For The Madera Tribune
Founding members of the Cal Poly Dance Marathon, from left, Kayla Bakhshi, Madison Meredith, Dafyush Shahid, Haley Stegall and Marissa Sanchez. Stegall and Sanchez are both from Madera.
Haley Stegall, a Madera woman who graduated this spring from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, has been honored with a Distinguished Leadership Award for her work in supporting the Children’s Miracle Network hospital charity.
She inaugurated and helped plan Miracle Network Dance Marathons at Cal Poly for two years.
Some 300 colleges and universities have participated in Miracle Network Dance Marathons, involving thousands of students, according to officials from the organization.
Stegall, who was a business major, plans to pursue a certified public accountant’s license as she works as an audit associate for Armanino LLP, an accounting and business-consulting firm headquartered in the Bay Area.
Stegall said she helped plan the inaugural Cal Poly Dance Marathon as a founder of the organization, and served as the executive director for the past two years.
Among her other campus leadership roles was membership on the Cal Poly Corporation Board of Directors; secretary of recruitment on the Associated Students, Inc., president’s executive cabinet; president’s designee on the University Union Advisory Board; and membership on Associated Students, Inc., Recruitment and Development Committee.
She is a recipient of the Murarka Family Scholarship for Leadership Endowment.
She said of her many campus activities and accomplishments:
“By far, I am most proud of my decision to take the leap of faith to start Cal Poly Dance Marathon.
“After a friend from another school in California wrote me down as a contact for Cal Poly, a Dance Marathon manager reached out to me the following week about starting a program. There was not a bone in my body that thought about turning down this opportunity for our campus and our soon to be Miracle kids.
“I believed in the potential Cal Poly had to greatly impact our local hospital. I reached out to a handful of my most passionate colleagues in student government and asked them to join me in starting this movement on our campus.
“By the beginning of my junior year, our leadership team had grown to 25 students passionate about serving the kids at Cottage Children’s Medical Center and positively impacting our campus community.
“In our inaugural year, we had many successes: raising over $4,000 on our first fundraising push day, recruiting more than 650 students to register for our first event, and raising over $36,000 in our first year.
“These successes came with many trials and lessons learned that only prepared us to conquer another successful year. Without the knowledge and skills of myself and team members involved in ASI, it would have been extremely difficult to navigate the programming and event policies on our campus. Despite the campus push back at times, I made it a priority to build a foundation and take the proper steps through the university to ensure the longevity of Cal Poly’s program.
“I could not have accomplished any of what I have in last two years without my two amazing teams. Their passion, determination and hard work made our program raise over $9,000 in 72 hours, nearly double participants with over 1,000 students registered and more than double our fundraising total with over $65,000 raised in our second year. I take great pride in the growth of these leaders and their impact on our campus over the last two years.
Outside of my decision to start this movement, though, my team members are my greatest accomplishment.”
Haley is the daughter of Mark and Chris Stegall of Madera.
Stegall said another Madera woman, Marissa Sanchez, also was a founding member of the dance marathon project.