Run the World 5K awards scholarships to study abroad students

Mariah Helaney

Students and faculty united in the Run the World 5K: Florence on June 7.

This 5K is the only Kent State fundraiser with the specific intent to provide scholarships for study abroad purposes.

 Andrew Wyatt, a study abroad advisor, said the premise of the event was to serve as a collaborative effort between colleges and regional campuses.

“Over the past two years the Run the World events have been able to provide $21,000 in scholarships for students to study abroad,” Wyatt said.

The event, located near the city center of Florence, raised money while promoting an active lifestyle, Wyatt said. 

“We had 48 participants run in our June 7 race in the Cascine Park in Florence, and we were able to give out $1,000 worth of scholarships to three students: (senior electronic media major) Alexander Donchess, (senior fashion design major) Chang Liu and (senior business management major) Danielle Apuzzo,” he said.

Marisa Stephens, a study abroad student and race participant, expressed how important the race was to her after only a week in Florence. 

“It is very surreal to be doing an everyday activity on a different continent. It makes you realize that the world can really be a small place the more you experience it,” she said. “The event is for students to meet each other and contribute to something we all care deeply about — study abroad.”

Wyatt said the 5K served as the perfect fundraiser because it promotes fitness and a sense of exploration, which fits in with the active Florence lifestyle.

“By providing students with an organized event in Florence, they can meet other students and locals, while also entering for a chance to win a scholarship,” Wyatt said. “We see it as reciprocal: We provide students with a venue to get involved in Florence, win a medal and T-shirt and stay active.”

The Run the World 5k can completely change the way students view their world, Wyatt said.

“Oftentimes the only obstacle is the cost, so we see this effort as a direct investment in the future of Kent State students and the university as a whole,” Wyatt said.

Madeline Steward, study abroad student and race participant, explained how the race shaped her experience in Florence. 

“This event challenged me to go outside my comfort zone and meet new people and challenge myself, which is what the experience here in Florence is all about,” Steward said.

 Mariah Helaney is the regionals reporter, contact her at [email protected]