Spotlight on Phi Delta Epsilon Pre-Med Chapters

April 7, 2017
Maggie Streelman

Phi Delta Epsilon members volunteering at the Surrey Food Bank.

Among Kaplan’s esteemed national partners is Phi Delta Epsilon. This international medical fraternity is represented by hundreds of chapters throughout the world. Not only do its members excel academically, but they also work to benefit their respective communities. We are delighted to spotlight the chapters at Simon Fraser University and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for their enormous commitment to philanthropic service. Engage with members of both of these chapters as they share their stories of partnering with the Children’s Miracle Network and other deserving causes.

Phi Delta Epsilon at Simon Fraser University

Our chapter, Phi Delta Epsilon Canada Beta at Simon Fraser University, is passionately devoted to philanthropy and service, both within and beyond our local community. For example, we regularly volunteer at the Surrey Food Bank, which helps over 15,000 people feed their families each month. We also help shape young students into well-rounded individuals through mentorship and literacy programs at University Highland’s Elementary School.

One organization we are especially passionate about is Children’s Miracle Network (CMN), which is dedicated to raising funds for hospitals to save and improve the lives of children. To support our local medical center, BC Children’s Hospital, we organize large scale fundraisers that bring our communities together.

For example, in 2014, we brought the Dance Marathon movement to Canada for the first time, raising nearly $11,000 via a 12-hour dance party. Today, our campus has raised over $50,000 through Dance Marathon. Then, in 2016, we hosted the first institutionally organized Anatomy Fashion Show in Canada, which featured many wonders and intricacies of the human body painted on models and which raised more funds for BC Children’s Hospital.

We believe in giving back to our community, and are proud supporters of Children’s Miracle Network. CMN funds critical treatments and health care services for millions of children each year. Each day, more than 4,900 children in Canada receive treatment for common medical conditions, such as asthma, congenital heart disease, and cancer. By supporting CMN, we contribute to the most critical priorities, such as treatment and research, in order to provide comfort and hope for these children and their families. Through our philanthropic efforts, our chapter hopes to impact the lives of children in need, one child at a time.

PDE IL Photo 2

Phi Delta Epsilon at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Beginning with a founding class of 43 in 2007, the Illinois Beta (IL-Beta) chapter of Phi Delta Epsilon—our professional medical fraternity at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—has grown to approximately 100 members. Following tradition, IL-Beta members participate in service activities throughout the Champaign-Urbana area and work with their philanthropic partner, Children’s Miracle Network. Members of IL-Beta raised over $17,000 for CMN during the previous academic year and are proud to consistently be one of the top chapters in terms of fundraising.

As an undergraduate chapter, we strive to practice our values of philanthropy, community service, and leadership, along with providing opportunities and resources for our members to become competitive medical school applicants. With a current roster of over 100 dedicated members we uphold strong work ethics, family values, and high standards to create physicians of integrity, dedicated to serving their community.

Miracle’s in May is an event that IL-Beta is known for around campus. In addition to our members, we invite and host professors, doctors, relatives, and friends to this event in efforts to spread awareness of Children’s Miracle Network in conjunction with Phi Delta Epsilon. We have a brunch catered by the university, performances from students, and stories shared by a family whose child is affiliated with the CMNH hospital. During the event, we hold ticket sales for the gala, a silent auction, and a raffle with gift baskets as prizes. This large-scale gala helps raise awareness of the millions of children in need and motivates everyone present to get involved and assist in these philanthropic efforts. Kaplan does a great job assisting us by generously donating a free prep course to auction off as a prize. From the auction for that course alone, we are able to raise over $1,000 within minutes for CMNH.

The most heartwarming experience from this day is when the CMNH affiliated family speaks about the struggles their family has gone through and how Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has played a paramount role in improving their lives and experiences. This story gives us an appreciation for why we do what we do; if a year of hard work benefits even one life, then all the effort was worth it. This is an event that all of IL-Beta looks forward to; the excitement from auctions and interacting with our CMN families shows in how involved our members get in planning the event.

Although Miracles in May is our largest fundraiser, collecting over $7,000 in four hours, it is not the only one that plays a big role in our efforts. All Phi Delta Epsilon Chapters are involved with Stand for the Kids, and IL-Beta strives to be a chapter that implements new and innovative ideas that haven’t been seen on the University of Illinois Campus. This past October and the year prior, IL-Beta hosted an event called Portillo’s on Campus. Portillo’s is a restaurant whose nearest location is nearly 120 miles away from campus, so we devote a day to driving there to pick up fresh food that we can serve the same day. The University of Illinois community has been ecstatic about this event for the past two years and provides us with the perfect conduit to build excitement and awareness to CMN. This past year alone, we were able to raise over $3,000 from this event, and we continually strive to better this every year. By hosting CMNH families and representatives, we are able to spread the stories of the children and of how our funds have been able to make a difference.

SFU Food Bank Photo 1


SFU Photo 2

The meaningful work done by each of these chapters serves as a valuable reminder of the importance of volunteering. While pursuing a degree, it is all too easy to become wrapped up in grade point averages and applications. The real challenge lies in the ability to set aside time, energy, and resources to help improve the lives of those in need. If you are a pre-medical student, be sure to check out Phi Delta Epsilon on your campus, get involved and make a difference!

Maggie Streelman

Maggie Streelman Maggie Streelman is a junior at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. She is pursuing a degree in psychology with a minor in communication studies. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school to earn her master's in counseling. If she were to ditch her plans altogether, Maggie would sing in a country band or become a scuba instructor in the Caribbean. Want to continue the conversation with Maggie? Message her on Instagram @maggielynn27.

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