Team-Building Exercise at TEACH Leaves Lasting Impression

Team-Building Exercise

Last year’s first TEACH Summit was a new approach to a long tradition of honoring DeVry employees who have accomplished great things in the past year.

Recipients of the PRIDE (Professional Recognition of Integrity, Dedication and Excellence) Award, DeVry’s top employee honor, are now able to participate in additional learning opportunities and team-building projects. One such project left quite an impact on those in attendance.

In addition to a surprise guest appearance at the PRIDE dinners by Will Brady, one of DeVry University’s student athletes, more than 600 individuals made up of DeVry leadership and PRIDE recipients took part in the “Building a Dream” team-building exercise. This opportunity took place under the leadership of Bill Hughson, president of the healthcare group for DeVry Inc. and lead organizer of the TEACH Summit. In keeping with DeVry’s Doing Well by Doing Good philosophy, more than 100 cross-institutional groups of four to six people were formed to assemble bicycles for local kids in need.

“I previously worked with a group called Repario, an organization that coordinates impactful team-building experiences like this and thought their approach to helping others was a perfect fit for what we wanted to accomplish,” said Hughson. “This provided a real-life scenario in which people needed to form teams and work together in order to reach a common goal. It is something we do every day, and it’s how we realize our vision of empowering students to achieve their educational and career goals.”

The theme of the project was education-based. Local underprivileged school kids who had read a certain number of books and passed their reading tests were the lucky recipients of the newly built bikes. What participants in the project didn’t know was that the kids were in the adjacent room and that the teams would get to present the bikes to them personally. The kids entered the room to joyful cheers and tearful greetings by members of the DeVry family.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including my own,” said Hughson. “A bike signifies independence and freedom. Most adults can remember their first bike and have special memories of it. I think that will certainly be the case with these kids as well. In fact, I’m sure it’s something we’ll all have fond memories of for years to come.”

“DeVry is so committed to helping members of its community that it was an absolute pleasure to help coordinate this event for them,” said James Carter, founder and chief instigator of Repario (now Be Legendary). “I know it made a lasting impact on those involved, not to mention the kids who received new bikes. It’s events such as this that make me love going to work every day, and I hope to have future opportunities to assist DeVry in living up to its universal values.”

“The bike-building team exercise was amazing for many reasons,” said Caryn Lerner, senior account executive for DeVry University and 2011 PRIDE recipient. “It provided an opportunity to learn different ways of collaborating with colleagues, and gave us a chance to help fulfill the dream of a brand new bicycle to local kids who worked so hard to earn them. Additionally, for so many of us, the exercise served as an important reminder of how fortunate we are to work for an organization so deeply committed to doing well by doing good and of how together—as a team—we can accomplish so much more than we can as individuals.”


Special thanks go to the many people who worked so hard to coordinate this great activity, including Scott Bush, Mike Carbonara, Karen Dade, Dianne Filip, Nancy Johnson, Nora Kunz, Lori Mendicino, Mary Sepulveda, Amy Shoskey and Laura Tigges.