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People of Eastern: Meet Colton Domblesky, a student chaplain devoted to inclusion and equality on Eastern’s campus..

In the age of COVID, it has become easier for students to be a part of campus life while still learning remotely. Colton Domblesky, a junior Criminal Justice major, is one of those people. He is currently studying from his home in Kinzers, Pa. where he lives with his dad and puppy, and he has made an immense effort to stay active in the Eastern Community.

Most people on Eastern’s campus know Domblesky as one of the bright smiles in the Student Chaplain program. Domblesky serves many different roles in his chaplaincy; he is the social media coordinator, Hainer chaplain, and a co-leader of Sanctuary, Eastern’s new gender-neutral grow group. “The mission behind Sanctuary is to really provide that inclusive space and talk about how we can come together as Christians,” Domblesky said.

Domblesky (who came out publicly as a gay man in 2019) was approached by Faith Lauffer about starting a grow group that is a safe space for Eastern students who identify as a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. “We wanted to provide that inclusive space so that whether you identify in the gender binary, or you’re nonbinary, or even if you just want to be in a more inclusive setting, we brought Sanctuary together,” Domblesky said on the creation of Sanctuary. While Sanctuary has been struggling with attendance, Domblesky is hopeful that its presence on campus will grow once they are able to hold in-person meetings.

Domblesky continues that sentiment of being a safe place for people in his aspirations in his career. He started his time at Eastern as an education major because he wanted to work with children. It wasn’t until Domblesky took social work courses that he realized he could work with children in a space that was outside of the classroom.

When reflecting on this change Domblesky said the following: “I just love working with kids in general. I never really thought of the different ways that I could work with children. I always thought of the primary role of being a teacher.” Since this realization, Domblesky changed his major to criminal justice so he could expand his knowledge of the criminal justice system. He plans to pursue a Master’s in Social Work after he graduates in 2022.

Domblesky’s favorite piece of scripture, Joshua 1:9, is a wonderful testament to how he lives his life: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” He has constantly shown strength and love throughout the Eastern community, and he has been a huge advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community both on campus and in the church as well. Whether it be through his chaplaincy, his career aspirations, or his friendships, Colton Domblesky is a valued and loved member of the Eastern community.

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