Not many people truly understand what goes into the final fundraising number that’s held up at VictorThon. There’s a lot of hard work invested from all aspects of the organization: from dancers to corporate fundraisers. There is one aspect in particular that stands out as especially unique— the K-12 Engagement Program . Every year, the K-12 committee partners with elementary, middle, and high schools in Southeast Michigan area to help bring the DMUM cause to the next generation of dancers. With the help of the K-12 committee, these students plan and implement their own “Mini-Marathons” to raise money and awareness for the cause. Not only do these Mini-Marathons inspire young students to get involved in DMUM during their collegiate career, but they also educate and empower these youth leaders to break down the stigma that children with special needs face.
One of our longest standing Mini-Marathons, hosted by Mill Creek Middle School, will be holding their Mini-Marathon on March 17. This will be their 12th year for the kids! We are also excited to announce that Skyline High School in Ann Arbor will be joining the DMUM family this year for the first time. Their four-hour event , SkyThon, will be held on March 18th. Olivia Merritt, a former Skyline High school student and current K-12 Engagement Coordinator has worked with the rest of the K-12 committee to start this new program this year. Merritt said, “I am very excited to start a Mini-Marathon at my high school, and I am blown away by how many donations we have received so far! With the help of Mishaal Yazdani, a current junior at Skyline High School, we are hoping to raise as much money as we can FOR THE KIDS! ”.
The K-12 committee is also working hard to implement more elementary school programs to help foster relationships and a sense of community between our DMUM families and kids closer in age with many of our DMUM kiddos. The K-12 Committee hopes that these new partnerships will empower elementary students to know they can make an impact on their community and on their friends who may face unique challenges. We’re so excited to see what’s next for the K-12 committee, keep up the great work!