Duane Belanger has embraced his role as a non-traditional student, maximizing all he can from his academics as well as contributing in extraordinary ways to the leadership opportunities on campus. He excels in both capacities. With a long history of service in the public interest, including the U.S. military and as elected state representative, Duane readily agreed to serve as president of the student-led organization, Partners for International Relief (PIR). The purpose of this newly-formed organization is to facilitate student participation in humanitarian mission trips, both nationally and internationally. In fall 2016, Duane, still a freshmen student, traveled to Brazil on just such a mission. Upon his return and using his organizational and business skills, he endeavored arranging a similar campus-sponsored trip involving area physicians, dentists, nurses, and students. With his impeccable professionalism, Duane approached the area airline and was successful in gaining a reduced airfare for PIR participants who must travel from northern Maine to Boston to obtain a connecting flight. He has sought innovative ways to fundraise for PIR and has made several polished presentations to service, church, and other area groups on behalf of PIR. Because of Mr. Belanger's commitment, he has assured PIR's viability and sustainability.
My core belief is that every human being is entitled to equal access to healthcare, in line with the patient's needs, respectful of a patient's right to choose, delivered in a culturally congruent and compassionate manner. I am the president of UMFK Partners for International Relief which has the mission to make a difference in the lives of others through education, community health and wellness, and humanitarian relief missions. I have developed and nurtured partnerships with community organizations, businesses, facilities, and community leaders in support of an annual medical relief mission allowing UMFK students an opportunity to bring medical services to the most disparaged areas of the world and experience firsthand the joy of truly making a difference in the lives of others.
In the community I organized an annual Polar Dip to raise funds for Aroostook Special Olympics that has to date raised over $30,000 and brings smiles to those that have for too long been shunned by our society. I serve on boards of various local organizations. I am on the advisory board of Wreaths Across America. I am US Army Veteran and serve in many capacities at the local, state and national level of the American Legion.