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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
October 23, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

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Danielle Ludwick, Alumna



Danielle Ludwick (BA ‘08) learned the importance of volunteering through her high school’s experiential learning program. She was still amazed at the number of students who shared her passion at Laurier.

“During orientation week I remember being on the field by the gym and there were all these tables set up with the various organizations you could volunteer with, and I thought, ‘how am I going to choose?’ I was completely blown away.”

However she decided, Ludwick spent her years at Laurier volunteering with the Public Relations Committee, the Communication Students Association and Laurier Students for Literacy.

After she graduated with her degree in communication studies she knew she wanted to continue working in the non-profit sector. Born in Portland, Maine, Ludwick has dual citizenship and was eligible to join AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), an American organization that helps communities across the United States.

In January 2008 she left her home in Oakville for a 10-month humanitarian journey across America. She received disaster and diversity training before setting out on a number of expeditions, which included working in a low-income school in Maryland, reducing energy costs for homeowners in New Orleans and building a stage to boost tourism in a flood-ravaged town in West Virginia.

Ludwick and her team were on their way back to New Orleans when hurricanes Gustav and Ike showed up on the radar, so they were rerouted to Dallas, Houston and Galveston Island to help the American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with disaster relief.

“We drove around in emergency response vehicles and stopped to offer meals to anyone we saw – it didn’t matter who they were,” she says. “There were whole families looking for aid – parents, grandparents, children – everyone together.

“Every project we did was interesting, but helping families in Houston was especially rewarding.”