Julie Troyer is what some might call a "good person." I beg to differ. This short, obnoxious ball of frizzy hair and bad jokes has come across the title of Campus Celebrity for her work with the Indiana University Dance Marathon, which just so happens to be the second largest student run philanthropy in the country, of which Troyer just so happens to be the president. "Good person" sums it up just fine, but if you're looking for a more in depth description of Troyer's character, read on to find out why selfless, compassionate, and driven may be more suitable adjectives for this college senior.
Her Campus IU: How did you become involved with IUDM?
Julie Troyer: I actually started dance marathon when I was a freshman in high school and did it all 4 years there, helping to run it by my senior year. When I headed to IU in the fall, I knew I wanted to continue on with the organization when I got to college. I danced as a freshman and then went out for a chair position on a committee after that. One thing ended up leading to another and here I am today!
HCIU: What made you want to apply for the executive council?
JT: The IU students always came to visit my high school marathon and they always seemed like the greatest people in the world, and after seeing them in action for a couple years I told myself that if I ended up at IU I knew I wanted to eventually be in their shoes. I worked really hard once I got to IU to prove myself and earn my position on the executive council as a sophomore. Then I was able to work even harder when I finally was on exec to get the opportunity and privilege of serving as this year's president.
HCIU: What exactly does the president of the 2nd largest student run philanthropy in the nation do?
JT: I sometimes ask myself that same question, and the best way I can put it is that I do a little bit of everything. There are obviously set responsibilities like organizing weekly meetings with the Board of Managers (the VPs and myself), as well as a weekly meeting including the entire executive council. I also have weekly meetings with our faculty advisor, Suzanne Phillips. My main task is to oversee everyone and make sure that they are completing their responsibilities and meeting deadlines, and encouraging them the best I can throughout the way.
HCIU: What's the hardest part of your job?
JT: The only thing that is "hard" about my job is balancing it with school, which at the end of the day is not hard at all because it just gives me one more excuse to put my homework off. But in all seriousness, it is difficult for me to say that there is anything hard about my job because in my mind what I am doing is not work. It is fun. I enjoy everything I do for this organization, and am more just honored that I get to be such an active part of it.
HCIU: What's been your most rewarding IUDM moment?
JT: There are few moments that come to mind, so it makes it hard to pick. But one that stands out was at last year's marathon. I escorted one of the Riley families up on stage when it was their turn to speak. This family, however, was no ordinary Riley family. This family had been my neighbors since I was 6 years old and I got to grow up with their son, McKenzie, who was the Riley kid. Unfortunately though, his story is a little different than a lot of the rest of the Riley stories that we get to hear. He had passed away just a few months before the marathon, making it particularly challenging for the family to speak. But they were brave and stood up there anyway and told the world their story in honor of their son. And at the end of the story the family shared about a boy who was so inspiring to so many, instead of just walking off stage like most families, they brought me in to hug me and thank me. They held me so close on stage in front of everyone and said some of the kindest words to me I have ever heard in my life and still to this day have trouble repeating. But the fact that this family who had experienced so much loss and grief recently to take the time to thank ME for being the inspiration and helping their sons memory live on is a powerful moment that single handedly changed my life. It certainly was one of many rewarding moments I have had through this organization.
HC: What are you looking forward to most about IUDM 2012?
JT: There are no words to explain exactly what it is I am most looking forward to at the marathon. Everything from start to finish; the good, the bad, the laughs, the tears, the hugs, the stories, the dancing, the love. To put it simply, I'm looking most forward to having a whole weekend with my ENTIRE family, because that is what everyone in this organization is to me; family.
*It's not too late to donate to IUDM. Will you be a part of the numbers? Every cent counts! http://iudm.org/