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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Challenge Accepted

Everyone likes a good challenge, and Flyers are no exception. 

As part of One Day, One Dayton 2021, the Parent Leadership Council issued a challenge to all UD parents that really resonated — donate today to support student well-being and we will match your gift. As a result, more than $48,000 was raised for the Student Development Excellence Fund, which supports physical and mental health initiatives.

And just like generous UD parents, the University acted fast to ensure those funds were put to good use in programs that reflect community and inclusivity, two values at the heart of UD’s Marianist tradition. 

After participating in a suicide prevention program in high school, Tina Sandhu, a junior at UD, knew she wanted to start something similar in college. And her timing was perfect. Sandhu’s first year at UD coincided with the University’s launch of Co-pilots, a student peer advocate and education program centered around supporting students’ mental, physical and social health. 

Sandhu said financial support, like that from the Student Development Excellence Fund, pays for peer educator training as well as special projects such as self-care baskets for students who seek out peer counseling. 

“The Co-pilot program fills a niche. It’s a middle ground for issues that students might not want to discuss with friends, yet aren’t appropriate for the counseling center. It is students supporting students, through the college experience,” said Sandhu. 

And feeling supported and like you belong at UD is important to student success. 

Just ask Caleb Cecil, a junior involved in the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center, also known as MEC. “MEC is the reason I came to UD, and the reason I keep coming back,” said Cecil. 

Finding a sense of belonging is important for all students, but especially for underrepresented students. MEC provides a space where multi-ethnic students feel safe and supported through academic mentoring, cultural heritage programming and social support. 

But MEC isn’t just committed to supporting underrepresented students. MEC hosts a university wide education program to promote inclusiveness and community. 

“The underrepresented community is growing on campus and therefore more funding, like that from the Student Development Excellence Fund, is needed to meet demand. Without this funding, we wouldn’t be able to host special events which help make our UD community a more inclusive one,” said Cecil.

And on One Day, One Dayton — slated for April 6, 2022 — parents will again have the opportunity to answer the challenge and support student well-being.

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