Realizing Potential: Parental Wisdom

NSU University School Kevin Dibert

Some of Kevin Dibert’s family trips started as typical vacations. A trip to Florida included spending a day at the beach, for example. But family members slept in disaster relief volunteer bunkers. And teen outings included stripping wet carpet from hurricane-damaged homes. The following year, the family returned to help rebuild.

"As a family, we would do all the fun tours. Other days, we worked with Habitat for Humanity, or at a soup kitchen,” Dibert said. “My parents wanted to show us different states and expose us to all the great things our country has to offer.” Doing so helped us realize that every destination offers chances to contribute, he added.

Dibert’s Florida trips inspired him to seek a position with NSU University School. He could earn a master’s degree in education at NSU. He could teach high school mathematics. And he could mentor members of service clubs like the STEM Club and WIND – World In Distress.

Dibert succeeded in teaching formulas and coaching math and service teams. Graduates say they find themselves tutoring college calculus classmates. They also express appreciation for learning ways to serve their community as teens.

Dibert rattles off student’s service ideas that span, in some cases, a decade. First and last names spring forth. He credits one alumnus for an annual Earth Day celebration.  Each year, students plant 200 Moringa seeds to supply trees for Haiti. He lauds two female students for using photo shoot proceeds to aid a school in the Philippines. A year-end locker cleanup two brothers started provides school essentials to children in Haiti and Jamaica. He displays pride for NSU promoting community service.  He revels in NSU University School’s commitment to help students propose, plan, and lead projects. But he is most grateful when alumni tell him they are still out there volunteering.

Math teacher and mentor Kevin Dibert when he was younger and volunteering alongside his Dad for Habitat for HumanityDibert shies from discussing his own efforts and achievements.  (He is a recipient of the NSU President’s Excellence in Community Engagement Award.) But his most recent gift honors his parents, too.

“Both of my parents passed away in the past few years,” Dibert explains. “A lot of their estate went to different charities. Habitat for Humanity, and the camp I attended were two. All the places where they volunteered received a part of their life savings. It’s important to see that while they were alive, they gave their time and commitment. Even though they’re now gone, they continue to support the ministries that they were passionate about.”

Dibert’s parents inspired him to craft legacy gifts of his own. One legacy gift benefits NSU University School.

Dibert says his gift is “unrestricted.” But he hopes it provides access to “life-changing experiences.”  Meaningful “extras” require funding by parents, alumni, and outside donors, he added. Examples include academic and arts-related competition teams.

“I’d love for every student to grow and realize their potential to improve the world,” Dibert said. “The neatest thing is that when I can no longer give in person, those options can persist.”