Where Are They Now? Ambassador Alum: Dominic Panucci
Now in its fourth season, the I Want to be an Ambassador! camp has hosted more than 60 students to develop their diplomacy skills and enhance their understanding of cultural diversity. Some of our readers may remember Dominic Panucci, who participated in the summer 2011 Ambassador camp when he was a junior attending Chartiers Valley High School. After completing the summer camp, Dominic used the program as a platform for his Senior Project by bringing “Diplomacy Week” to his classmates through activities and group discussions.
We caught up with Dominic, who is now attending Robert Morris University and working toward a degree in Education with a minor in Special Education. With a real passion for history and teaching, Dominic is looking forward to one day teaching middle school history.
What have you been up to since completing the Ambassador program?
I am a full-time student at RMU, and I am still really involved with the Boys & Girls Club of Carnegie. I believe that my experience with the Boys & Girls Club has helped enhance my college experience and vice versa.
What does “diplomacy” mean to you?
"Diplomacy" to me, means being able to solve problems quickly and accurately using non-violent, peaceful methods. It is a way to communicate needs and wants and remain solution focused. The Ambassador program really strives to instill these qualities.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve ever learned?
The most important lesson that I learned from the I Want to be an Ambassador! camp, is that there are many different people out there (shape, color, sex, etc.), and that it is important to understand them in order to create a more perfect world for us to live in. It is also important to know yourself in order to know others.
What does 2013 have in store for you (future plans/career goals)?
So far, 2013 looks good to me. I am continuing my education in order to pursue the career that I want. I also hope to move up in the ranks with the Boys & Girls Club so that I am able to make a bigger impact in my community. I feel these types of organizations do so much good and truly impact the community at large.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Listener, Helper, Worker.
What was the funniest thing you have ever experienced?
There is no true "funniest" experience for me. Whenever I am with my family, and we’re just sitting around talking, laughing, and having a good time – that is what I remember. Family is the most important thing to me. I love my family and the special moments we have. I value those times the most.
Do you have any hobbies?
My hobby is coaching. As I’ve mentioned before, I have been a part of the Boys & Girls Club of Carnegie since I was 12 years old. For the past eight years, I have coached flag football, deck hockey, basketball, and golf. I have coached about 37 teams and more than 370 kids. Why do I do it? Because I love it! To me it’s the most amazing feeling in the world when the kid that you have been working with all season long finally gets that first touchdown, or that first goal, or that first basket in the hoop. It’s that moment that I know I have made a difference in someone’s life, and to me nothing beats it.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
If I could have any superpower, it would definitely be the ability to fly. Why? So that I don’t have to wait in line at the airport, or go through all the security check points. I could just fly anywhere I want, whenever I want!
Can you share something with us that people may not know about you?
That’s a tough question. I’m really an open book to people. You could ask me anything, and I would have no trouble answering it to the best of my ability. But I suppose that many people may not know that I am a computer/technology geek. I am always up-to-date with the latest and greatest pieces of technology. If you give me a computer that has a virus or some sort of software issue, I usually can fix it. So yeah, I am a geek.
A note from our President
by Hilda Pang Fu, President, Luminari
In the timeless words of beloved children’s author and whimsy-inspiring rhymester, Dr. Seuss: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” Oh the places you’ll go – and so begins a new year. We are looking forward to a year of beginnings and endings at Luminari. In 2013 we will build on work started, design new endeavors, and move forward with creative resolve and vigor. We’ll look ahead with our new segment WHERE ARE THEY NOW? In which we catch up with alumni from our I Want to be an Ambassador! and Teen Writer! programs. We’re also in the home stretch to select our Luminari Award winners for 2013. With several local schools participating this year, the competition this term was intense, and we are looking forward to revealing the winning students/schools this March!
But first let’s take a peek back at 2012 with LESSONS LEARNED from our Luminari Team Members:
Social Media + Presidential Election = Far fewer friends on Facebook (Gina Catanzarite, Director, Teen Writer!)
One can spend hours wasting her precious time encouraging Siri to say hilarious things (Jill Campbell, Administrative Coordinator, Luminari)
Finally! My Anthropology degree has translated into “real world application;” I didn't spend a dime to prepare for the “Mayan apocalypse!” (Nathan Browne, Director, I Want to be an Ambassador!)
Ability for my whole family to explore the sights and foods of Singapore and Hong Kong = worth the 15 hour flight with my 18 month old son and 3.5 year old daughter! (Joyce Fu, Board Member, Luminari)