By SAMANTHA TROCKI
A Central Michigan University junior will be stepping out of her comfort zone in April to help others step over the finish line at the Boston Marathon.
Cassie Lewis, 20, applied to become a volunteer at the marathon hoping to gain valuable experience in her career field. She hopes to become a big-time event planner for parties, weddings, and even music festivals.
Lewis already has accomplished much, but her journey has only begun. As a member of the clubs Student Recreation Association (SRA) and Meeting Professionals International (MPI), both at CMU, Lewis is already helping her community through the groups’ activities.
She said that hosting events and fundraisers has become an important part of her college career and that it is one of the biggest things motivating her to succeed.
That’s one reason she values the opportunity to work at the Boston Marathon. Lewis will be volunteering with other members of MPI. She said she considers working the Boston Marathon her biggest accomplishment thus far, and it will be the first time she has traveled out of state with MPI.
“I always wanted to travel, so I knew getting an education would help me do that,” Lewis beamed.
So on April 15, she will be working behind the scenes during the 117th annual run. Stretching from Hopkinton to Boston, the 26-mile Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon. This year the run includes participants from 14 different countries. Many runners return every year to hold their title, or just to relive the experience again.
By simply applying on the Boston Marathon website, anyone has the chance to become a volunteer. Veteran volunteers from the marathon have nothing but positive responses to the experience, and some say if they aren’t running next year they will be back to volunteer once again.
Having no fear of a challenge is what has brought Lewis to where she is today — knowing that hard work and determination will always pay off in the end.
A word of advice from Lewis to those with similar goals is to “network as much as possible. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”