VictorThon (March 23-24, 2018) Raised $420,000 

Pictured (left to right): Joeita Macfield, Carolina Posada, Taryn Hayes, Leila Alidoost, and Samantha Howell

"About Dance Marathan: Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan is a non profit student run organization that aims to raise funds and awareness for pediatric rehabilitation programs at Mott and Beaumont Children's Hospitals. VictorThon is DMUM's huge event at the end of March where students stand for 24 hours. This year we raised over $420,000." -Taryn Hayes, WISE RP Peer Mentor, Chair of the Event Partnership Committee (Dance Marathon)

Leila Alidoost and Samantha Howell were the WISE RP team captains.

Leila shared her experience throughout the year below. 

"During my first year at Michigan, I was definitely looking to become in engaged in my community so that I could find my footing among such a large group of students. Joining WISE RP was the first step in fulfilling that goal, as I was able to step onto campus with a new built-in family, but I also wanted to branch out to join a few student organizations on campus. I actually found out about Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan from my WISE peer mentor, so when I went to Festifall in September I made sure to keep an eye out for the DMUM booth. I luckily found it among the crowds and was intrigued even more when I did.

Being a Dance Captain for the WISE RP Dance Marathon team this year really helped me to feel more engaged both within WISE and within the general DMUM community. Becoming a Dance Captain meant that I had to take on a lot of responsibility, but heading the WISE RP team allowed me to get to know a great group of women while we attended the events of the year. The DMUM team became another little family as we worked together at events to support the kids that came to enjoy themselves, whether dressing up at Pumpkin Carving or dancing at the DMUM formal. Everything really came to a head at Victorthon, where we each had to stand for 24 hours straight. Victorthon was truly an event of endurance and it was so important to have WISE RP team members to lean on or get words of encouragement as we slipped into the early hours of the morning together. We were also able to get through the little events together, like biweekly house meetings and fundraising events, too. Phoning and bucketing to ask for donations to the DMUM cause was a little intimidating at first, but there were always plenty of the WISE team members around to make the experience much more enjoyable.

I felt very prepared to take on a leadership position for Dance Marathon, in many ways because of WISE RP. Everyone in WISE is ambitious and a go-getter, as is necessary as women going into STEM fields, so many of the discussions within the program revolved around how to go about taking on responsibility for projects and initiatives that are important or worthwhile to oneself. DMUM stands for a very important cause, which drew me instantly, and from WISE I felt prepared to create a team for the community. While in the WISE RP program, a lot is done so that members are able to recognize what it takes to be assertive while welcoming and open in a position of responsibility, or leading up to one. With that being said, as a member of WISE RP, although there were some things that I had to figure out along the way I had a general sense of preparedness that I would not have had were I not a part of the program. I also knew as a member of WISE that I would have a person to turn to if need be, especially a member of my team."