Community Champion: Dr. Gina Dieudonne

It’s time to recognize a Community Champion in partnership with Leaders Credit Union.

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Dr. Gina Dieudonne is a pediatrician at Rainbow Pediatric in Humboldt. But when she is not serving kids in the doctor’s office, she is helping them work on their serve on the court.

“I noticed as a pediatrician that our kids did not really have many activities that encouraged them to move,” Dieudonne said.

Rainbow Moves is a non-profit program that Dieudonne started in August of 2018.

“Sometimes, because of cost or lack of equipment or resources, a lot of families were not able to get their kids involved in sports,” Dieudonne said.

That is when Dieudonne decided to create a boot camp in the back of her office with different stations.

“One of the stations was a tennis station, where we had a racket and they had to try to hit the ball against the wall,” Dieudonne said. “That was the biggest hit. So the kids just loved the tennis and that’s when the lightbulb went off for me and it brought me back to when I was a child and my dad introduced me to tennis. And to this day, it’s just a sport that I love.”

Dieudonne then decided to offer tennis lessons for free, meeting with the kids every Saturday. But it’s not just about getting active on the court.

Screen Shot 2023 04 26 At 104037 PmDieudonne says they are a National Junior Tennis and Learning Center, which is part of the U.S. Tennis Association.

“The model is you have a book in one hand and a tennis racket in the other. Thirty minutes of that time, we encourage the kids to pay for their free tennis lessons by reading a book for the week. And that really brings back an excitement for reading,” Dieudonne said.

In addition to gaining a new hobby and reading skills, she says the kids also gain confidence.

“Kids who normally have behavior issues in the classroom or at home, now they have something that is unique and that is their own. And they hound their parents to bring them,” Dieudonne said.

Dieudonne encourages others to help fulfill needs in their own communities with whatever resources you have available. Screen Shot 2023 04 26 At 104201 Pm

“Look around and see where there is a need. And whatever it is that either frustrates you, upsets you, that’s your calling right there. And so rather than just shrugging your shoulders and saying there’s nothing, if there’s a void, fill it. Fill it with something and do what you can with what you have,” Dieudonne said.

Being a non-profit program, Rainbow Moves is able to help children through donations and partnering with other organizations.

To learn more on how to help, click here.

And if you know someone doing good in their community, you can nominate them for the Community Champion award.

Categories: Community Champions, Gibson County, Video