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How You Can Make A Difference: NCYET Team Edition

By Alexis Velazquez

Tis the season for NCYET recruitment! That’s right, now is your chance to apply to volunteer with the National Campus Youth and Engagement Team for 2022-23. We know that this can seem like a daunting jump from serving on your campus event leadership team to the national level, but we also know that we have SO MANY incredible volunteers on high school and college campuses that are more than capable of taking the next step. Not only do we have words of encouragement, wisdom, and collaboration, but also stories of people coming together, forming bonds, and continuing the fight against cancer at their campus, on a national level, and even in a global capacity.


What does it mean to join the NCYET?

By joining the NCYET, you are joining a community of volunteers that come together to lift each other up and make sure that the mission of ACS is shared to campuses across the nation while continuing to fundraise and engage students in the fight against cancer. We strive to ensure everyone and every campus is successful in their ACS initiatives! A perfect example is the Campus Runs the World initiative that has become an annual challenge since 2020 largely due to the leadership on this team. Jenna Capuzzo, in collaboration with other members of the team, proposed the idea of a national campus challenge that raises money as they take steps to literally run the diameter of the Earth.

This challenge was not something that just one person could make happen, but a team of dedicated volunteers. Each and every project/campaign/initiative that this team plans is not an individual task – it is a team effort. We are saying this loud and clear so people interested in this team know that you don’t need to have every skill or ability when it comes to planning something in the nature of Campus Runs the World. If you are super passionate about logistics, graphics, or networking – that is awesome and one piece of the puzzle that is needed to make the idea a success. The team will have the rest of the pieces and will work together to put them together.

Take the leap of faith

Okay, so we will step down from our soap box for the time being and share a little bit about how some of our members  came to be on the NCYET. Many of the members, if not all, had conversations with past and present members about their personal experiences on the team. If this is something that you are interested in, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would all love to have a conversation about what it means to be a national volunteer, whether that be what the time commitment looks like, what our experience has been thus far, or what the application process looks like. If there is a specific role you are interested in, you can check this page for contact information for the current member if you would like to learn more about that position.

After talking with our Global Capacity Co-Chair, Cameron Graber, we were able to learn that when he applied to be a member of the team it wasn’t the first year he had considered applying. The year before he was able to have conversations with past members about potentially joining the team. In reality, he said that he didn’t know if he was capable of being a  member of the team, but looking back four years later, we are more than grateful he took a leap of faith and applied. As a three year member of the team, Cam G. has served as the Website Chair, Co-Chair of the National Team itself, and Global Capacity Co-chair. We are asking you to take a leap of faith and apply because you never know what could happen four years from now.


What being a part of the NCYET team means to its members


Now for the promised words of wisdom for those either on the fence about applying, or for those who are set to send in their application (and even for those who haven’t considered applying yet).

Murphy F., the previous Mission Integration & Survivor/Caregiver Engagement Chair and the incoming Global Capacity Chair, had some good words to share for those whose biggest concern is the time commitment.

Don’t focus on why you can’t because of time, but rather think about what you can bring to the table and how you can accomplish that. We all have busy lives outside of ACS, but nowhere else in the organization will you have this opportunity. Time as a campus volunteer is short, but you won’t be able to experience, learn, and grow from being on the team without taking the leap and sending in your application. You have invested in ACS, and ACS wanted to invest in you as a leader for their mission.

We know that between school and personal life, things can get hectic, but we would love to have an open conversation about what the time commitment looks like before you make the decision about applying.

Caitlyn R., who is rolling into the Co-chair from the Training and Development chair, quoted Nike and said ‘Just Do It.’

People should not be scared based on the unknown. Know that as you are taking this step that there is an entire group of people that will have your back in every aspect. We are there for you in the good and bad times, no matter what spectrum of life you are on. The opportunity to be on this team is very humbling and a breath of fresh air. We all have each others backs and step up when others need help. We are able to lift each other up no matter where you are in your life and make a difference in the world together. 

As Caitlyn said, this team is more than professional relationships. We are there for each other to celebrate with them when things are good and to lift them up when they aren’t. This team is like a family, and we would love to grow our family even more!

Jenna C., who is rolling off the team, but has been a crucial part of our NCYET family over the past three years, wants to share to those applying that no idea is too small. Look at where Campus Runs the World is – in its inaugural year, it raised over $25,000. That is a huge accomplishment that came from an idea and grew with the help of the team. We were able to have a brief brainstorm of initiatives while sharing advice where the sky’s the limit and here is what we came up with:

  • Relay on the Moon

  • Storm Area 51 but make it the track where Relay began

  • Cancer Fight Night with UFC

  • Law enforcement vs. firefighters in stuff the boot

  • Cops vs. robbers

What is your out of the box (or literally out of this world) idea that can be an initiative you work on with the assistance of this team?

We know that this is a big decision on whether or not you apply, or maybe it is for what position, but we want to leave you with the wisdom of Cameron Graber, who will be continuing his time as the Co-lead for the National Community Fundraising Leadership Team.

Be willing to break down natural barriers that you have built up. We are all in the same boat when we join this team, but it is okay to ask for help and lean on others who have a different skill set and perspective than you do. You will get close with staff and volunteers, and work with people that are natural born leaders. Learn from them. Develop yourself MORE as a leader and acknowledge the leadership skills you already have.

How YOU can become a member of the NCYET

If you have questions or would like to talk with a current member of the National Campus & Youth Engagement Team about the team or any of the available roles, please email Cameron Coates at [email protected] or Haley Huntington at [email protected] or any of the above mentioned members at our Leadership page. If you are an ACS staff member and have a question, please contact Brad Wisdom at [email protected].

Now is your time to take a leap and apply for the National Campus Youth and Engagement Team here!


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