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York College First-Year Sport Management student already making a difference in the York community

Allie Becker and Sydney for IMPACT story

Making an IMPACT

Getting involved on campus and in the community from day one is a big step for many first-year students. Sport Management major and women’s soccer team player, Allie Becker ’23, hit the ground running by participating in the IMPACT York scholarship program as well as volunteering for the Girls on the Run 5K.

In her first semester, as part of the IMPACT York program, she gained valuable, project-based experience with Championship Community Center, an afterschool program offering various activities, including basketball, for local students of all ages. “We’re trying to get kids off the street and realize there’s more to the city than just running around at night,” she says.

Girls on the Run

In another example of “hitting the ground running,” Allie gained more real-world experience when she and fellow classmates in the First-Year Seminar, Women in Sport, volunteered for the Girls on the Run 5K in December.

Molly Hayes-Sauder, EdD, who teaches Women in Sport, works with Visiting Assistant Professor Donna Grove, EdD, and her Sport Management class as well as the Department of Athletics and Recreation to coordinate this annual event, which encourages concepts such as a healthy lifestyle, goal-setting, and confidence-building in young girls. Hayes-Sauder says Allie is a highly motivated student who “has terrific interpersonal skills and brings a fun, positive attitude to whatever she does.”

Making a Connection

Allie and her classmates cheered on the participants in this year’s Girls on the Run 5K. She says, “Just seeing girls’ faces, smiles, and knowing that they were having a good time made it all worth it.”

She didn’t just stand and cheer. Allie noticed a young girl named Sydney at the back walking alongside her mother and decided to go over and encourage her. “I ran out to her and said, ‘Let’s go, let’s run this out!’” They ran to the finish line and waited for the girl’s mom. It turns out this was Sydney’s first 5K and Allie had helped make it unforgettable.

After the event, Sydney’s mom posted a photo of the girls on Facebook hoping to reach Allie to thank her for making her daughter’s 5K so memorable. Luckily, they were able to connect. Sydney says, “Allie is so positive and happy, she made me feel special that day. The 5K was a little challenging, but I did it and felt powerful.”

She and her mom are grateful for the Sport Management major’s kindness and have reconnected since the run. For her part, Allie plans to volunteer for the event next year and is encouraging Sydney to participate again.