Student Organization: Extra Life

HCUPR: What does Extra Life stand for?

“Extra Life stands for giving children with chronic conditions another chance at life, honoring the memory of Victoria Enmon, a young girl from Orange, Texas who suffered from acute lymphoblastic leukemia—a type of rare cancer of the blood and bone marrow that affects white blood cells. After 3 years of battle against her condition and health complications that came with it, she passed away. However, she loved playing games and sharing her kindness with others even throughout her days at Texas Children’s Hospital, so we honor her memory with Extra Life as her legacy.”

– Paola Nicole Rosado (Founder of the team)

“Extra Life for me stands for that extra smile on everybody's face. A smile because we get to play, relief financial burden of parents for their child’s medical bills, and most importantly allow these children a chance to get to be kids”

– Ashlie Diaz

 

HCUPR: What is the mission statement of Extra Life?

“Our mission is to play for 24 hours during the Extra Life Marathon event to raise funds in support of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals so that kids from low-income families who have chronic conditions and are unable to pay for their medical bills, can receive the treatments they need. In Puerto Rico, all Extra Life teams raise funds for the San Jorge Children’s Foundation. We do this primarily through gaming as an innovative way to integrate the community and allow these children the opportunity to just be kids for a while.”

– Paola Nicole Rosado

"Extra Life UPR-RP’s mission is to raise funds (through donations) to help children with chronic diseases, who do not have a strong financial support, so they may receive their necessary treatments."

- Nicole de León

“Our mission is to play hard and have fun with our Champions, while we raise money for these kids who go through so much and are in need to pay those high-cost procedures in order for them to better their health.”

- Ashlie Diaz

 

HCUPR: What was the reason behind creating the chapter?  

“When I first read about Extra Life on February 2016, I fell in love with the cause. At the time, personally I needed an outlet where I could set a time away from my busy class schedule; to continue to help people in my community and at the same time let go of some of the stress acquired during day-to-day life. I am empathetic with these families; I know firsthand the struggles that come from having to overcome the news and obstacles of chronic conditions and the emotional baggage one gets when seeing your loved ones go through this. I thought of ways to make a big impact for this cause, and it wasn’t long before I decided that I wanted to share this experience with everyone on our campus. I am well aware of how supportive, innovative, caring, and talented students are here at UPR- Rio Piedras, and how sometimes we believe that because we are young we are not able to do a big difference in the world around us, yet this could not be farther from the truth.”

– Paola Nicole Rosado

 

HCUPR: Do you have any activities planned for this semester?

Yes, for now, we plan on having sales at the UPR-RP on December 20, December 27, January 16, and March 2. All of the money raised on these sales are funds collected for San Jorge’s Children Foundation. On the 10th of January, we will be having our first Chapter meeting where any student can assist if they want to learn more about Extra Life and to open the Extra Life accounts of our members. On January 24, the ambassador of Kaplan will be giving a conference, so those who are interested in pursuing Graduate studies can learn about the benefits they can receive by being members of our Chapter. Also, on January 12th we will be spending the morning with some of the children from the San Jorge Children’s Hospital. Last but not least, we are working on a very special activity called “Dance 4 The Kids” along with MedLife and the UPRRP Dance Team this next January 26. There are many more fun and exciting activities yet to come of which you can find out through our social networks.

 

HCUPR: How can people join the organization?        

“First, they must access this link link and immediately press the button that says JOIN Team. A registration form will open; here each member selects what type of player account they wish to have; as a new member, we recommend the extra life classic option. Then, when the prompt asks which team they wish to join (JOIN A TEAM), look for ours as Extra Life UPRRP. At this point, they are one step away from being part of our team! Continue to next step, fill out what is your individualized donations goal, beginning at $100 as the minimum. (There is no type of penalty if you do not reach the goal, it’s simply used as motivation to do better each time.) When asked what Hospital you are supporting, look for PR- San Jorge Children’s Foundation. Finally, fill out your personal information and make a donation. It is always recommended to make an initial donation (ANY amount helps), but you are not obligated to do so. After completing these steps, we welcome you to our Extra Life UPRRP chapter!"

"P.S. If doubts remain, a step-by-step video is provided on our team page.”

– Ginette Gonzalez

 

HCUPR: What are your short-term and long-term goals for the organization?

“Our short-term goal is to progressively expand our community of Extra-Lifers at Campus, spread awareness about who we are and what we do to help heal sick and injured kids across our nation. Our long-term goal is for this legacy to continue for many more years at Rio Piedras, as well as form alliances between as many student organizations as we can from around the  entire campus and make joint activities to be able to reach higher funding goals each year.”

- Paola Nicole Rosado​

"The organization's goal is to obtain necessary donations to contribute significantly to the annual goal of Extra Life, 'Children's Miracle Network' and the San Jorge Children’s Foundation. We Contribute not only economically, but emotionally as well. We are constantly spreading awareness of the needs that occur daily with our children and their different health conditions. To those who participate in the activities carried out by our team of "gamers", we show the importance of helping and giving a hand to those who need one. The organization is always present in these tasks."

– Katherine Cordero

“For this organization, I believe it embarks a journey where literally anyone and everyone can join. All you need is the will to take that kid in you and play for a good cause. This organization is all-inclusive, in the sense that you don't need to be part of a particular faculty. One of our goals is to incorporate students from all over campus and to actually find this common ground between them, that would be the joy of playing.”

- Ashlie Diaz

 

Who's part of the staff?

 President

§  Name: Paola Nicole Rosado Menéndez

§  Age: 22

§  Hometown: Toa Baja

§  Major: BA in Cellular Molecular Biology

 

Vice President

§  Name: Ginette Nicole Gonzalez Ramirez

§  Age: 22

§   Hometown: San Juan

§  Major: BA in Interdisciplinary studies

 

Secretary

§  Name: Lizmar Perez Donato

§  Age: 20

§  Hometown: Trujillo Alto

§  Major: BA in Interdisciplinary studies

 

Treasurer

§  Name: Nicole De León Flores

§  Age: 21

§  Hometown: Aguas Buenas

§  Major: BA in Biology

 

Public Relations

§  Name: Sujés Centeno

§  Age: 20

§  Hometown: Corozal

§  Major: BA in Environmental Sciences

 

Director of Community Service

§  Name: Nilsa M. Ortiz Burgos

§  Age: 21

§  Hometown: Jayuya

§  Major: Math, switching to Biology

 

 Vocal/ President and Vice President’s Assistant

§ Name: Ashlie Diaz Colon

§ Age: 22

§ Hometown: San Juan

§ Major: Integrative Biology

 

Vocal/Auxiliary Secretary:

§  Name: Kathleen M. Jackson Díaz

§  Age: 21

§  Hometown: San Juan

§  Major: BA in Interdisciplinary studies

 

Vocal/Treasurer’s Assistant

§  Name: Katherine Cordero

§  Age: 22

§  Hometown: San Juan

§  Major: BA in Interdisciplinary studies

 

Extra Life UPR-RP President’s Speech:

On September 2016, with the help and support of Natalia Martinez Rodriguez, and our first board of directors, I founded the first Extra Life team to be recognized by a State University as an official student organization in Puerto Rico.  Today I have the opportunity of presiding my chapter and working alongside incredibly dedicated people.

If you’re wondering, what is Extra Life? We are a group of organized volunteers across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, who help raise funds for sick and injured kids throughout the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  We do this through gaming.  In our case, all teams in Puerto Rico play to raise funds for the San Jorge Children’s Foundation, which is part of the Children’s Miracle Network, and with these, we help 1,800 children, of low-income families, get the medical treatment they need.

How do we do this through gaming? Every year, each team activates their donor drive accounts, enabling donors to choose the team and Children’s Miracle Hospital they wish to support.  Donors who use this method get receipts sent to their emails so they may include them in their next year income tax; every donation done through the donor drive is tax deductible.  After this, each team organizes fundraising activities throughout the year, leading to the 24 hours Extra Life Marathon. Every participant promises to play games (whether they are virtual or board games) for an entire day in hopes of getting funding support from family, friends, and the general public.  On game day, every team across the nation is playing and streaming to help heal sick and injured kids, but that’s not all. We participate in many events every year, like Comic-con, Extra Life United (an event organized by Victoria’s parents, the girl in whose memory Extra Life was created), our Foundations Summer Camp, and more!      

I love meeting the kids we help, our Champions, and being able to interact with them through games. We bring people together to make a difference in these kids’ lives. Over 30 million dollars have already been donated through the joint efforts of all Extra Life teams.  I’m proud to say that our team is very close to reaching the $1,000 goal this year.

There’s so much more to share, and if you too wish to play for a cure, join our team at by clicking this link.

 

Thank you!