A Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight: Deanna Proimos

deanna-proimosSeeing as how children are our future, we should make sure to invest in them, right? We need to show them love, encouragement, and guidance so that we can ensure that our kids have the best chances for the brightest futures. 

Deanna Proimos does her best with local children and the work she does with Chasing Dreams, Inc. 

Proimos grew up in Merrillville, IN and attended Valparaiso Schools. She was an active and lively child, taking part in all sorts of activities. 

"We were always out playing or hanging out in neighborhood being typical kids riding bikes and playing outside," Proimos said. "In school I was part of soccer, tennis, student council, NHS, academic teams, and other stuff."

After high school Proimos attended Butler University where she majored in Biology and Chemistry and minored in Spanish. On top of her studies she added lots of activities that kept her life busy and rich. Biology Club, president of the APO her senior year, heading out to Butler basketball games, and enjoying time with special needs children during Spring Sports Spectaculars and Dance Marathons, Proimos was a busy girl.

"I really like being involved and helping others and doing what I can in any way that I can. I felt bored if I wasn't active. I wanted to make sure that I was doing as much as I could and that I was pushing myself top be the best that I could be," Proimos said.

deanna-proimos-2After she graduated from Butler, Proimos came back home to be with her family and start on her Master's Degree at Indiana University Northwest. She will be done in December 2014 and will hold a Master's in Public Affairs with a concentration in Nonprofit Management.

Now back to Chasing Dreams, Inc. which was mentioned above. What is it and how did Proimos get involved? Chasing Dreams, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that help to enrich the lives and of children with Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities. They provide a place for children and their families to learn and grow.

On the Chasing Dreams website it states:

"We feel at Chasing Dreams that we will make a difference in the community by providing a center for everyone that is affected by Down Syndrome. It will be available to 7 counties 6 days a week. We plan to fill in the gap for families by having scheduled social, physical, and educational programs that will give a positive outcome in their lives," -Chasing Dreams, Inc.

Proimos got involved by chance. One day she was reading the newspaper with her mom when she saw a photo of the Chasing Dreams CEO and her daughter. Proimos read the article about the organization and immediately was interested. 

"When I came back from school I volunteered at St. Mary Medical Center in the ER. I loved doing that, but I also wanted to work with children like I did when I was at Butler," Proimos said. "I gave [the CEO] a call and met with her and started volunteering. I started with little play groups and worked with little kids once a week. I did that for a while and then slowly got more involved."

 Her involvement became more apparent when she took charge of the I Can Shine Bike Camp. Through IUN she interned at Chasing Dreams, Inc. and then later became the secretary of their Board.

She where did this love of children and volunteering develop?

 "It really came down to when I was at Butler. I worked with and had a connection with kids with special needs while I was there. At first I never thought I'd be as involved as I am now. It grabbed my heart and I've fallen in love with it and found my passion through this. As I spent time with the kids and watched them grow and advance I knew it was something I wanted to be part of. This is where I want to be in my life," Proimos said.

Outside of Chasing Dreams, Proimos still attends school and works as an administrative assistant. She and her friends hold season tickets to Butler basketball games so she spends as much time there as she can as well as all over the country where her friends live. Being so busy, one would think that this girl would get tired and slow down. Not so. Read what she does to stay on track and happy.

"Do not let every speed bump in life deter you. Things happen but you always end up where you need to be. Don't stress over the little things. When I fist started out I was worried that I wasn't going to go anywhere but I was pleasantly surprised and now I'm in a great place because I didn't give up," Proimos said.

For more information on Chasing Dreams, Inc. click here! And be sure to check out their Facebook page!