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You Are Who You Surround Yourself With

This post was submitted by Kelsey Hilt for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through

My name is Kelsey and I am a member of RockeTHON Executive Board at the University of Toledo. First off, I want to share how I became involved in RockeTHON in the first place. When I was a senior in high school one of my teammates, Valory, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at the age of 9. Throughout that year She went through many chemo treatments and surgeries at Mercy Children’s Hospital, and eventually lost her leg but not her battle with cancer. My dance team was invited to perform at RockeTHON that Spring. As a senior in high school setting foot on the campus of the university that I knew I would attend the following Fall, I wasn’t super excited about getting up and dancing in front of my future classmates. The energy in that room was ELECTRIC and that’s when I knew that this was exactly where I wanted to be.

Fast forward four years. I am now serving as the Committee Member Development Chair for RockeTHON in my fourth year of involvement in this organization. Not only am I holding a brand new executive board position, but I am loving every second of it. If you had asked me a few years ago if I ever thought I would stand in front of a room of 65 people leading a meeting, I would have actually laughed at you, but here I am. Through this experience I gained more professional skills than I knew existed. Interview skills? Check. Professional communication? Check. Time management? Check. The ability to lead and communicate with large groups of people? Absolutely. But the most important thing that Dance Marathon has taught me is not a tangible skill, but rather a lesson that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. To put it simply, you are who you surround yourself with. Many college students get involved on campus only to build a resume, and at the end of the day all that you gain from that is more words on a piece of paper. Dance Marathon is anything but a resume builder (although yes, it is great to talk about in an interview or write on a resume). It is an organization full of passionate, driven people who literally make miracles every day. By surrounding myself with these amazing people for the last four years I have been pushed to become the very best version of myself. The other members of this organization have been there every step of the way to encourage me, hold me accountable, and share a passion for community service with me. My life would be so different if I hadn’t found Dance Marathon and the amazing community that comes with it.