By Emma Herwehe
In 2015, DJ Glander was asked to share his Riley story at the IU Dance Marathon. That’s when he fell in love with the organization. He immediately transferred to IU.
Once he became a student at IU and a member of IUDM, he was on Corporate Relations. Following his time as a committee member on CR, he was a culture chair on Executive Dancers, a committee dedicated to easing students into IUDM who may not want to join a committee right away. He was a committee member on Executive Dancers his senior year.
He was the Tacky Prom King in 2017!
Now, DJ is working towards graduating from his Master's program, at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, in December.
His story starts at birth when he had a stroke. Doctors didn’t really know what was going on for about three months, and it was at that point they started noticing Glander was having developmental delays. Because his parents had both done their residencies at Riley, they knew where to take him for treatment.
He was a Riley kid up until he was 19.
“Without Riley, I shouldn't be walking and shouldn't be talking and shouldn't be in that Master's program. That's for sure,” Glander said. “So I legitimately just give my all to Riley because the hospital saved my life.”
His “why” is acceptance. Glander wasn’t always accepted as a kid because of his disability. IUDM is a different story, he said.
“Regardless of the disability I have, it’s really helped me open up and I just thrive in the organization,” Glander said.
Glander said that philanthropy is not just monetary giving. Philanthropy is someone giving their heart or time. IUDM is the perfect place for that.
“This organization gives its members the opportunity to show love and to show empathy on a grand scale because of the number of members that the organization has,” Glander said.
He said people in IUDM have the opportunity to show the good in the world and show what our generation is doing in the healthcare subsector of the nonprofit sector. We can be advocates, he said.
“It's easy to raise money for children,” Glander said.
Being now on the outside looking in, he said he’s really “taking in the glory” of everything IUDM is doing and has done.
Glander’s advice to help relieve stress or overwhelming feelings is to take a step back and look at the organization as a whole. It’s a different experience to see what's going on without being on the inside.
IUDM shaped Glander’s college years and will always be a huge part of his life. It’s important to put everything you have into the organization, he said.
“You get out of it what you put into it,” Glander said. “Give your entire heart into this organization because it'll give you everything and more back.”