Nearly 50 EF Academy students supported the Westchester County Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk last weekend. The event welcomed walkers from all over the region to Manhattanville College’s campus, located just 15 minutes from EF Academy. Breast Cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States and around the world and students were motivated to raise awareness and money for this cause.
IBY1 student Zhanming Wang led the effort to organize the service opportunity for students at EF. Zhanming is a regular volunteer at nearby White Plains Hospital and regularly interacts with cancer patients. As a volunteer, he often works to make their day just a bit better by interacting with them, getting them food and being of general service at the hospital. Mr. Wang describes how he started the project: “Everything started 2 weeks ago. I have been a volunteer working in the White Plains Hospital every Saturday. An email was sent to me advertising about this event and it asked people to join the hospital team. It immediately drew my interest; my thought was to go with my friends because if we take a taxi the price should be lower. Then I came up with another plan of convincing some of my peers to join me, so that the school might provide free transportation for us and others could join the effort to raise awareness for breast cancer.”
Seven students left campus early in the morning before the race to help set up. The volunteers set up tents and put out food and beverages for the walkers. They also got the registration process ready for all of the walkers to arrive. An additional 40 students from EF Academy joined the volunteers at Manhattanville College for the walk later that morning.
Zhanming describes the event itself below: “After registering, we started out 5 miles walk. Along the way, almost everyone is wear pink, some have labels pinned on their shirt saying who they are walking for. I feel gratified because although most of the walkers don’t have any cancer, but they are willing to donate their time to support those who do. Toward the ending, there were people giving us high-fives, it further more makes me experience the warmth being shared and the greatness of the humanity.” Many students wanted to raise awareness for the community and also work toward completing the IB CAS (Creativity Activity Service) requirement for their IB Diploma.
Zhanming really enjoyed leading this activity for the school. He says, “Organizing activities is fun. It was a lot of hard work, but I really enjoyed the process of bringing people together for a cause. The walk was a very positive and encouraging environment and the school was very supportive of our students participating.” Reflecting on the race afterwards, Mr. Wang noted the good feeling of supporting our local community: “I suddenly felt a surge of joy raising in my heart. That’s the joy of the success, I know, I feel very proud that I can organize this trip and everything went as expected. I had a great improvement on my leadership and management skills. I sincerely would like to say “thank you” to those people who helped me organized this trip, without you, this wouldn’t happen at all!”