As I prepare to represent the US at the Olympics in Rio, I can’t help but think back to the road that brought me here. When I was younger, my school didn’t have a cross country team. I was fortunate enough to have someone who saw my potential and worked hard to create opportunities for me. My dad collaborated with my school to start a girl’s cross country team, which ultimately enabled me to compete at the national level. Running well at a national championship race opened a new path towards college, towards post-collegiate competition and now to every athlete’s dream, the Olympics!
I am honored to be representing my country and all of you at the games. Before I head overseas, I’m writing to ask you to help provide opportunities like I had for the next generations of runners.
I’ve been involved with the NE Distance program in Rhode Island for the past few years and am impressed by its commitment to public middle schools in communities where previously there were few to no after school options for youth. You may know that NE Distance is an athlete-in-residence fellowship program for post-collegiate track athletes, who serve as coaches to middle school students in underserved neighborhoods.
Last year NE Distance worked with over 350 youth from nine schools in Providence and Woonsocket, communities where either there were no middle school running programs or they had been canceled due to budget cuts.
The coaches NE Distance brings to these schools are impressive athletes in their own right. In addition to their coaching responsibilities, they’ve utilized their fellowships to focus on their running. They’ve achieved new personal bests, won New England championships and have even gone to the Olympic Trials!
Please make a donation to NE Distance to continue this great tradition of running. As a special note, I have just learned that the 33:11 Foundation has offered to make a matching grant for every donation received in August up to $7,500. This means that the impact of your donation will be doubled.
There is no better time to show your support for NE Distance!
With my thanks and best regards,
PS To make a donation online, click here. To make a donation by check, please make it payable to NE Distance and mail it to 371 Wayland Ave., Providence, RI 02906. All contributions are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law.