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Nike Women’s Marathon

 

Who: Brittany Stuart, Jackie Gragnola, Alivia LeVeque

What: Nike Women’s Marathon 2010

When: October 17, 2010

Where: San Francisco, CA

Why: A race to benefit the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society

 

Women's Marathon

"It was such a great experience seeing everyone come out to support a good cause," Stuart said.

Brittany Stuart

Q: What made you decide to participate in this half marathon?

I decided to participate because i love to run and a group of my sorority sisters were signing up as well, so we decided to run it together!

Q: What was your favorite part about this whole experience?

My favorite part was the actual event. It was such an awesome experience to be able to run with 24,000 women and it was all for a great cause.

Q: What was your least favorite part?
Mile 6-9. It was mostly all uphill.

Q: How do you think you contributed to the good cause by running in this race?

I showed my support by running, and the money i paid towards the race all goes to a great cause.

Q: Do you think you will do one again? And if so why?

I will definitely do another one, this is only the beginning. It was such a great experience seeing everyone come out to support a good cause and it was wonderful to be apart of it all. It is a small way that you can make a difference.

"My favorite part was the kickoff and dancing as we started the race," Gragnola said.

Jackie Gragnola

Q: What made you decide to participate in this half marathon?

I participated in the Nike Women’s Marathon as a sophomore in highschool and this year, one of my sorority sisters asked me to go with her with a discount for college students.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do it again!

Q: What was your favorite part about this whole experience?

There were so many parts! I loved getting to hang out in San Francisco with my sisters and bond with them while doing the race.  My favorite part was the kickoff and dancing as we started the race.  Everyone was so pumped and energetic and the love of health and fitness radiated from the crowd, which made it a really fun start!

Q: What was your least favorite part?
It rained.  Right during the last two miles, but the cold really put a damper on the finish.

Q: How do you think you contributed to the good cause by running in this race?

I know that running in the race made a difference because the collective action by all of the participants can go toward finding treatments and possibly a cure for these diseases.  Many people in the race wore shirts dedicated to family members and friends who were diagnosed.  The messages they promoted touched me and made me grateful for all that I have and don’t always take advantage of.

Q: Do you think you will do one again? and if so why?

Absolutely.  I will definitely be doing this race again every year that I possibly can.  It not only sends money toward a great cause, but it is a fun event promoting a healthy life, something that is often lost in society today.  It is an event that I want to continue doing for as long as I can!

"I would encourage anyone to do it because it is such a wonderful race and it means more when you are helping people and accomplishing the race with people who you love," LeVeque said.

Alivia LeVeque

Q: What made you decide to participate in this half marathon?

I decided to participate in the half marathon because my sorority sisters in Chi Omega decided that we should all participate in the event because it is such an accomplishment to finish.

Q: What was your favorite part about this whole experience?
My favorite part about my experience was hanging out with my friends and actually finishing! It was such an amazing experience and at the end it was very emotional when you finish such an intense task. I enjoyed every minute of it, especially since I got to tour the city of San Francisco in the meantime.

Q: What was your least favorite part?
Honestly, I didn’t have a least favorite part! I know that is probably hard to believe or sound cliche, but honestly it was such an inspirational race because it we all ran for a cause; to help beat leukemia. And my father actually lost his struggle with multiple myeloma recently and I felt as though I was running for him and to help others who were struggling with cancer.

Q: How do you think you contributed to the good cause by running in this race?

I think that I contributed to the cause by actually running in the race, because if nobody did it then there wouldn’t be a fundraiser like this to help leukemia. As I was running in the race I read signs of people who have either struggled with leukemia or who were currently struggling and I felt that because of me I was helping a cause, even though I am only one person.

Q: Do you think you will do one again? And if so why?

Of course I would do it, I would encourage anyone to do it because it is such a wonderful race and it means more when you are helping people and accomplishing the race with people who you love. I run to be healthy, and that is exactly how I felt afterwards.

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Run to Remember

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Run to Remember, posted with vodpod

“I’m volunteering in a first grade Spanish class and I love to be able to practice my spanish with them because they’re so funny!” Chrissy Berry said, a modern languages and literature major.

So let’s be realistic, sometimes volunteer work is “required” and for most people, that isn’t always a pleasant idea.

After talking to a couple Cal Poly students who were required to volunteer in order to receive credit for a Spanish class, my perspective on “required” volunteer work changed.

Pacheco Elementary School located in San Luis Obispo is where all the students I talked to volunteered. Each student had to complete a total of 10 hours and went once a week for 2 quarters.

Chris Marlin

"Just actually connecting with the kids and learning while I’m teaching them was not only beneficial to the kids but also to me,” Marlin said.

Second year modern languages and literatures major, Christopher Marlin, tutored a young boy named Carols.

Christopher helped Carlos and other students in the classroom with math and English language development homework, while also working in the classroom.

“Just actually connecting with the kids and learning while I’m teaching them was not only beneficial to the kids but also to me,” Marlin said.

I also talked to another second year modern languages and literature major, Kelly Phillips about her experience.

"You'll surprise yourself with how much you will learn about yourself, and about others," Phillips said.

Photo: Courtesy of Nicole Vose

“My favorite part was definitely the interaction with the elementary school students. I went on a weekly basis, so I was able to build casual but quality relationships with the kids as we went over homework problems or laughed about a funny joke they heard on the playground,” Phillips said.

As the volunteer work was required, many of the students I talked to had positive feedback.

Working in San Luis Obispo’s community and with the children of the community was something new for each of the students involved it also helped them gain a broader prospective of the city as a whole which each of them expressed.

“The interaction I got to experience was not one that most college students ever get,” Phillips said.

When asked what advice she would give to someone who is trying to volunteer, Phillips replied with this optimistic outlook.

“Just do it. Get out there and try new things. You’ll never know who you’ll meet or who you will bless by just being a part of their life for as little as an hour, or as much as those 2 quarters. Volunteering is a perfect way to be challenged and to to be a part of something bigger.”

I feel like its focused my life a little bit. I kind of wake up in the morning and I think, “you know, today I have to go prevent sexual assault, that’s my job,” Dorsey said.

This week, I had a chance to sit down and talk with one of Cal Poly’s very own volunteers. Second year, Philosophy Major, Darin Dorsey is part of  the Sexual Assault-Free Environment Resource (SAFER) program and volunteers at the Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention (SARP) center. Not only did Darin give me some insight into the SAFER program but I got to know the driving force behind his efforts.

Q: Have you always been involved in volunteer work and if so what have you done?

A:  No I haven’t, I actually played football my first year of high school and injured my knee so I just got involved in other stuff like Riverside County Young Democrats. It’s a club for the entire county of Riverside, so it’s pretty big. My friend Marvin was the president of it during my junior year so he invited me to a meeting one day. A few months later I was vice president of the club and then about four months after that I became co-president of the club with my friend Sam, so that’s how that worked out.

Q: So what are you involved in now?

A: I’m involved in the SAFER program.

Q: What exactly is the SAFER program?

A: SAFER is the sexual assault-free environment resource program and is part of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo’s Student Life and Leadership program and basically what we do is we try to educate the student body of Cal Poly the dynamics of sexual assault through events and presentations.

Q: How did you become a member of the SARP team?

A: Actually, they came to my dorm last year and did a presentation and they said they were hiring. I already had experience because I was involved in the My Strength program while I was in high school, so I kind of have experience in that sort of thing. I applied and I was accepted.

Q: What interested you in this organization?

A: I would have to say the ability to stop a problem on campus. I mean to look at it in a broad sense its nothing specific I don’t know if I want to do it for the rest of my life or anything.

Q: How do you think being involved in volunteer work has changed you as a person?

A: I feel like its focused my life a little bit I kind of wake up in the morning and I think, “you know today I have to go prevent sexual assault, thats my job,” so I feel like my life is focused in that sense.

Q: What has been your favorite part of this whole experience?

A: I run a My Strength group at Grizzly Youth Academy which is a national guard sight, it’s like a continuation school for kids who have been in a lot of trouble and stuff. I think it was about three sessions in and usually I go in with an agenda but on the fourth session I had an icebreaker activity and the activity was to pair up and talk about home. So, the students they paired up and started talking about home and it took a lot longer than I thought it would. I was just like, okay I’ll go with it and it ended up taking 20 minutes for them to all talk about it. Then, I decided to have them all share with the class. Each one mostly talked about how they got in the position that they were in and there were a lot of similar stories.

Q: How did you feel after that experience?

A: I felt good because the thing about the program is, the My Strength program, it requires the students to be really open and once that happened I knew the program was successful.

Q: Do you have any exciting or touching stories from working as a volunteer?

A: One student came up to me one day, it was after the second session, I’d only seen him twice. He came up to me after the second session and he was talking about how he wanted to be a police officer. So I told him that he needed to go to college and get a criminal justice degree and then he could move up from there. It was funny because it was the most obvious thing, to go to college and get a criminal justice degree, but these kids they come from places where they don’t have that kind of knowledge.

Q: What is your advice for any student at Cal Poly that wants to get involved in volunteer work?

A: Just do it. People won’t say no so just ask if you can and people will get you involved. People are always looking for help.

Q: Why do you think some people don’t get involved in volunteer work?

A: I think a lot of people haven’t seen enough of the world outside of their own life and so they don’t under what other people go through. They don’t understand that just a small amount of work can do so much.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to volunteer?

A: To help people. The general sense is to help people but specifically it depends on what your volunteering in.

 

 

I wanted to find out what was behind people’s motives for volunteering and here is what I came up with.

This is also my first time shooting and editing a video using my Flip camera and i-movie.

Hope you all enjoy!

 

Make a Difference Day, a National Day of Service, is on Oct. 23

 

Walking into the Community Center on the second floor of the University Union, I was immediately drawn into the eccentric and colorful looking room. A few students looked hard at work as I sat on the big brown couch waiting to speak with Coordinator and as she described herself, avid blogger, Joy Pedersen Harkins.

 

SCS

A pamphlet I picked up at the Cal Poly Community Center.

 

I was immediately intrigued and somewhat curious as to what these students were up to. It was a bit intimidating, as I myself am a new volunteer searching for my place; adding to the fact that I’m not completely sure where to start. I noticed fliers and posters up on the walls highlighting all the different organizations and upcoming events, as well as inspirational quotes. Just over hearing some of the conversations of the students working at the center had me interested enough. They were speaking of upcoming events and all the work they were anticipating. The atmosphere had me energized and ready to begin my journey.

When I walked into Joy’s office she initially wanted to know what was going on with this blog of mine and what it was all about, before I could finish explaining myself, she quickly pointed out the new website that had just gone through some revamping.

The Cal Poly Student Community Services website contains all the information you could ever need to get involved in volunteer work on or off campus.

Joy showed me that as you come to the homepage of the website you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and find a calendar with upcoming events for each month.

There are over 15 events for the month of Octoberand by clicking on a day that has an event, a smaller box will appear with even more information about that specific event.
One of the bigger events that Joy highlighted for this month is Make a Difference Day, a National Day of Service dedicated to bringing volunteer groups together to work on sites all around San Luis Obispo County. Groups can pick up and fill out the Group Volunteer Form at the Community Center. By filling out this form, friends or even established organizations on campus can get involved and work together on a project that fits their interests while helping out the community.

Joy also shared with me some one minute promotional videos that will soon be added to the website, highlighting a few of the organizations that the Community Center supports.

Below is an example highlighting People’s Self Help Housing:

Video Produced by Highlight Media Productions.

Think Pink!

Some of the Alpha Phi girls at the Central Coast Women's League charity event for breast cancer awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness Month starts in October

In honor of the beginning of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought it was only appropriate to write about an event that is promoting the cause around San Luis Obispo.

After talking to two Cal Poly students, I found out about an event that took place on October 2 at the Elk’s Lodge, hosted by the Central Coast Women’s League. This year, the CCWL held a fundraiser which included raffle prizes and games, such as bingo, to raise money for breast cancer. All the proceeds for the event go to local women who have some need for financial help due to breast cancer issues. This year the CCWL are giving the money raised at the event to two different non-profit organizations, Community Action Partnership and Enhancement, which are both aimed at promoting health and wellness.

The two students, a second year Communications Major, Stephanie Slaught and a second year Modern Languages Major, Jillian Gamboa heard about volunteering at the fundraiser through their sorority, Alpha Phi.

“Because many of the elders of the community attended the event, it was great to communicate with them and get to know them on a more personal level,” Gamboa said.
Not only was the event a chance to help breast cancer survivors but the members from Alpha Phi who worked at the event got to know more members of the community.

With this event, they were able to branch out, off campus, and really get out into the community.

“It was very rewarding to help out a cause that really means something,” Gamboa said.

The girls helped out by acting as “runners” for the event which involved handing out raffle prizes and tickets. Slaught expressed that is was great to be involved in an event that amplifies breast cancer awareness because she too has watched someone very close to her suffer from this disease. It enabled her to appreciate the event and the work the CCWL is doing on a much more personal level. When asked if they would continue with more volunteer work, both girls responded with a positive outlook.

“I definitely want to do more volunteer work. I had so much fun at this event, I can’t even imagine what else is out there,” Slaught said.

They also expressed their desire to return to the event next year and become even more involved.