Student Discovered Ancestry with Multicultural Club

Iana Davis, Reporter

Multicultural club members are credited with helping a member discover her heritage.

New member Tatiana Dorner was a foster child who was unaware of her background.

When she told the club, Iana Davis, a member and junior mass communications and design major, decided to lend a hand in searching for the long overdue answers.

Davis provided Dorner with an Ancestry DNA test, which she received for Christmas last year and did not use.

“I was adopted at the age of three with my sister Brianna who was five,” Dorner said. “Our birth mother was very sick and could not take care of us, but being adopted by the Donor family was the best gift God has ever given me.”

Dorner was shocked and touched by members’ hospitality, friendship and support.

“They kind of welcomed me in and made me feel like family, like I belong, so when I told them I was adopted and did not know of my heritage they kind stepped up to get me answers – eighteen years of living and not truly knowing anything about myself until now,” Donor said.

Club president Creily Torres, junior government law and national security major, supervised the transaction between the club members.

She understood the importance of knowing one’s  heritage as part of one’s identity.

“We are here to learn from one another and grow diversity. This is probably one of the reasons why I try so hard to host different events that incorporate various backgrounds. Not only does it allow students to learn more about their culture but they can also relate to something on campus, feel at home, and spread the beauty of their backgrounds,” Torres said.

Members were deeply invested in Dormer’s journey and provided support as she eagerly awaited results.

“It was an emotional moment for all of us, from finding out her unknowns and providing her with answers. Her results were a true testimony to ‘everything happens for a reason,’” Torres said.

When Dorner received the test results, she was deeply touched and grateful for her new friends.

“When I showed the results to club, they were so happy for me and gave me hugs. I’m so glad I joined the club and I’m so happy they have it at Misericordia University. This means so much to me,” Dornor said.

Torres said all members feel a sense of gratitude.

“I believe it happened at the perfect timing since she is a freshman and college is all about finding yourself, and now she will be able to do just that even more because she knows her roots,” Torres stated.

The club has made it priority to spread the message that people of every race represented on and off campus are welcome to join members in the quest for knowledge and self-discovery.

Members are thankful to Donor for sharing her story with people who were initially strangers but are now friends and mentors.

“I thought she was very brave for not knowing us at all in the beginning and still willing to trust and open up to share her story,” Torres said.

Members hope more students will join them.

“Many of the members stop by or socialize in the office for hours throughout the day. Once meetings are over some will even stick around to enjoy some laughter and quality time with each other,” Torres said.

The club has grown from barely a handful of students to 15 active members and sometimes more. Torres said events are always on the schedule, including a discussion night and other programs. Members held a diabetes awareness event Nov. 8 in which people shared personal stories with diabetes.