Hi! I’m Gina Schierbeek, and I’m a junior here at Hope College. I’m studying a Management major with an Art minor. Of the many things that I love about being a student at Hope Col, Dance Marathon has got to be at the top. I began my love of DM my freshman year, when I participated as a dancer for the full 24 hours with my sorority, Sigma Iota Beta. After many laughs, tears, and family testimonies, I realized quickly how in love with this event I was and how badly I wanted to stay connected for my next three years at Hope. My sophomore year, I was a Moraler for the girls in my sorority as they got to experience DM for the full time for the first time. I found myself spending much more time than my designated shift there, too eager to arrive and unable to leave. It was then I realized that for my junior year, I wanted to take on even more responsibility in such an amazing event. This led me to becoming a DGR (Designated Group Representative) for SIB, alongside the lovely Marissa Solorzano, who’s a sophomore this year. My job as a DGR allows me to be the person that relays any information about Dance Marathon to my girls, and this job is a DREAM because I get the opportunity to combine my top two favorite things at Hope: Dance Marathon and my SIBs.
The girls in my organization are so passionate about DM, which makes my job super easy. I am constantly in awe by how big their hearts are for this cause and event, and I love seeing and helping them get excited about dancing for our sweet Lydia Bouwens, encouraging each other to fundraise and participate in fundraising events (shoutout to my non-athletic SIBs doing the 5k!), and spending time dancing for the kids on the actual day of! Lydia is Sigma Iota Beta’s Miracle Child, and we are constantly in awe of how tough and sassy and bubbly she is. Thanks to the amazing medical care at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, she is once again a healthy 7 year old after 15 months of chemo to knock out an Optic Pathway Glioma.
Last year alone, Hope College raised over $250,000 dollars! What an amazing feat by such an amazing community. I am constantly blown away by that number. I feel so lucky to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. Dance Marathon and the cause it supports holds such a special, special place in my heart. Every year, my experience gets better and better, and I am SO excited for the year to come! FTK!