12 Nov Meet Braedon – DI Colorado Team Member
Meet Braedon Guenther, a Colorado team member, part of our DI Colorado Teen Advisory Board and Founder of the Materials Equity Program making sure Title 1 teams have access to materials for their long-teams solution.
When I think of what DI means to me, my mind is cast back to my friend Aidan. When he first entered DI in first grade, Aidan was the quiet kid in the back of the classroom. He didn’t talk much, couldn’t think of any story ideas past what he had read in books, and wanted as small an acting part as he could get in our DI skits. Fast forward to the end of middle school, and you wouldn’t recognize him. Through DI, Aidan had turned into a confident, talkative kid who quickly became everyone’s friend. He delivered many stellar (and hilarious) performances in our DI skits, often as the lead character, playing everyone from James Bond to a scientist to a literal firewall. He thought up totally unique solutions to problems on the spot. To me DI is the growth that Aidan exemplified. It teaches kids skills such as engineering and quick thinking that will serve them well later in life. Take my old teammates for example: Patrick credits his success in the DECA program, which teaches business, to his experience learning DI Instant challenges. Lucas took the engineering skills he learned in DI to his high school robotics team, to great success. Joe learned how to harness his boundless energy into acting. For me, DI taught valuable public speaking skills and revealed a love of story writing, and you’ve already heard about what it did to Aidan.
Aidan’s DI story ended when he entered high school, even though the skills and knowledge he gained will stay with him for the rest of his life. I, on the other hand, am still doing DI – this year is the eleventh year I have competed. In addition to competing, I help out at tournaments, am part of the DI Colorado Teen Advisory Board, and I founded and run the Materials Equity Program for DI Colorado. Every day, I see the impact DI has had on the world in the kids who compete and the adults who devote their time to this wonderful program. DI reveals skills, creativity, and joy in everyone it touches. It is the program that changes lives. I know it has changed mine.