Thursday, November 19, 2015

#BeCauseY: Y Student Leaders Giving Without Borders

Dina Betts and Jesse Chen are passionate about working with communities around the world for clean, reliable drinking water and accessible, renewable energy options. They cultivated this passion at the University YMCA.

“Ever since I have joined, I cannot imagine devoting my career to any work that is not dedicated to social good,” said Dina Betts, a senior in Civil Engineering and Ntisaw Project leader for Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a student program of the University YMCA.

Since 2004, the University Y has been the home of the U. of I. chapter of EWB, a student program dedicated to community-based engineering for a more sustainable global future. In Fall 2008, EWB started the Ntisaw Village Partnership in Cameroon, aimed at providing clean, accessible and reliable water to the people of the Ntisaw Village. Since the project’s inception, Ntisaw community members and EWB project leaders have codesigned and developed a new drinking water source, a water distribution system and six latrines.

“It’s been an amazing experience, forming relationships and building a greater understanding of the community,” said Jesse Chen, a second-year Electrical Engineering student and Ntisaw Project coordinator for EWB.

Jesse, Dina and the rest of the EWB Ntisaw Project team plan to make one more trip in May 2016 to work on transitioning the project completely to the local Ntisaw water management team. The Ntisaw Village Partnership may be coming to an end this academic year, but the leadership and personal growth gained from this community-driven engineering project will have a lasting impact.

To support the Y student leaders of Engineers Without Borders now and for years to come, please visit:

No comments: