Choose a Challenge: Boston College Students Take on Mt. Everest for BBBSMB
Choose a Challenge is the largest student charity challenge company in the United Kingdom. Every year, they take over 1,500 eighteen to twenty-five year olds on travel expeditions around the world. To participate in Choose a Challenge, students meet a fundraising target, and a minimum of 50% of funds raised goes directly to charity. Choose a Challenge began on the summit of the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro, in 2008. Since then, the company raises almost $5 million for charity every year and has recently expanded to the United States.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay is happy to announce that we have partnered with Choose a Challenge for the 2017-2018 academic year! Twenty student challengers at Boston College will raise $55,000 for BBBSMB in their expedition to the base camp of Mount Everest in May 2018. Support a BC Challenger by clicking HERE!
Every Choose a Challenge trip needs student challengers, and every group of student challengers needs a leader. Therefore, every Choose a Challenge trip has a Challenge Leader. Their main goal is to recruit twenty student challengers from their university and see their participation through to the end with inspiration, encouragement, and motivation.
Boston College sophomore Brandon Bruttomesso is the Challenge Leader for the BC Mount Everest Base Camp trek. A Psychology and Biology major, Brandon is from South Glens Falls, NY. He is a member of the Boston College EMS, club Frisbee, and the wrestling team. Brandon is stoked to help take his team to the base camp of Mount Everest and raise money for BBBSMB. We spoke with him about his involvement with Choose a Challenge, his role as a Challenge Leader, and his excitement for both the trip and for the participation of his fellow students. Enjoy!
How did you hear about Choose a Challenge?
I actually saw a Facebook ad about the company and that they were looking for Challenge Leaders. The ad looked pretty cool, so I looked into it a little more.
Why did you decide to get involved with Choose a Challenge?
Eventually, I would love to hike to the summit of Everest, and this trip seemed like a good starting point. I love hiking and adventures, so the trip was an easy sell. What made it even easier to decide to do was that this amazing trip was coupled with raising money for charity. How could anything be more appealing?
Why did you apply to become the Challenge Leader for the BC Everest Trek?
I applied to be a leader because I was so incredibly excited about the trip. I felt it was good and necessary to spread my passion to garner more Challengers to help [Big Brothers Big Sisters] AND complete an arduous trek.
How have you recruited fellow BC students to sign up for the Everest Trek?
I’ve done most of my promoting online. Each class at BC has an official Facebook group, and I utilized those groups several times to promote the trip and our informational meeting. I also did some in-person handing out of flyers in dining halls and just walking around.
So far, what has been your favorite part of being the Challenge Leader for the BC Everest Trek?
The best part of the trek so far has been seeing everyone get so excited about signing up. That’s a twofold answer, because their excitement is amazing in itself, but it also means that BBBSMB will be getting more and more money for their incredible cause with each new person signing up.
Besides making it to the Everest Base Camp, what part of the trip are you most excited about?
Obviously making it to the Base Camp will be an unparalleled experience! Aside from that, getting to the summit of Kala Pattar. Not only will we be summiting a mountain that is over 18,000 feet above sea level, but it will offer a view of Everest and other mountains that you can’t beat.
How are you preparing for the challenging physical aspect of the trek?
This trek will definitely not be easy. As far as preparation goes, I try to run at least 3 times a week and lift weights for general fitness. Specifically for the trip, I am going to begin using a stair stepper to start working towards easily climbing up steeper inclines.
How are your parents feeling about your plan to hike to the Everest Base Camp?
Both my parents and grandparents think I am crazy for doing this, but that is nothing new. I have gone skydiving and bungee jumping, so this is on course for who I am!
Why do you think that participating in Choose a Challenge is a great experience for college students?
Choose a Challenge is a great way for college students to travel and take on an adventure while simultaneously having an impact on those in need. The fundraising is an easy sell—cool trip AND charity work—so it’s more likely they’ll get the money. And it is the ideal time to travel—still prior to having any true responsibilities in the real world.
What would you say to potential Challengers questioning whether or not they should get involved with Choose a Challenge?
It depends on why they are hesitant. The fundraising can seem daunting, but it is quite an easy sell when asking for money: a great trip that benefits BBBSMB. The reasons to take the trip are there—to anyone who still wouldn’t do it, don’t hesitate to have an adventure!
BBBSMB is incredibly honored to partner with Choose a Challenge, and we are excited to support Brandon and his fellow Boston College students in the expedition of a lifetime! Brandon and his team are still looking for student challengers at Boston College to sign up for their expedition to the Mount Everest Base Camp. If you or anyone you know is interested, then be sure to check out www.chooseachallenge.org/bostoncollege for more information!