FEMA asks teens to help with disaster preparedness
“I love helping out in the community. I love meeting with people.” Dorian Tre’Vaughn Gregory
BREAUX BRIDGE — Dorian Tre’Vaughn Gregory’s drive and passion for community service appears to be paying off.
The 14-year-old Breaux Bridge boy was recently selected as one of 13 members of the newly created FEMA Youth Preparedness Council, a national council created to engage teenagers and take into account their perspectives, feedback and opinions on preparing for national disasters, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency news release.
FEMA says council members will be eligible to serve for two years and will be encouraged to voice their opinions, experiences, ideas and solutions to help strengthen the nation in its preparations for disasters.
Dorian said Thursday he plans to use his time on the council to implement a “good gang” initiative for the region, which would be modeled after the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church Good Gang Ministry in Branch, where his father, Craig Gregory, serves as pastor.
The initiative would focus on helping the elderly and disabled prepare for disasters. For instance, the group could help them pack “ready-to-go” bags in case of an emergency, Dorian said.
To grow the group, Dorian said, he plans on tapping into existing youth groups at area churches, schools and community-based groups, such as Boys and Girls Clubs and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
“I love helping out in the community,” Dorian said. “I love meeting with people.”
Craig Gregory, who also serves as a St. Martin Parish councilman, nominated his son for the post. Gregory described his son as a “humble kid and a leader.”
“This for my child can open up a multitude of other things and I just want him to remain humble. I want him to be committed and above all I want him to be a leader. I do believe that he has been gifted to be a leader,” Gregory said.
Dorian, the youngest of seven boys, is an incoming freshman at Breaux Bridge High School, a track and field athlete and a wide receiver, although he’s getting some push-back from his dad on that last passion.
“I’m scared. I don’t want them to hit my baby,” Gregory said.
“I can take a hit,” Dorian replied.
The teenager is also president of the local chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving and a member of the BETA Club and Student Council, according to a short biography released by FEMA. It also states that Dorian was affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and has volunteered to serve his community in response to hurricanes, floods and tornadoes.
Dorian is one of two council members from the Region VI area, which is Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The other council member is Jonathan DeLong, of Austin, Texas.
Dorian said he plans on keeping in touch with his fellow council member on a daily or weekly basis.
The two teenagers will meet in early August when the council participates in a roundtable with the leaders of national relief organizations in Washington, D.C., according to FEMA.
FEMA says the youth council is made up of 13 “diverse leaders” ages 13 to 17 from across FEMA’s 10 regions who are “dedicated to public service, making a difference in their community and expanding their impact as a national advocate for youth preparedness.”
Gregory said the trip also includes a trip to the White House. The family is crossing their fingers that the trip includes a meeting with the president.
“I hope so,” Dorian said.