Congratulations to our Camp Korey 2020 Volunteer of the Year, Dominique!

To help us tell Camp’s story, we turned to someone that knows first-hand exactly what Camp Korey means to our campers, Camper Alumna and Volunteer brand storyteller – Dominique Joan.  

In 2020, Dominique generously volunteered over 230+ hours to Camp Korey!

Dominique Joan is a professional graphic designer, illustrator, author, and brand marketer. Her other projects include children’s book illustration as seen in Princess to the Rescue!

“All the memories, laughter, and friendships made at Camp Korey still impact me today in my adult life. I am blessed to have the opportunity to give back to a place that helped ignite the artist-within-me all those years ago. Thank you, Camp Korey!”

Let’s go back to the Summer of 2009 when 14-year old Dominique discovered Camp Korey.

“Over a decade ago, when Dominique was a pre-teen, her father and I searched for a place where Dominique, who lives with Kniest Syndrome, a rare form of dwarfism, could experience camp.  Let me tell you – NOT an easy thing for a family on a fixed income. Then came Camp Korey into our lives after a discussion with her medical team at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dominique qualified that first year because she had had a cleft palate at birth, so was able to attend the Craniofacial week. The memory of her excitement and thrill in her voice after attending this camp STILL brings tears of joy to my eyes,” shares Deslie, Dominique’s mother.

That summer Dominique met friends that looked like her, and also had the same doctors, similar life experiences, challenges, and dreams! Dominique found her community.  

The next year Skeletal Dysplasia camp week was added, and it was here Dominique was able to attend camp with other local friends who live with a form of dwarfism. Dominique’s entire composure changed – from a child who was not able to do many activities because of a condition she was born with, to a young lady full of hope and confidence.

Camp Is Where the Art Is

It was while attending a week at camp, Dominique took her first big chance to showcase her art and entered the Camp’s talent show.  Because of the confidence she gained when attending Camp Korey, Dominique had the courage to pursue asking if she could have her art entered – to which the Camp counselors said YES! Dominique submitted her computer disc that she had created before camp, loaded full of her art, and gained even more confidence in her art abilities.

In 2010 and 2011, Camp invited Dominique to speak at our GROW gala and fundraising auction. Supporters saw first-hand how incredible our campers are as Dominique shared her journey and finding her calling. “Again, Camp Korey to the rescue of a young lady’s heart and spirit!” her mother said.

Dominique found her life’s calling at Camp Korey

“Dominique has been gifted with many talents, and she has the wonderful attitude that she can use these gifts to help others.  Her artistic and computer skills have been mastered by her many hours of continuing to learn them – all at home. Due to an urgent, major surgery in her senior year of high school, and the recovery needed, Dominique had to attend an at-home, distance art instruction school after high school, instead of pursuing her degree at the more “prestigious” art academy she had hoped to attend,” Deslie recalls. However, Dominique persevered and remembered that grit she found at Camp to continue her education via self-taught curriculums, learning many computer programs, and skills, while continuing her recovery at home. Her story is one of overcoming emotional, physical, and mental adversity and becoming a beckon of hope and light for us all.

Today, Dominique shares stories through her art as a professional author, graphic designer, and visual storyteller.

Coming Full Circle

Deslie and Dominique remember the moment life came full circle.

“Shortly after Covid-19 shut everything down in early 2020, Camp Korey posted an article asking for volunteers.  Dominique came to me saying she would like to offer her talents in art and computers, if she could help in this way, and asked my thoughts. I full heartedly said, “YES! Please volunteer for them!” Camp Korey holds a very special place in the hearts of our family. 

Her volunteering and gift of her time and talents is truly a big Thank You! to all the wonderful people and organizations that support Camp Korey. Camp Korey is full of volunteers every year that help to instill this hope and encouragement to those in need.”

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Dominique’s volunteer impact on Camp Korey is a true reflection of the Korey promise. At Camp Korey we embrace, encourage, enrich, and celebrate the talents of our campers and the greater gifts they bestow on the world. Dominique has enriched our Camp Korey legacy with her designs and visual storytelling. It is through her eyes that we can see, feel, and understand the joy and importance of Camp Korey to children with life-altering medical conditions wherever they are.