While most students are running toward the end of the semester, fourth-year student, Sarah Robinson, is “Running For the Bricks.”
Robinson, an English major and a member of The Honors College and Honors Student Association, is preparing for her 5K run, “Standing Strong 5K, Run for the Bricks!” The 5K will be on Saturday, April 21, with registration starting at 10:30 a.m. The actual 5K will begin at 12 p.m.
Robinson, who is an active member on-campus as well as a full-time worker, put together the 5K as a capstone project.
“Since I’m involved in the Honors College, I’m in Honors College class 10x, and we have our own curriculum where we do not have to take general education courses, so we have our own required courses, and they all lead up to the capstone,” Robinson explained. “We do our senior project where we incorporate all the things we learned about leadership. Leadership and service are the cornerstones of the Honors College alternative curriculum.”
The capstone requirements require students to make a positive impact on a community in need, incorporate what they know, and create the project to be sustainable. Robinson chose a 5K as her capstone project.
Robinson chose her community in need, Veterans and the Student Veteran Group, not only because she feels passionate about the military and Veterans but also for personal reasons.
“My brother, Mike, is in the Marines and he has done multiple tours overseas and just got home last Friday from Afghanistan, so that was pretty awesome,” Robinson said. “He is stationed in Arizona, so I don’t get to see him yet, but at least he is back home in the states. For me, it is important that we support our troups despite our political affiliations,” Robinson said. “Because personally, I do not support going to the war in Afghanistan or going to war in Iraq, but I support my brother and the other soldiers because that is important to me.”
Robinson wanted to help out the Students Veteran Center and group because they are relatively new on-campus. According to Robinson, the Center is nearly 2 years old and the Student Veteran Group is nearly a year old.
“You wouldn’t believe the lack of resources that they have,” Robinson said. “When you break it down, it’s not a very high percentage of students that are here on the GI Bill but it is still 1,000 people. It is still affecting somebody.” The GI Bill gives students in the military various benefits, including scholarships and such to attend college.
Robinson met with Lawrence Davidson, director of The Veterans Center and Joshua Roar, the Student Veteran Group President to brainstorm possible activities for the SVG in which they decided together to do a 5K. Robinson, Davidson, and Roar decided on the 5K because “it was athletic and in the military, you need to be athletic,” Robinson explained.
Robinson, an avid runner, also agreed on the 5K because of her love for running and her amazing experience in various 5Ks. Robinson also recruited her mother to help her out with promoting the event because of her mother’s wealth of knowledge and connections within the running community.
“I thought attending some 5Ks would give me an idea of what to do, but boy was I wrong,” Robinson said, gaining new appreciation for event planners.
All proceeds from the 5K will go to the Delaware County Veterans Memorial, which Robinson noted was Davidson’s idea. The Delaware County Veterans Memorial is on West Chester Pike and will be completed in November.
Robinson has been hard at work trying to get the word out about the 5K run. She has posted flyers up in different gyms in the area and the YMCA. Robinson, along with Roar, have been putting flyers everywhere possible.
Robinson reached out to the local recruitment office in town and has even had the 5K event on the WCU homepage and Stall Seat Journal. Robinson recently went on-air at WCUR 91.7 FM to promote the event as well as the West Chester Weekly.
“I still need people to sign-up,” Robinson said. So far, 30 people have signed up but she is hoping for more.
“I want to foster relationships between young Veterans and other people in the community, especially young students,” Robinson said. “It is so sad with all the post-traumatic stress disorders and just general social disorientation that young Veterans feel when they return home. Even as they enter school for higher education, they feel so alienated and just so unprepared for civilian life that sometimes it has tragic affects.”
“I would like students to get involved because maybe they will make some friendships or because it is $20 for a good cause and you can run around downtown and it is not out of students way,” Robinson said. Pretzels will also be provided to participants as well as $50 cash prize for the top male and female in the run. T-shirts will be given to the first 100 registered runners.
Students, faculty and staff can obtain a sign-up sheet at The Veterans Center website, http://www.wcupa.edu/veteranscenter or by searching on Facebook for the public event titled “Standing Strong 5K.” Students, faculty and staff are also encouraged to visit the Veterans Center at 624 South High Street. For more information on the run, contact Sarah Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angela Thomas is a fourth-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at AT683005@wcupa.edu.