UDance Across Campus: Getting to know the Residence Life Team
When it comes to the UDance community, our shared passion for our mission began right here on the University of Delaware campus. The foundation for involvement and the commitment to making a difference in the fight against childhood cancer can be traced back to the UD residence halls, where it all begins.
Since its inception in 2007, UDance has cultivated a vibrant community of like-minded, passionate students united by a central mission: fighting for a world where no child has to hear the words, “You have cancer.” The connections made through UDance may start as casual friendships, but they grow into long-lasting connections that continue far beyond our time as Blue Hens.
The on-campus UDance community serves as a backbone of our year-long efforts. Led by Residence Life Director, Sophia Buonanno, and Residence Life Chair, Isabella Acevedo of the UDance 2024 Executive Board, the UDance Residence Life team is the heartbeat of on-campus awareness and fundraising. They offer students the opportunity not only to get involved during their time at UD but also to make a meaningful impact. Because of UD students, UDance has raised nearly $18.5 Million benefiting The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation.
MEET THE RESIDENCE LIFE TEAM
Sophia Buonanno, Residence Life Director
Bella Acevedo, Residence Life Chair
Sophia, this year’s Residence Life Director, began her involvement in UDance as a member of Freshmen For The Kids. After a year of growing her involvement and building a foundation for her passion for the cause, she joined the UDance 2023 Executive Board as the Residence Life Chair. During this time, Sophia and her team were responsible for leading residence life fundraising efforts, contributing to UDance 2023 raising a total of nearly $1.8M benefiting The B+ Foundation. Her outstanding leadership and dedication earned her the position of UDance 2024’s Residence Life Director.
On a similar path to Sophia, Isabella was also a member of Freshmen For The Kids during her first year at UD. She was an integral part of FFTK’s awareness and fundraising efforts throughout the year and was a key part of engaging so many campus residents. Her dedication to the cause did not go unnoticed, and led her to apply for the UDance Executive Board. She is currently serving as UDance 2024’s Residence Life Chair.
Freshmen For The Kids
Together, Sophia and Bella are responsible for overseeing our Freshman For The Kids (FFTK) program. As a part of the UDance community, freshmen who join the program take on the role of representatives for their respective residence halls. Their mission is to inspire others to join the fight against childhood cancer. This experience offers a fantastic opportunity to connect with other freshmen residing in their halls or from all corners of campus. Along the way, they work toward achieving their individual fundraising goals along with motivating their peers to do the same. These collective efforts not only help create a close-knit group on campus but also contribute to UDance’s overarching goal of raising both funds and awareness for the fight against childhood cancer.
UDance is partnered with 35 B+ Heroes—local kids with childhood cancer who, with the help of our partners at The B+ Foundation, are paired with greek life chapters, athletic teams, Registered Student Organizations, and residence halls across campus. The Freshmen For The Kids committee is paired with B+ Hero Brayden. Over the past several years, members of FFTK have established a wonderful relationship with B+ Hero Brayden and love spending time with him at UDance events throughout the year!
Looking Ahead with Res Life
Sophia and Bella's dedication to UDance and their unique perspective on how residence life and philanthropy intersect were recently showcased in the UDance podcast, WeTalk, UDance, hosted by the UDance Entertainment Team. In their episode, Bella expressed her excitement about embracing a "whole new environment as a first-year board member." Her enthusiasm sets a vibrant tone for what lies ahead. Sophia, sharing her goals for this year, is focused on keeping engagement consistent throughout the year, emphasizing consistent attendance and fundraising efforts among the FFTK members. Bella echoed this sentiment, highlighting the importance of motivating freshmen to be involved and encouraging them to find their unique motivations and reasons for being part of UDance. A big part of UDance is finding one’s personal "Why"—the driving force behind someone’s commitment to UDance, fueling their unwavering dedication to the cause.
When asked about their goals for the upcoming year, Sophia and Bella emphasize the significance of maintaining perspective when it comes to fundraising goals. While the checkpoints and milestones throughout the semester may seem daunting and even a bit intimidating, they are dedicated in their commitment to reminding their fundraising teams about the motivation behind our efforts: making a meaningful impact for the kids. And, importantly, they encourage everyone to remember that it's not just about the final result but also about having fun along the way!
The Heart of Campus Living
What makes the UDance Residence Life team stand out is their ability to weave the principles of UDance into the fabric of on-campus living. They understand that students aren't just residents; they are potential champions in the fight against childhood cancer. They set up fundraising campaigns, awareness initiatives, and events that resonate with the on-campus student community.
Through residence life campaigns and building a close-knit team, Sophia and Bella empower students to embrace their roles on FFTK. They create a sense of belonging that extends beyond the residence halls, making students feel like they're part of something bigger. This sense of unity strengthens the UDance community, and continues to be a driving force behind UDance’s efforts!
Are you a UD student living on campus looking to get involved? Contact Sophia Buonanno for more information.
Check out this episode the WeTalk, UDance to hear from the Residence Life team to see what it’s like being part of a UDance fundraising team and working with students living in dorms!