Checking In with the Champion Cubs

At the Educational Event in Scottsdale, we celebrated Tyler Kramer’s first year of college and recognized the great work of Samantha Irvin and Kat Wong as they prepared to graduate from high school and from the Our Diabetes Journey youth and parent program. With more than a month of college under their belts, we checked in with Sam and Kat to find out how things are with our young cubs now that they are “out in the wild.”

Q&A with Kat Wong, Freshman at Bentley University in Waltham, MA.

Kat, her best friend Alex, and school mascot, Flex

Kat, her best friend Alex, and school mascot, Flex

How is school going?

School is going great! My classes are definitely a lot of work, but worthwhile because I can already see the skills learned in my classes having an effect in my everyday life.

What classes are you taking?

I’m taking the general business courses like Law in the Workplace, IT, Calculus, Introduction to Finance, Accounting, and a few other classes. I am still undecided on a major.

What is your living situation?

My living situation is really nice. I have a single dorm room so there’s not any roommate drama, but it’s great because all of my best friends live right nearby.

How are you managing your diabetes since moving to college?

My friends are all really cool with me having diabetes. They ask a ton of questions but because they are so supportive, it has made the transition so much easier.

Have you used any skills that you learned from the A1C Champions program in college?

The main thing VPR has helped me with is public speaking and making a good first impression. I’ve already had to give a few presentations in my law and philosophy classes. Also, because I meet so many new people through the programs I give, it is really easy to go up to new people at school and strike up a conversation with them.

What else have you been up to in your first month?

Within the past month I’ve joined a few clubs. I’m treasurer of the hall that I live in and joined two business clubs (NABA and ALPFA), the triathlon team, a nonprofit club, the consulting group, and I’m a member of an ALANA mentor/mentee program so in a few weeks I’ll be going to Six Flags with them.

The greatest thing about college so far is the friends I’ve been able to make. Attending concerts, homecoming, and club meetings with them has definitely improved my experience.

Q&A with Sam Irvin, Freshman at Loyola University in Chicago, IL.

Sam and her roommate, Gabbi

Sam and her roommate, Gabbi

How is school going?

School is pretty good. My dorm is right by the lake and the library where I go to work on homework has a great view of it too. The campus is beautiful and I really like being in Chicago and making new friends.

How are classes going?

My classes are challenging, but not too difficult. I am taking my Honors seminar for freshmen, Chemistry 101 and lab, along with Calculus II. I really like my honors seminar so far because we read the Odyssey and Dante’s Inferno and other ancient texts.

What is your living situation?

I am sharing a dorm room with Gabbi who is from St. Louis. We live in one of the smaller dorms on campus so there are about 300 of us. Being in my dorm lets me interact with the other freshmen in the Honors program with me.

How are you managing your diabetes since moving to college?

So far, it hasn’t been too bad. I have had a morning or two where I start out low so I have to eat some glucose tabs before I head out to the dining hall for breakfast. Overall though, I have had one night where I did forget to give insulin for dinner so I did go up to the 300’s for a little, but I just took insulin and drank a lot of water. The cool thing is that my roommate is totally comfortable about my diabetes and a few girls in my floor have family or friends with it. My RA (resident assistant) even said she already knew about it because her boyfriend has diabetes!

Have you used any skills that you learned from the A1C Champions program in college?

One thing I have definitely used is broaching the subject of my diabetes to my roommate. I told her that I have diabetes, but it will not be that difficult to manage and I explained to her what to do in case of an emergency and she seemed to understand. Another benefit is that I have something to motivate me to keep my diabetes in control while in college. If I have this program and all my friends that I have made, I know I will want to stay on top of my diabetes management so I can have the best college experience I can. I am definitely looking forward to the next four years at Loyola.

Anything else you want to share?

Well, my dorm room is in the corner of the hall, so it is slightly bigger than others. I didn’t know this when I first got here so when I got to my room I was thoroughly surprised. Gabbi and I actually have our own separate “rooms” with a door and our own bathroom as well.

I started training for Telling My Story with Kristen and I can’t wait to start doing programs soon. I can’t wait to see you all again for the next educational event and tell you even more about college. Most importantly, I am enjoying college and have several good friends and found a bunch of fun things to do when I am not studying or just want to have a good time with friends. Chicago is a really great city to be in and I am so glad to have the chance to share this with all of you.


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