Interview with Lara Baxter – Great Leader of “Making Strides against Breast Cancer” – [by Binh]

Two weeks ago, members of the Green Mountain College community came together in Rutland to take part in the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides against Breast Cancer” walk. The event is a powerful and inspiring opportunity to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about steps individuals can take to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer and to raise money to help the American Cancer fight the disease through research, information and services.

Over 50 Green Mountain College students, alumni and employees were in attendance to support the effort thanks in part to the hard work of student, Lara Baxter. The teams involved connected to the College raised over $1,000 which contributed to the total event generating close to $50,000 for the American Cancer Society.

I was so impressed with Baxter’s achievement and quickly contacted her for an interview about her hard work.

Lara, can you please briefly introduce yourself, your major, and your hometown?  

I’m from Maybrook, NY. I’m biology major, chemistry minor, and this is my last year in GMC. My last semester actually.

So how do you feel about it after having been at GMC for three, almost four years?

I didn’t realize, till this semester, that how much I will miss it. I’ve lived around all of my friends, which is great Also, I’m really going to miss my professors: I realize that I’ll not interact with them anymore and not be able to just go to their offices for help.

I’ll graduate next year, and I probably feel the same way. Now can you briefly tell me about your work? 

The event was to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer with the American Cancer Society, a group raising money to support cancer research, as well as groups of cancer survivors, people currently undergoing cancer treatment, and their families and friends. We participated in the walk in Rutland in October, and fundraised through the beginning half of the semester of it.

And how many people you had in your team?

It was over 50 Green Mountain College students, alumni and employees. There were 37 members from my team.

Wow, it’s a huge group of people. Why did you become involved with this project?

I heard about it from my boss in the Learning Center, Svea Miller. She mentioned it to me as an option for the Pre-Med/ Pre-Vet Club, where I am the president, to do as an activity for the semester. Then I brought it to my club, and they were excited. We decided to open it up to the entire GMC community. That was in September. [It meant that she spent almost three months with this project.]

How did you promote and get a lot of people join the event?

I talked with Chelsea, the captain of the Women Basketball Team, and she talked to her coach. They decided to make their own team for the event. I then decided to invite all of the athletic teams at our school to join. That’s how we have soccer team and cross team join us, and members of women’s rugby.

After getting people, what did you do?

I had to coordinate a lot of people. I talked to the woman, Michelle, who was in charge of the walk in Rutland, checked about registration fee, and all that’s sort of things. Also, we did multiple fund raising for the event. Sage, my dorm building, did apple sales, and the Pre-Med/ Pre-Vet Club did a bake sale during the chili cook off. The final things to plan out were transporting the large group to the event.

How do you feel after finishing this project?

Very satisfied. I think that it’s very important for non-profit organizations to work and really benefit to people who are affected by cancer.

And what were the most challenges/ difficulties that you encountered during working for this project?

Probably was to try to encourage team members to raise money, it was difficult because it’s obviously not part of their school work, making it a secondary concern for them, which is understandable.

So how did you overcome that challenge?

By having the group funding events, reminding them multiple times about asking their friends and people at home to donate.

Cool! It all worked out.

It took people a little while to get going, but I think it turned out pretty well.

Or you’re such a great leader. Okie, final question, what have you learned from this project?

I think that I improve my leadership skill. I’ve never done that kind of bake sale before. Also, I expand my network by making friend with people who work in different organizations.

Thank you so much for spending your time on the interview today! Wish you best with the coming graduation!

Binh

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