In 2016 I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon, my first ever 13.1 mile race. As I crossed the finish line on the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn, the first thing to go through my mind was: I’m never doing that again. Minutes (maybe hours) later, I amended that statement to say: the only way I’m ever doing that again is if it’s for a greater purpose.
On May 19, 2018, I will again run 13.1 miles through Brooklyn, and this time I’m doing it for a reason. I have chosen to raise money for Masa NY, an organization that that works (primarily) within the Mexican American and Latino American community in the South Bronx to provide academic support and tutoring to low-income students. Their programs include afterschool homework help, intensive literacy tutoring, and summer academic enrichment programs. They also help promote community engagement among parents and families, provide legal services to immigrants, and run support groups. Read more here: http://masany.org/.
As a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in the South Bronx, I recognize that organizations like Masa are few and far between, but the services they provide are desperately needed within the community. There is a massive achievement gap among students of low socioeconomic backgrounds and their more affluent peers, and this is in part to decreased early language exposure in their home environment and lower literacy levels in their caregivers. Many of us are fortunate to have grown up in households rich in language, and to have parents who were able to seek and finance extra help if and when we struggled with reading or academics. This is not true for so many children, including those I care for daily. Please consider supporting this unique and important organization in order to enrich the lives of students in the South Bronx.
Any amount is appreciated.