From an early age, Janie witnessed the strain and pressure a chronic illness places on a child and their family. When Janie was four years old, her younger sister was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. In high school, Janie became involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) through volunteer opportunities, projects, and programs. During this time she gained an awareness of the lack of support and educational resources for families, especially those living in rural areas. She witnessed the inaccessibility of necessary diabetes education for many, a problem that she has assisted in addressing and hopes to further address in the future.
During her years at Vanderbilt, Janie has continued to work alongside the JDRF. She completed her Ingram summer project with the JDRF to further address inequalities in the availability of diabetes education. She developed a course to educate babysitters, grandparents, and other secondary caregivers about providing short-term care for children with Type 1 diabetes. Her project aimed to improve the quality of care that diabetic children receive, while also lowering the stress of primary caregivers by providing safe options for child care.
While at Vanderbilt, Janie’s passion for accessible health education grew into an interest in providing greater educational opportunities for all individuals. She became a mentor for young students at Preston Taylor Ministries and a tutor for Next Steps at Vanderbilt, a program that provides those with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to experience college. Janie also volunteers with Project C.U.R.E., an organization that distributes medical supplies to sites worldwide.
Janie is grateful and honored to be a part of the Ingram Scholars Program and the incredible community it cultivates. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in medicine in order to further assist underprivileged groups in gaining access to education and medical information.