Sunday, September 26, 2010

Run4education (One mile at a time!)

As part of running the 10 kilometre race last Friday, my group was also fundraising for Run4Edcuation. Together, we raised over a $1000. Shout out to Fanuel Muindi and Shantal Marshall (two Stanford students) for this great initiative. Fanuel's quite the runner, having run the San Francisco marathon amongst many other races. His goal is to run the Boston Marathon.

Fanuel got interested a couple of years ago and decided to run for a cause. This idea gave birth to the Run4Education group and he's been running to raise money to support students in East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy. Apparently, 75% of East Palo Alto kids won't graduate from high school. Ghana and Africa, listen, nowhere cool. Small contributions can go very far, even in the expensive United States, to make children stay in school.

Here is some info about Run4Education

Run4Education is a group dedicated to filling the gaps in education so that every student gets the chance to reach his or her potential, regardless of their background. Currently, there are kids in communities that cannot afford to put the basic learning tools in classrooms – books, computers, and even teachers. Charter schools within these communities take on these overwhelming odds and create innovative teaching environments to get their students to graduate and go on to college. It takes a lot of work and a lot of resources. That’s where we come in!

We are so committed to helping these schools that we’re willing to put our feet on the ground, and RUN! We run and walk races ranging from 5K to full marathons (26.2 miles!) and raise funds for schools that are in need of our help. We also recruit their students to run with us so they can practice setting goals and working towards them during training, a skill that is vital for success in school, and in life.

Current School: East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy

East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy (EPAPA) is a charter school situated in a community that has pockets of staggering poverty and serious problems with gang- and drug-related violence. Three-quarters, yes 75%, of East Palo Alto's young people do not make it through high school. EPAPA has done amazingly well reaching their goal – to have a 100% graduation and college acceptance rates even through tremendous budget cuts due to California’s fiscal crisis. Because EPAPA is a charter school, it depends a lot on donations and Run4Education has agreed to help.

Our first event this season, The Palo Alto Moonlight Run & Walk on September 24th is to raise funds for students who would like to run with us in future races. These students normally run in khakis and jeans since many cannot afford training gear. We are also planning dinners to teach them healthy eating habits. Future races will raise funds that will go directly to the school.

A group of Stanford students, empowered by Fanuel Muindi's encouragement, run in the Palo Alto Moonlight 10K run September 24. We all finished the race and are very proud of this accomplishment. I know many friends running for good causes, keep it up. It's got me thinking about running for my own cause too :-) In the mean time, in between time and time and time again, support Run4Education's efforts by donating today.

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