Elysha Greenberg began her long journey with Destination Imagination, or “DI”, in 3rd grade, continuing her involvement all the way throughout her high school career and into post-undergraduate Doctoral studies. As of 2016, her 19 years of participation with DI is not only impressive, but also serves as living proof of the lasting impact of DI’s mission.
“Destination Imagination has had a profound impact on everything that I do.”
– Dr. Elysha Greenberg, New Hampshire Destination Imagination alumna
After years of experience with DI throughout her adolescence, Elysha graduated from Salem High School and began to volunteer her time at DI meets and events, often coordinating instant challenge prep programs. DI soon presented an avenue through which Elysha could educate participants about the dangers and hazards of smoking. She parlayed this public service goal into the development of a tobacco education Instant Challenge, which she was later able to present at Regional and State competitions as a way for teams to practice Instant Challenge skills while learning about the dangers of smoking in a hands on environment.
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Today, Elysha has earned her Doctoral Degree from William James College. It will come as no surprise that she has found a way to incorporate her enthusiasm about DI into her Doctoral research as she explores the ways in which programs like DI impact and promote mental health and well-being for adolescents at large.
Elysha coordinated with local DI Team Managers to assemble a list of 10 research participants. Once children and their guardians agreed to participate, Elysha spent countless hours driving around New England to the family homes of her interviewees with the intention of giving children a voice in expressing their formative experiences with DI.
Though much of her research hinges on themes of adolescent creativity and social awareness, some of her other key findings illuminated which areas of adolescent life were most positively affected by involvement with DI, like the building of friendships, coping skills and perseverance. Not only does her research demonstrate this, but her own experience attests to its validity as well.
Destination Imagination helped her to “generate a greater sense of community, creativity and confidence.”
Personally, she notes that Destination Imagination helped her to “generate a greater sense of community, creativity and confidence,” which in turn had a significant impact on how she connects with those around her. She continues on to say that the organization helped her “develop relationships with other students, and deepen those friendships over the years, connecting with professionals in the community,” people who she claims have since had an influential impact on her professional life. Even now, she considers DI an integral part of her continually broadening social and professional network.
She believes that DI and organizations similar to it should be integrated within every school system, and every child’s life. Elysha categorizes organizations like DI as vehicles through which we as a society “can promote healthy childhood development, 21st century learning skills and positive community building.”
She states proudly that “Destination Imagination has had a profound impact on everything that I do.” The feeling is mutual, as inspirational people like Elysha have had a profound impact on the bright future of Destination Imagination as well.
Dr. Elysha Greenberg was born and raised in Windham, New Hampshire. She attended Golden Brook Elementary , Center School, then Windham Middle School, and moved on to Salem High School. She earned her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Hispanic Studies. Her education continued at Boston College, where she earned her Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling. She has now graduated from William James College, formerly known as the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, with her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Greenberg has now entered a post-doctoral fellowship program where she works with children, teens, and families. Upon completion of her post-doc next year, she will pursue licensure as a clinical psychologist.