York College students get walking to fight breast cancer

By Valerie Victor

Moments before the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Walk, a team of students and faculty members from York College, gathered together outside of Central Park.

Ebonie Jackson, the manager of the college’s Women’s Center, prepared her team for the walk by reminding them of the cause and explained how walking makes a difference in the lives of many women.

Jackson explained that they would walk the 4-mile loop, and thanked every team member for joining in the cold to walk for “a great cause.”

“It was amazing like it always is. It was freezing, but once we got going and saw tons of people with banners and felt the energy, it was great,” Cassita Charles, a graduate level assistant, said. “I’m glad I got to be a part of it.”

Team members completed the four mile loop nearly 2 1/2 hours after starting the walk.

The college was one of 2,200 teams from across the country that joined together in Central Park totaling 17,808 participants.

“It lets our students know that we genuinely care about women’s issues and everyone that this disease may affect,” said Charles. “We care about students and bringing everyone together. It lets them know that their college supports them, and that we are here for them.”

For the past three years, the Women’s Center at York has organized the college’s involvement in the breast cancer event.

“I want to thank you all for coming and walking this year,” Jackson said. “We haven’t reached our team goal yet, but you can still donate money till the end of the month and it will count towards our team goal.”

The team goal was to raise $2,500 this year.

The college has raised 18 percent — $460 — toward the team goal.

“Hopefully next year we raise more money and recruit more people to add to the group,” Jackson said.

The American Cancer society is still accepting donations until Dec. 31.

Because the York student body is composed of about 70 percent women, the Women’s Center is dedicated to increasing awareness and creating support groups for students.

“It’s a great source of family, sisterhood and unity. I feel like we’re each other’s backbone,” Keila Ottero, a junior at York, said.

At the end of the walk, the team members hugged each other and exchanged high fives. Exiting the park a number of teams laughed and encouraged other walkers to keep walking.

“I enjoyed the comradery and cheering each other on. It was worth it,” said Charles.

“Seeing all those survivors was inspiring and eye opening in a good way,” said Ottero. “As I walked and interacted with people from the Women’s Center it helped me feel better.”

To contribute money, visit www.makingstrides.acsevents.org