Paige Bippus '16

I found my voice at the College of Charleston by discovering who I stand for—and for how long. That sounds ridiculous unless you know what Dance Marathon is. Dance Marathon is the largest student-run philanthropy on campus and occurs at over 170 schools across the country in order to raise money for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. We at the College raise money for our neighbors at MUSC Children’s Hospital. Oftentimes the impact of Dance Marathon goes unnoticed on campus until you personally are affected.

A good friend of mine in high school spent three years in a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital fighting a lost battle to lymphoma. There are two types of reactions to tragedies like this: we can run from it or we can learn from it. Dance Marathon is a movement of college-aged individuals who choose to learn from tragedies and struggles we don’t understand and turn them into stories of hope, love, and miracles. The first time I participated in Dance Marathon, I realized there’s something more there than the money raised. Not only do you change families’ lives and give their kids the best day of the year, you are changed. You realize that standing, dancing, and sacrificing for kids who don’t get to have a normal life and childhood like me and you gives you a voice. It’s not the kind of voice that’s heard by an individual but only by college kids standing together across the nation. This is a voice of hope in times of hopelessness. A voice of strength in times of weakness. A voice of healing in times of sickness. A voice of unity in times of loneliness.

Dance Marathon creates miracles in families, kids, and the hearts of the participants. I’ve learned that I am not powerless  as a college student to help those around me, and that there is power in numbers of students who truly care about the community around them. I am honored to be the Executive Director of Dance Marathon at the College of Charleston and am so thankful for the path that lead me here and lead me to find my voice and my strength for standing for those who can’t. For the kids!

Paige Bippus
Executive Director of Dance Marathon 2016
Class of 2016

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