University of Florida Mascot, Albert, driving a golf cart!

I currently work for the University of Florida as a "friend" of Albert the Alligator: the universities mascot. I am captain of his entourage and have been good "friends" with him for 3 years. It has its ups and downs but it has been a great experience that I know I will treasure in the future.

One of the most memorable experiences I have as a mascot was a trip to a hotel grand opening. That's right, a hotel grand opening! Mascots are more than just entertainment at sporting events! They are ambassadors for the University on and off campus. They partake in wedding, birthdays, hospital visits, commercials, and yes, hotel grand openings! At this particular opening they invited a ton of people and from the way it was packed inside, they all showed up. We were out by the pool just hanging out and dancing. I played a little football with some kids and just did things giant alligators do. We finished the appearance and were walking to our cars with our suits packed up and a man approached me. He came up to me and said "I just wanted you to know that you made my kids day and that in turn made mine". He said it with a tear in his eye and walked off. That's when I realized why I loved mascoting so much. If I can take someone's worries, pains, and hardships away for just one second, it was worth it!

Relay For Life: A Team Fight Against CancerI also am the President of Colleges Against Cancer. It is an organization on campus whose main function is to host a Relay for Life on campus. Relay For Life is an 18 hour walk in which 50+ teams and 1000+ students come together to honor survivors, remember those who have lost the battle, and fight back against cancer! We have raised over $325,000 in the last 4 years and are on our way to raising over $100,000 this year alone!

I relay for many reasons and for many people. I have lost my grandfather, my grandmother, an aunt, a great aunt, and an uncle that was a true hero. I have one uncle, one aunt, my mom, and friend that have survived cancer! I put in about 20 hours a week of work for the Cancer Society with all of the responsibilities I have but it is worth it. If you are interested in aiding this fight you can visit my Relay For Life webpage or check out the American Cancer Society's webpage for more information on what you can do to help in this battle!

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