Alumni Spotlight: Megan Phillips
By Emma Herwehe
Megan Phillips, IU Class of 2021, knew her whole life she wanted to be a teacher and help kids. So when the sophomore mentors on her Education LLC floor freshman year encouraged her to join IUDM, she was intrigued.
Phillips grew up in Illinois and was not familiar with Dance Marathon. After motivation from her mentors and one of her friends who went to Carmel High School, which houses one of the largest high school Dance Marathons, Phillips decided to try it out. It stuck.
Phillips was on the Morale Committee for three years and spent her time on the committee as a committee member, Events Chair, and eventually Director her senior year.
“I ended up staying because it was such a great program,” Phillips said. “To be able to give back to kids and make sure that they’re happy and healthy. But once I started experiencing what it was like, I also stayed for the relationships that I made throughout my time in Dance Marathon.”
The people, she said, really make IUDM the special organization it is.
“Being surrounded by people that are just 100% authentically themselves and also share the passion to give back to people and spread joy and happiness,” Phillips said. “I ended up staying, and the special, extra part of it that I learned was the amazing people you can be surrounded by in the program.”
Fortunately, Phillips said, she never had a personal connection to someone at Riley Hospital for Children. But she was always inspired when she had the chance to visit the hospital and got to see the Riley kids at the marathon.
To people who may be wondering if IUDM is for them, Phillips’ advice is to just go for it.
She said she is still in touch with people she met through Dance Marathon, who are some of her best college friends.
“Just try it,” Phillips said. “Put yourself out there. I know it can be difficult but the outcome is just so amazing. The relationships that you make throughout Dance Marathon are ones that you’ll have forever.”
Everyone is welcome and has a place in IUDM, Phillips explained.
“There’s so many leaders as well, the directors, the chairs,” Phillips said. “Even just the committee members that are so welcoming and open to helping people find their place. There’s a place for everyone.”
Phillips is now working as a special education teacher for Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. Though her IUDM days are behind her, she said the people she met are her forever friends.
“There’s no other group than Dance Marathon with the same special qualities,” Phillips said. “It’s a great opportunity to be with amazing people.”