When Caleb Thielemann joined the Delta Tau Delta-Iota Phi fraternity, he had little experience with community service and almost no understanding of issues around domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse. Now he regularly helps families — usually women and children — move to safer homes, provides security at events where victims share their stories, and helps raise money for and awareness about the Bolton Refuge House, a local organization that offers services to domestic abuse, sexual assault and abuse victims. For several years, the DTD fraternity has partnered with Bolton, providing time, money and muscle where needed, while also sending a message to Bolton clients and the community that there are young men who care about these issues and are committed to making a difference in their communities. For Caleb, the volunteer work has been life-changing. The first time he pulled a few of his fraternity brothers together to help a family in crisis move to a safe place, Caleb was stunned by the difference a few guys could make in a family's life in just a couple of hours. It helped him understand the value of community service, as well as how much he wanted it to be part of his life. A criminal justice major, his experience working with Bolton and interacting with abuse victims also will help him tremendously if he goes into law enforcement, a career path he's seriously considering. He's learning about domestic abuse and sexual assault issues from an agency with a long history of supporting the victims of this kind of violence. And he's hearing stories of abuse directly from victims. Those are lessons that will help him be a more prepared and effective police officer, as well as a more passionate community advocate. Through his volunteer work and his studies, Caleb Thielemann is a community activist AND a criminal justice major ... and that's pretty powerful.
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- Caleb Thielemann
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