My name is Will Wilt and I am a freshman in the business school studying Management & Marketing. Helping others has always been an integral part of my life. From the time I was in elementary school and old enough to have my sentences make sense, I’ve been giving back to the community and those around me. My “Why” is not the typical story you will hear in Terp Thon. When I was a junior in high school, I had some friends that went to a high school in Pennsylvania. Every year their school held an event called Mini-THON. It is quite similar to Terp Thon, except it is related to Penn State’s THON. I know… Penn State is supposed to be our rival. This being said, when they told me what Mini-THON was, I knew I had to get involved in some capacity. I researched, contacted people, and wrote out an entire plan of how to implement Mini-THON at my high school. I am from Carroll County, Maryland – a pretty secluded county. No one had heard of anything like Mini-THON, and I ended up getting blank stares from anyone who happened to listen to me go on and on about it. Initially, the administration told me I was crazy and that we were in no place to take on something of that scale, but I refused to take no for an answer.
I spent the summer between junior and senior year preparing to present my idea once again. This time, we had a new principal who was on board. I found a staff advisor that was ready to take on the task and we began planning. We built a team that was as passionate as I am. In my four years at Winters Mill, I had never seen the student body unify behind a single cause in such fashion. The school was strewed with blue and gold colors – the colors of Mini-THON. We set a goal of $5,000 – a goal we didn’t think we would achieve. To our amazement, we raised $13,514.20. I will never in my life forget that number… Through all the countless hours of determination, obstacles, and tears, we brought our student body together “For the Kids”. After Mini-THON, I realized I could not just be done with fighting pediatric illness. One night when I was lying in bed – tearfully reminiscing about the joy Mini-THON brought me – I came across Terp Thon’s Instagram page. Knowing I was coming to the University of Maryland, I told myself I had to be a member of Terp Thon. I was not done making a difference in children’s health. When I got to campus, it was pretty much the first thing I did. Joining Terp Thon has been such an amazing part of my first year at Maryland, and I cannot wait for three more years of dancing For The Kids. I have met so many amazing people that are absolute inspirations. I am writing this after our last AHOD before the big day, and I am so excited to experience my first Dance Marathon. My “Why” is that I want to dance for all those who are unable to dance. My “Why” is to make a difference in the world. My “Why” is because of my passion for helping others. My “Why” is for more smiles. The real question I ask people is “Why not?”. I am so grateful for Mini-THON, Terp Thon, and the difference it has made in my life and the lives of so many others.