Occupational therapy student recognized by the New England Patriots Foundation and Kraft Family

July 03, 2023

Bobbi Dynice poses onstage with Kraft Family and New England Patriots Foundation while holding award

For her hard work, dedication and going above and beyond helping families and infants through the Diaper Bank of Connecticut (DBCT), occupational therapy student Bobbi Dynice ‘22, MS ‘24, was recently recognized by the Kraft family and New England Patriots Foundation as a 2023 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award winner.

“I felt incredibly honored to be nominated for this award,” said Dynice. “I also feel incredibly excited that the Patriots Foundation will be making a $10,000 donation to the diaper bank in honor of my contributions.”

During her second undergraduate year in 2019, Dynice took an honors signature experience at Quinnipiac, an interdisciplinary program that combines coursework and hands-on experience through Quinnipiac’s psychology department. During this program is when she was introduced to the Diaper Bank of Connecticut. The course focused on diaper needs and maternity mental health. After meeting the executive director of the diaper bank and learning more about the organization, she was inspired to continue to volunteer.

“The thing I value most about volunteering is learning more about ethical community engagement,” said Dynice. “The Diaper Bank of Connecticut works with a great network of community partners that meet families where they already are and makes these essential items truly accessible.”

When she first started volunteering at the diaper bank, she repacked and sorted diapers in the warehouse during the honors signature experience, resulting in a university-wide diaper drive, she said. To fulfill her global public health minor’s community engagement requirement, she took the opportunity in her junior year to reach out to the DBCT executive director to continue volunteering for the diaper bank.

“Through my engagement, I was able to volunteer again in the warehouse and meet regularly with Janet Alfano, the executive director, who expressed that one of the DBCT’s goals was to educate more young people about the topic,” said Dynice. “I came up with the idea and coordinated an interdisciplinary panel symposium through the honors program at Quinnipiac. Janet and Jenny Kohl, the community outreach coordinator, were able to attend and support me in planning and promoting the event. Following this, I was able to continue volunteering with the DBCT through advocacy efforts, writing to local legislators, working on social media campaigns as well as planning and hosting fundraisers.”

Dynice’s passion for the cause continued to grow as she hosted a fundraiser on her birthday and managed to help move the State of Connecticut's Menstrual Equity Legislation along, having the state provide free menstrual products in schools, state colleges, shelters and prisons. She successfully supported Menstrual Equity in Connecticut with Kohl through the Humans with Periods project, a social media campaign to reduce stigmas around menstruation. This allowed Dynice to write testimonies to state legislators on period products being necessities for human health.

“The legislative session ran from February to May, but the planning began much earlier around sometime in September,” she said. “There were meetings focused on strategy, outreach, advocacy and testifying all in an effort to move the legislation forward. Ultimately, we were successful.”

This year, there were over 350 applicants from non-profit organizations all across New England states for volunteers to be recognized by the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards. More than 475 volunteers were recognized with ages ranging from 21 to 80 years old and over $3.5 million was donated to support the non-profit organizations.

Dynice and the DBCT plan to use the $10,000 donation they received to continue their work.

“The diaper bank hopes to increase access to diapers for all families with young children, as well as menstrual products and incontinence products for those who need them,” said Dynice. “The diaper bank plans to use the funds for its general operations in order to increase access to these products across the lifespan.”

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