I have had type one diabetes (T1D) for fourteen years. Since my diagnosis, I have always known that I wanted to become a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) to educate and encourage others that they can thrive with this chronic disease. My goal has always been to have a long term positive impact on the health and well-being of others. By specializing in the field of diabetes, I can help improve the quality of life of others. I think that my personal experiences and knowledge living with this disease will prove valuable to other newly diagnosed patients and will help me to be a source of knowledge and comfort to others living with diabetes.
There is no better opportunity or pathway to solidify my career goal of becoming a CDE and continuing my passion for making a positive impact in the diabetes community than attending the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Annual Meeting as a College Diabetes Network (CDN) NextGen Leader. The College Diabetes Network provided me and six other young adult leaders from across the United States the opportunity to attend AADE19 in Houston, TX as a part of the NextGen Leadership program. CDN continues to provide me with amazing opportunities that support me and my future career.
During this conference as a CDN NextGen Leader, I assisted with staffing the CDN booth where I had the chance to share with others the services, support, and opportunities that CDN provides for college students and young adults across the country. Also, throughout the conference I was able to gain professional development skills, networking connections with healthcare professionals in the diabetes sector, and attend various meetings. I was also able to listen to speakers that covered various topics such as cancer and diabetes, new technology and medications, exercise management, and mental health. I learned more about diabetes management, expanded my knowledge on advancing technology and diabetes treatment research, and connected with mentors in the field of diabetes nationwide.
By attending the AADE19, I was presented with many opportunities. I also had the chance to learn and seek career advice from leading experts and healthcare professionals from diverse backgrounds across the nation. This experience would not have been possible without the support of CDN. CDN and AADE19 opened my eyes to the various career opportunities and pathways in the diabetes sector. CDN has continued to provide me with support throughout my undergraduate and graduate college career and has truly played a key role in influencing the trajectory of my career. Attending the conference and being a part of the CDN NextGen Leadership program renewed my passion for teaching and encouraging others to live by my motto, “You rule your disease; you do not let diabetes rule your life.”