The David Garcia Project (DGP) is an experiential learning experience facilitated by students for their peers through the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center. This program works to advocate for people with disabilities by educating CMU students through activities and reflection. This series of "Challenge By Choice" activities aims to demonstrate what difficulties a person could encounter if they had a disability.
It is not the intention of DGP to make students feel bad for people with disabilities; rather it aims to provide empathy so they have a better understanding about the differences among people.
What will I learn? The David Garcia Project simulates several diagnoses that are accompanied with a varying level of ability. These simulations show some difficulties you may experience from one of the following diagnoses:
- Deafness/Hearing Loss
- Visual Impairments/Vision Loss
- Mobility Impairments
- Learning Disabilities
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
How do I get involved?
Attend an Open Session
The David Garcia Project holds open sessions for the entire CMU community throughout the academic year. These sessions last about an hour and a half and provide a comprehensive experience of what DGP has to offer. To find a current listing of these sessions and to sign up to attend, please visit the Events page on the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center OrgSync portal. Grab a couple of friends and come to an open session to learn more about our program!
Host a DGP Session for your student organization or class
The David Garcia Project can come to you! We will gladly come to your RSO meeting or class and facilitate our service project for your participants. We can also track the time you spend in the session on OrgSync, because this is a great way for your group to accumulate service hours!
If you are interested in having the David Garcia Project come to you fill out a request form on OrgSync.
Become a DGP Facilitator
After you have participated in a DGP session, we would love to have you come aboard as a DGP Facilitator. We accept applications for facilitators throughout the year and train new classes of facilitators around four times each year. We are always looking for energetic people with a flexible schedule to help our program grow. If you are passionate about educating others and advocating for others with disabilities, apply to become a facilitator with our OrgSync application.
Why David Garcia?
DGP is a living memorial to David Garcia, a computer programmer who perished in the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center. David lived with an incurable degenerative eye disorder and was a lifelong supporter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. This living memorial was established in cooperation with the Points of Light USA Initiative, and the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center is honored to include David's memory in our programming.
If you have any inquiries about the David Garcia Project please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (989) 774-7685.