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FSU Senior, Jaelyne Vigoa, Receives 2020 Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award

From the thousands of graduating seniors who have participated in Miracle Network Dance Marathon at the approximately 300 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada, 25 students were selected to receive the 2020 Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award for making an exceptional impact within their Dance Marathon program, on their individual campus and for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. To see all of this year’s recipients, click here

Hometown: Delray Beach, Florida

Degree(s): Bachelors of Science in Commercial Entrepreneurship

Dance Marathon Involvement: In 2017, I was fortunate enough to participate as a Dancer on Team Miracle, Dance Marathon at FSU’s team for individual dancers that are not affiliated with any of the organizations on FSU’s campus. In 2018, I was able to serve the InspiratioNole Leaders Program as an Outreach Coordinator working with the inaugural class of the freshmen leadership program. During the 2019 season, I served as a High School Programs Coordinator working with Saint John Paul II Catholic High School and James E. Rickards High School. Finally, in 2020, I was able to continue my work on the newly rebranded Community Marathons team formally known as High School Programs, this year brought me into a new role that focused on the recruitment of new school programs for our team to lead. Unfortunately, we did not bring on any new programs for this year’s season but did begin to foster relationships with schools in the surrounding areas and educate some students about our program, our cause, and our beneficiaries. This year was also one of the most rewarding because I was able to serve the rest of my team and help them through the struggles and challenges they were facing in their roles and celebrate each of their victories alongside them. Throughout my four years with Dance Marathon at FSU, I raised at total of $10,686.13 for UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and FSU’s College of Medicine Pediatric Outreach Program.

Campus/Community Involvement: In addition to my work with Dance Marathon at FSU I also had the privilege of working with the talented staff at the Florida State University Career Center as a student assistant and serving as the Team Director and Founder of Delight FSU, a college women’s ministry.

Awards/Recognition: This year, I was fortunate enough to receive the Vinny Bocchino Coordinator of the Year Award Dance Marathon 2020 awarded to one member of the Core team each year in recognition of their dedication to Dance Marathon and to the kids. The Garnet and Gold Scholar Society in an honor society at FSU that recognizes students for their engagement outside of the classroom in three of five areas: International, Internship, Leadership, Research, and Service. I received my recognition for Leadership, Service, and Internship. I was also honored as one of three recipients of the Dean of Students Dean’s Cup Award for the 2020 academic year, this award is bestowed upon a student that represents the eight tenants of FSU’s Seminole Creed.

Post-Graduation Plans: After graduation, I will be bringing the lessons and values I learned serving Dance Marathon at FSU to the E and J Gallo Winery, beginning phase one of their Leadership Development Program in Orlando, Florida as a Sales Representative with Break Thru Beverage. I also plan to join DM at FSU’s vast network of Alumni as a dancer for Team Marshal.

Why do you, personally, participate in Dance Marathon?

In 2015 on a retreat during my senior year of High School, I met Grace Murray, Jack Murray’s (a Miracle Child for Dance Marathon at FSU’s) older sister. She shared her brother’s story with me, talked about the way Shands and the Children’s Miracle Network had helped her family, and told me about the Dance Marathon Program she had started at her high school in Tallahassee. When I came to FSU I knew that I needed to get involved and help families like Grace’s which is when I joined Team Miracle. During the 2019 season, I got my full-circle moment and was able to serve as the coordinator for Saint John Paul II, which was the program that Grace had started in honor of her brother’s fight.

How has Dance Marathon impacted you as a student leader? What specific skills have you developed during your involvement?

Dance Marathon at FSU provided me with invaluable experiences that supported my academic experiences and have allowed me to prepare to leave Florida State University having earned more than a degree. Looking forward to my career, I will take the experiences I have had in my leadership role within Dance Marathon at FSU with me as reminders of the evolution of my leadership style. Dance Marathon provided me with an understanding of team management to a degree that I could have never imagined when I stepped into this role as a sophomore in college, but it has shaped the way that I lead and will have a long-lasting impact on my leadership strategy by making me a more patient and thoughtful leader, as I begin my career in sales leadership after graduation I know these traits will benefit me a great deal.

What personal accomplishment/contribution are you most proud of from your involvement in Dance Marathon?

During the 2019 season, while I was serving as a High School Programs Coordinator, my chair stepped down which meant that another coordinator needed to step up and take her place, leaving a school without a coordinator. I was offered the opportunity to fill this gap and serve as Saint John Paul II’s coordinator for the rest of the season. Fundraising and getting student participation is challenging for that program because they are a very small High School with around 150 students in the whole school. On the day of the marathon, my executive board still had their hearts set on raising $25,000 for the cause, but we still had $5,000 left to raise and we had low dancer turn out. But my students persevered, rallied behind their cause and their hospital, and banded together and reached their goal. Leading that group of students to reach their goal was the proudest moment of my dance marathon career. I feel so honored to have watched each of them strive to reach this milestone for their school.

Why should students get involved with Miracle Network Dance Marathon on their campus?

Joining a Dance Marathon program means joining a network of people who wake up every day inspired to make a change and impact the lives of people they have never met. When you join a DM program you have the ability to make a real impact on your community and meet the greatest most passionate and talented people on your campus. Joining a Miracle Network Dance Marathon means joining a nationwide family of humans who will not sit down till our battle is won and they will push you every day to be better and Do More.

Why should people donate to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals?

It’s important to support your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital because of the funds that CMN provides is the fuel behind the Miracles that happen in the walls of those hospitals. Donations can provide everything from life-saving equipment and research to something as simple as a box of crayons, both of these things make immeasurable differences to the children and families suffering from pediatric illness and injury and every donation made helps make that difference.

Miracle Network Dance Marathon is an international movement, involving over 400 colleges, universities and K-12 schools across North America that fundraise for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. These students work tirelessly throughout the year to raise funds one dollar at a time by making the ask to family and friends. Their hard work culminates in a 6-40 hour celebration on their campus, where participants have the opportunity to rally together as a community for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Students involved in Dance Marathon gain valuable skills in fundraising, peer management, delegation and philanthropy. Miracle Network Dance Marathon programs have collectively raised more than $300 million since 1991.

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