The Wheaton Fund
Curtis Drevets ’19 has taken the proverbial circuitous route to Wheaton, but he never would have gotten to campus if not for the financial direction provided by the Wheaton Fund.
Curtis, a sophomore from Wichita, Kansas, spent 10 years in Taiwan as a missionary kid, going to school at Morrison Academy in Taichung. The island nation served as a convenient jumping-off point for ministry in Asia, including a relief trip to the Philippines after Super Typhoon Yolanda swept through in November 2013.
One survivor told Curtis that, as the tsunami came, he held onto a pole on the roof of his house with one hand to keep from being swept away. With the other hand, he held onto three younger siblings. A pastor ruefully told Curtis, “God sends typhoons to the Philippines because the Filipino people are the only ones who are resilient enough to take them and still praise Him.”
Curtis displays his own kind of resilience, saying that he enjoys high-risk, high-reward endeavors. The sophomore hopes to translate his Wheaton education into some combination of business and ministry internationally. He knows that his Wheaton education wouldn’t have been possible without the Wheaton Fund.
“It’s the only thing that allowed me to come here,” Curtis says. “My parents aren’t able to help me financially, but they give me good advice.”
Curtis is happy to do his part, too. Encouraged by his older sister, Natalie, who graduated from Wheaton in May, Curtis applied for a position in the Phonathon, a fundraising program of the Advancement, Vocation, and Alumni Engagement Division that connects student callers with alumni, parents, and others in the College community. He was hired.
“The idea of talking to all those alumni really intrigued me,” he says, as did the opportunity to add a tangible skill to his repertoire. But Curtis admits that, at first, “It was pretty intimidating going in and asking them for money.” Practice has made calling easier, along with the realization that it isn’t all about how much people give, “but making connections and praying with them.”
A Phonathon team captain, Curtis enjoys the positive atmosphere, the friendly competition among callers, and the fun work environment. The prizes donated by local businesses are “pretty substantial,” too, he admits. Restaurant gift cards come in handy for a college student who has come a long way to get here—and who still has a tight budget.
“I’m okay for this year,” Curtis says, reflecting on his finances. “With God’s help, I’ll get through.”