Dakota’s 2019 AADE Annual Meeting Experience: Continuing to Dia-Beat-This Journey 

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dakota

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. 
 

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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. 

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During the conference, CDN also paired NextGen Leaders with a mentor through the National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators (NCBDE). I was paired with Jenni Osborne who is a passionate, energetic, and driven Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), Master of Public Health (MPH) professional, and U.S. Navy Veteran from Virginia. Jenni is currently serving at the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center as the Chronic Condition Subject Matter Expert and helping to create prevention and management programs. She is also a board member for NCBDE. I had the wonderful opportunity to shadow and learn from Jenni during AADE19 as she presented her research poster and shared her personal career journey in the field of diabetes and in the United States military. I could not have been paired with a better mentor. Jenni is like me in the sense that I am taking a non-traditional approach to obtaining my CDE. It was reassuring to learn from my mentor that my goal of becoming a CDE can still be obtained and that there are others in the diabetes sector making a positive impact. 

The NextGen Leaders also participated in events and opportunities outside of the conference. One evening during the conference, CDN hosted a reception for parents who have children with T1D who are preparing to go off to college. At this event, I had the opportunity to speak and share my personal journey and experiences living with diabetes during my collegiate years. It was a wonderful opportunity to speak with the parents, share my own personal experiences, resources, and opportunities available, and ease their worries and concerns. 

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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.” 

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dakota
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Dakota Bramble
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Dakota is a Master of Public Health student at The University of Texas Medical Branch. She is interested in diabetes technology and research. Dakota also plans to become a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) to educate and encourage others that they can thrive with this chronic disease. She was diagnosed with T1D fourteen years ago. Dakota became involved with the College Diabetes Network when she first stepped into the collegiate world and found that working with and helping others in this organization helped with the transition to college. Formerly, she served as the Chapter leader for the Texas A&M University CDN Chapter. The experience reawakened her passion to raise awareness about T1D. Dakota hopes that by specializing in the field of diabetes, she can help improve the quality of life of others.