Meet Dean (he/him) – aviation enthusiast, youth motivational speaker and founder of a charity dedicated to improving the lives of animals in need.
Dean is studying a Bachelor of Science, and lives at Trinity Residential College supported by a Thrive Fellowship, but we have no idea how he fits study in around his adventures.
Over the last few years, he has learned to fly planes, founded a charity, participated in a Space Camp in the USA, travelled to Mongolia and visited a bear sanctuary and dog shelters in Romania.
Dean explains that like so many others, the pandemic caused him to adapt his study goals.
I was originally in an aviation program in high school, as I wanted to be a commercial pilot. Unfortunately, as I graduated when COVID struck, all the cadetships available for airlines were retracted.
I decided to instead major in Engineering Science and Commerce because I am a technical yet social person. Maybe I’ll be able combine aviation and engineering in a job down the track.
While he’s got big ambitions for the future, Dean is particularly proud of his charity ‘Give Our Strays a Chance’ (GOSAC) that he founded at just 10 years old.
“My mum showed me a picture of a dog that was about to be euthanised and we went out to a country pound to rescue him. The conditions were horrible with the dogs kept in small cages in a brick building with no light or fresh air. When we saved the dog, he was so skinny his ribs were showing. Now Hooch lives a great life but there are many more animals out there who are living the life Hooch once did.”
Dean’s charity has won multiple awards and has raised more than $4 million dollars in supplies for animal organisations throughout WA.
“Most importantly GOSAC has helped countless animals across WA lead a better life.”
Dean is living proof that young people can make a difference, and now speaks at high schools encouraging students to believe in their potential to create positive change.
“I followed my passion for helping stray animals, never thinking how successful the charity would become. Staying committed goes a long way.”
With a lot on his plate, Dean lends some valuable advice about juggling university with other commitments.
I learnt that time management is a valuable skill to have! It is never easy balancing it all, and when there is a lot going on it can be crazy. REALLY crazy. I think it’s always important to pick things in life that you enjoy and love as well as finding breaks to tune out for the day.
Dean will be sharing more of his amazing story at an upcoming TEDx Kings Park youth event, taking place on Saturday 29 July.