October 13, 2015
Written by Nancy Webster, Team Manager
Last year, I had the honor of being the Team Manager for a group of young women in their freshman year at Pentucket Regional High School in West Newbury, MA. They had decided on the Destination Imagination Service Challenge but had a little difficulty nailing down what they wanted to do. Some of the topics they discussed were a water system for a village, cutting and self-harm, girls’ education issues, etc. They had already decided on the water system when the subject of a young girl in our school district struggling with Type 1 Diabetes came up. A program had just been aired about service dogs for those with diabetes and how the dogs can alert the owners to dangerous fluctuations in blood glucose. The girls were intrigued and decided to change course and try to obtain a dog for this family in Merrimac, MA.
The girls held fundraisers, reached out to banks and other institutions in our area, offered bake sales and other events in the hopes of covering the cost of the service dog and the training in Kansas for this family. Through the generosity of these businesses and people in our community, this project finally became a reality this summer. I introduce to you, Dice, and his owner, McKenna!
What this dog can do is truly amazing and can help prevent long-term damage to McKenna’s body by almost instantaneously alerting her, even when she doesn’t know it herself, to these dangerous fluctuations in her system. Dice now accompanies McKenna to school on a daily basis at Pentucket High School.
I am so proud of these young women and their efforts through Destination Imagination. The Service Learning Challenge has broadened their minds and given them the confidence to see that they can truly make a difference, even in small ways.