I’m running the New York City Marathon on November 6th in support of – and to raise funds for – Minds Matter NYC, an incredible education nonprofit I volunteer with that helps low-income, high-achieving high schoolers get in to college. Minds Matter has been THE most energizing, rewarding part of my NYC experience, and I’d love your help in reaching my $2,500 fundraising goal. But first let me explain why I care so much.
The #1 reason? The students. Minds Matter kids come from households with an average income of less than $24,000 (which is just below the federal poverty line) and often have heartbreakingly challenging home lives. Many come from single-parent households and serve as the primary caregiver for a sick parent and/or younger siblings, often working part-time jobs to contribute income. But what they lack in financial and familial stability, they more than make up for in ambition, grit and intelligence. From their sophomore year through senior year, these kids spend nearly every Saturday afternoon during the school year at Minds Matter sessions, receiving two-on-one mentorship, taking ACT and SAT practice tests, honing their writing and critical thinking skills and learning the ins and outs of the FAFSA process. Summers are spent taking rigorous college-level classes, completing internships and participating in study abroad programs, all through the generous support of Minds Matter. By the time high school graduation rolls around, 100% of them walk across the stage with college acceptance letters in tow. (This is actually a fact: Since Minds Matter began in 1991, ALL students have received acceptance to four-year colleges and universities, many of them top-tier. My two mentees from last year are currently enrolled at Columbia and Smith, both with full-ride scholarships and both taking pre-med courses with the hopes of one day becoming doctors.) These results speak to the power and undeniable importance of education access. The kids are rock stars to begin with, but by providing them with the right resources, knowledge and encouragement, they become college-bound adults with unlimited potential.
I’d love your support – both financial and moral – as I sweat it out for 26.2 miles for the sake of Minds Matter and these unbelievably tenacious teens. Can’t say I’m confident I’ll finish the race in one piece, but I am confident in the power of this organization to impact REAL, positive change. Any – and all – contributions are wholeheartedly appreciated.
A million thanks for reading and considering!