If you’ve participated in a Susan G. Komen 3-Day ® before, you know how impactful the Youth Corps is to the entire 3-Day experience. Getting involved in the fight against breast cancer from a young age helps secure futures for this generation and the next. We asked top 2021 Youth Corps fundraiser, Gianna K., to tell her story and what the Youth Corps means to her.
What is your connection to breast cancer?
Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of family members affected by breast cancer. My mom, my three aunts, my grandma, and my two great grandmas were all diagnosed and all survived breast cancer. I want to raise money so no one else has to deal with what they went through, and so no other family has to go through what my family and so many other families had to.
How and when did you get involved with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day ®?
After my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, she walked her first Susan G. Komen 3-Day in San Diego to help raise money for the cause. I was there to support her when she walked in 2018 and in 2019. In 2019 I cheered her on along the route, and the atmosphere inspired me to join the Youth Corps. I wanted to be a part of the 3-Day in any way that I could. I was too young to register as a walker, but I found out that I could be part of the Youth Corps to help with this amazing cause. Everyone had so much energy and spirit and I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to help motivate and support the walkers on their 60-mile journey.
You raised $3,547 for the 2021 3-Day. What inspired you to raise so much more than the minimum fundraising requirement? [Youth Corps members commit to raising at least $500 as part of their participation.]
What inspired me to raise more than the minimum requirement is that I know this money helps so many people and goes towards ending breast cancer forever. Raising money is one way I can help to find the cures for breast cancer, so I want to help as much as I can.
If someone is considering joining the Youth Corps, what words of encouragement or advice would you give them?
If anyone is thinking about being involved with the 3-Day Youth Corps, I would 100% encourage them to join. I had so much fun and met so many new, amazing people over the three days I was there. I made lifelong friends and memories that I will never forget. It is so much fun to cheer everyone on because the walkers need our encouragement and motivation to keep them going. While cheering the walkers on, seeing their faces light up when they saw us made me realize what an impact we are having. All the walkers joined in our cheers and were so enthusiastic with us. It is an experience I will never forget, and I will never forget the feeling of making all those people so happy.
What is your favorite part of the Youth Corps?
My favorite part of Youth Corps was meeting new people and being able to have fun with them. We had the best time dancing to music while cheering on the walkers. We would sing, jump around and be enthusiastic together. I loved seeing how happy my friends and I made the walkers, and I know that we experienced this amazing feeling together.
Do you plan to walk the 3-Day some day?
I will be eligible to walk in the 2022 3-Day and I do plan on walking. Again, the atmosphere is incredible and so fun to be a part of!
Are you interested in learning more about the Youth Corps? Do you know someone between ages 10-16 who might be interested in applying? Visit The3Day.org/youthcorps to learn more about involving the next generation in the 3-Day experience. There are a limited number of spots on the Youth Corps and we always have more interested candidates than we can accommodate, so we have an application process. Youth Corps applications are now open.