Hello and thank you for visiting my Boston Marathon 2020 Crowdfunding Page! I am so excited to be running in the Boston Marathon, the world's oldest and best-known annual road race event. Growing up as an athlete just an hour outside Boston, running the Boston Marathon has always been a personal goal of mine. It is a dream to run it this year and for an organization like Tenacity, whose cause I so deeply believe in and am excited to support now and in the future.
Growing up, it was never a question of "will I play youth sports?” The question, instead, was "which sport(s) would I play?” At age three, I learned to ski, age four to kick a soccer ball, and age five to hit a tennis ball. I was also a dancer, gymnast, swimmer, ice skater, and lacrosse and softball player, you name it. Choosing soccer and tennis as my sports of passion, I played both through in-town and club programs in elementary, middle and high school, as well as played soccer freshman year at Bentley University. Now, both remain major anchors in my life as I continue to play with friends and family. I also blend my love for kids and the two sports by coaching whenever possible through local camps and leagues. Youth sports gave me my life-long passions, friends, important life-experiences, problem-solving skills, taught me how to take care of myself and handle emotions in an appropriate way, was my social life, my hobbies, and more. These sports and my experience training for 18 years are undeniably the reason for who I am today.
As a kid, I thought that everyone had the same experiences and opportunities I had. Unfortunately, that just isn't true, as access to opportunity is not created equally. It wasn't until I began working with kids living in a low-income housing community just <10 minutes from my university in Waltham that I learned how opportune my upbringing was. Not only did I get to discover my passions in youth sports, but I had the privilege of receiving a good education at a school and in a community where attending college was expected. In my 6+ years of working with this treasured community in Waltham and more recent experience working at Teach For America in Boston, an organization working in the education inequity space, I've learned that measures beyond kids' and families' control can define their access to opportunity. A hard yet eye-opening lesson for me has been that for some families, youth sports (something I took for granted) are not an option, as other things like food security take priority. Furthermore, I've learned that access to education for kids living just a town apart can be dramatically different.
I believe more than anything that if we give kids the tools and resources to be successful and we believe in them, they can and will succeed. Tenacity uses tennis paired with academic programming and mentorship to improve educational outcomes for kids, improving access to opportunity for urban youth and further enabling them to achieve their vision of success. Given Tenacity's approach -blending access to the sport of tennis and the additional academic, familial, and social-emotional support- the organization and cause couldn't fit my experience, background, and interests any better.
I am so fortunate for the upbringing I had, the opportunities my parents gave me, and to have an able body that can train for 26.2 miles. Not only am I excited to return to my roots of sport and athletic training, but I am energized to push the limits and use my platform to fundraise $7,000 for a cause I wholly believe deserves our time and attention.
Thank you for reading my story and considering donating. I so appreciate any support that people are able to contribute as I take on one of my greatest challenges yet. I am ready for this life changing opportunity, thank you for making it possible!
Founded in 1999, Tenacity’s mission is to enable post-secondary success by improving the scholastic, character and physical development of less advantaged urban youth.
Through a combination of academic enrichment, mentoring, family engagement, and tennis/fitness coaching, Tenacity’s Pathway to Post-Secondary Success improves educational outcomes for students, increases graduation rates, and helps transform the lives of the youth we serve.
Tenacity’s Pathway programs enable young people to build self-confidence and explore success as students, mentors and leaders. We open educational and career pathways that offer countless opportunities for personal, civic and professional growth.
The outcomes are striking. Tenacity has maintained a 95% high school graduation rate among students who have completed our Middle School Academy, with 80% of these graduates going on to higher education. Currently, over 5,000 youth participate in Tenacity’s in-school, after school, and summer programs annually.
Funds raised through the B.A.A. Boston Marathon Official Charity Program directly support the free programs Tenacity, Inc. offers City of Boston youth.