Skip to main content

University of Louisiana- Lafayette Senior Jade Furl Receives 2021 Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award

From the thousands of graduating seniors who have participated in Miracle Network Dance Marathon at the approximately 400 colleges, universities, and high schools across the U.S. and Canada, 27 students were selected to receive the 2021 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: Luling, LA

Major: Kinesiology: Exercise Science with a concentration in Pre-Professional Studies

Dance Marathon Involvement:

  • Founding Member of UL Lafayette’s Dance Marathon
  • Assistant Director of Catering
  • Executive Director

Campus/Community Involvement:

  • Peer Mentor
  • Lead Peer Mentor
  • Development Coordinator for Peer Mentors (2020)
  • Emerging Leader’s Summit Director of Programs
  • Alpha Delta Pi Director of New Member Experience
  • Alpha Delta Pi Director of Philanthropy
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy Society Member
  • Kinesiology Professional Association Marketing Chair
  • Student Government Association College of Education Senator
  • Student Government Association College of Education President
  • Beacon Club Social Media Committee (2018), Vice President (2019), President (2020)
  • Student Orientation Staff


  • 2019 Alpha Delta Pi Emerging Leader Award
  • 2020 Homecoming Court
  • 2020 Greek Hall of Fame
  • President’s List (Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020)
  • Dean’s List (Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Fall 2020)
  • Alpha Lambda Delta Honor’s Society
  • Exceptional Service Award

Post-Graduation Plans:
Upon graduation, Jade will be furthering her education and pursuing her Doctor of Occupational Therapy at Texas Woman’s University in Houston, TX. “After I complete my doctoral program, I plan to work as an Occupational Therapist either in inpatient pediatrics, inpatient acute care, or outpatient hand therapy.”

What is your proudest accomplishment from your involvement in Dance Marathon?
“My proudest accomplishment is hosting our second-annual Dance Marathon in-person on our campus and raising $13,649.63! Our event was a lot different than we expected, but we have set the tone for years to come. Dance Marathon came to my campus in 2019, so we have been working so hard to build a presence on campus along with overcoming every obstacle placed in our way due to the pandemic. The fact that we were able to put on an in-person Dance Marathon with two Miracle Families in attendance during a time like this was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I, alongside my executive board, put so much work, time, and energy into planning our event and making sure we were following all of the proper guidelines for everyone to remain safe and have fun. I was shocked to find out with it only being our second year on campus that we raised even more money than the year before. When we turned around the total reveal numbers at our event, I was overcome with emotion and felt pure joy knowing the impact this money would make on our local hospitals. It is a feeling like no other seeing a year’s worth of hard work and dedication come to life and be such a great success. Even during a global pandemic, we were all able to come together for such an amazing cause.”

How has Dance Marathon impacted you as a student leader? What specific skills have you developed during your involvement?
“Dance Marathon has impacted me as a student leader because it has taught me how to adapt and be truly passionate about a cause. My favorite part of being involved in Dance Marathon is educating others on what we do and why we fundraise. Serving as Executive Director taught me so much about myself and helped me meet and connect with people, I never would have met had I not been involved in Dance Marathon. I have faced many challenges this year, but I have learned how to adapt, be creative, and put a positive spin on every obstacle. The specific skills I have developed through my involvement are delegation, dedication, and empathy. As Executive Director, I had to delegate tasks to specific positions on the Executive Board and we had to work as a team to reach our goals. Each person has different strengths they bring to the table and I loved seeing people thrive in their individual positions. Dance Marathon taught me how to remain dedicated to a cause you are passionate about and how to ignite that flame in others. I have learned empathy by hearing miracle stories from our local miracle families and understanding what they go through and how the funds we raise impact their lives. I had lots of leadership experience before being involved in Dance Marathon, but this organization has helped me evolve into the strong and passionate leader I am today.”

Why do you, personally, participate in Dance Marathon?
“I participate in Dance Marathon because of my passion for helping others. I have always had a passion for philanthropy and service through my other leadership positions, but the mission of Dance Marathon specifically is so meaningful to me. Dance Marathon also holds a special place in my heart because of my future career in Occupational Therapy and my interest in pediatrics. Our local hospital, CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini in Alexandria, LA, has a pediatric therapy center where they provide physical, occupational, speech, and autism therapies. Getting to tour the facility in 2019 and see the impact that these therapy services make on miracle families warmed my heart and showed me exactly what we fundraise for. Even though all of the challenges I have faced this year, I wouldn’t change a thing because I know how much these funds will impact local children and their family’s lives. I feel fulfilled knowing that I have helped a child’s dreams come true.”

Why should students get involved with Miracle Network Dance Marathon on their campus?
“Students should get involved with Miracle Network Dance Marathon on their campus to find their why and make a difference in the lives of children and their families. One of my favorite parts of being a part of this movement is hearing everyone’s whys and how we each have a different reason why we are passionate about fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. By being involved, you are changing the world and making a difference for generations to come. You also have the unique opportunity to meet miracle families and hear their stories of how they have been impacted by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In Dance Marathon, you become a part of something bigger than yourself. If it weren’t for the students involved in Dance Marathon, so many children would go without the care that they so desperately need to survive. We are this generation fighting for the next!”

Why should people donate to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals?
“People should fundraise for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in order to provide life-saving equipment and healthcare for children. Without these funds, many sick children would not have access to the services and healthcare they need to live a long, happy, and healthy life. The dollars raised can also provide essential therapies that are integral in helping a child gain independence. The money fundraised goes straight to the cause and makes a true difference in a child’s life. Especially during this global pandemic, kids can’t wait for the care that they so desperately need and the funds we raise through Dance Marathon help them gain access to this care. Each person has their own unique reason why they are passionate about fundraising for CMNH and that is exactly what makes it so special.”

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.

Learn more about Miracle Network Dance Marathon:

Facebook – Instagram – Website – Blog – YouTube