Student dedicates time to volunteer

Laura Jefchak, Student Life Reporter

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CSUSM senior Katie Bass says volunteering for for Relay for Life, the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, is a way of giving back to the community and helps raise money for cancer research.


She became involved with the organization seven years ago as a senior in high school after the death of a classmate who battled cancer. “I knew him from school and church,” she said, “his death made me feel like I needed to do something.”


Relay for Life is a nationwide  event in which participants walk, run or jog on a track for a full 24 hours, symbolizing the 24-hour struggle that cancer patients face.


Bass, who lives in Carlsbad, encouraged a few friends to join her and became the captain of her team. “One year, I stayed up all night, walking and running the track and did 12 to 14 miles,” she said in a text message.


Last year her team raised $1,000, which according to Bass is a big accomplishment for a small four to eight person team.


As part of the Event Leadership Team, she meets with other team captains and participates in pre- and post-relay events to raise awareness for the fundraiser. These events include bake sales, car washes and social media outreaches.


Even with her dedication to Relay for Life, Bass looks for opportunities to spend time with her family and friends, while being a full-time student with a part-time job at Legoland.


With the organization skills she has acquired as a student and her volunteer experience with Relay for Life, Bass would like to become a part of Legoland’s special event team, with help with its charity partners, hosts events for children who are seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged.


According to her fellow classmates, Bass is the person who takes “great notes” and “encourages teamwork” when working on group projects.


Bass transferred from Palomar College with two AA degrees, one in general education and one in humanities. She is enrolled as a Literature and Writing major.


“I’ve never been a big school person,” she said, “so I’m proud that I went for and will be getting a bachelor’s degree.”


While she might continue her education in the future, her dream career would be to work for a wedding magazine or an event planning company.


Her best advice for students continuing at CSUSM is, “if you need help with something, always go to your professor’s office hours. It shows not only you are wanting to learn and understand more, but you are willing to go the extra mile to make that paper or presentation the best it can be.”


She said to not be afraid to make friends with classmates as they can lead to some of the greatest relationships and friendships in life.