how I felt that day; was it a low day, or a good day? Diabetes is a number game, but a number game that involves the heart. The heart parts need to be explored to ensure a holistic change in diabetes self-care at any age.
Lastly, I would like to offer the opportunity for open positions with DRBEY.
We are currently seeking to fill the following positions:
Director of Outreach
Director of Events
If you are interested in leadership positions or in becoming a mentor, please respond to this post or send an email to DRBEYbay@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it inspires some of you.