I am beyond excited be running the 2017 Boston Marathon representing Dream Big!, an organization that provides girls from low-income situations with the basic items and program fees needed for them to participate in sports and physical activities that contribute to their health, education and overall well-being.
Since I was a little girl, I’ve been involved in every sport you could think of; gymnastics, cheerleading, field hockey, lacrosse, etc. I was forunate enough to have access to these sports and activities, which ultimately led to my current passion for running. Throughout my 20’s, I’ve partcipated in two half marathons, the Falmouth Road Race, and other countless road races in the area. I've set my goals high and placed at the top of my age group in some of these races, and even came in first place for females at a local race last year. I am now thrilled to be running my first ever Boston Marathon! Without the opportuntiy to grow my athleticism during my youth, my community involvement through running would likely not be what it is today.
Dream Big! is working to breakdown the financial barrier that currently prevents girls from participating. Everyday a girl in need steps on the playing field, court or track without the proper footwear, equipment, sports attire or training they deserve. Launched in Massachusetts in 2010, Dream Big! has already had a direct, positive effect on more than 22,000 girls in need through equipment donations, program scholarships, sports clinics and the Dream Big! Leadership Conferences for middle & high school girls from urban communities.
While coping with the tragedy of losing my mom at age 10, involvement in sports throughout my youth kept me positive and focused. It distracted me from what was already a tough situation, and allowed me to set my goals high and keep busy. Looking back, I couldn't imagine what I would have done without sports making up my busy schedule.
Here are a few examples of the impact Dream Big! donations had this past year: Dream Big! donated over $100,000 in new sports attire and athletic footwear to girls track, basketball, double dutch, volleyball and soccer athletes in urban communities; a donation of a volleyball net and equipment allowed a high school volleyball team to add a girls volleyball program to their school; Dream Big! Program Scholarships sent hundreds of student athletes to basketball college showcases, soccer and volleyball camps, dance classes and gymnastics lessons; Hundreds of girls attended Dream Big! Sports Clinics in partnership with local college sports teams and the Dream Big! Leadership Conference brought together 220 female athletes from economically disadvantaged communities with former collegiate and Olympic female athletes, now community and corporate leaders, to hear about the impact sports had on their lives and about the college and career opportunities available to them.
Thank you so much for your support and remember that no donation is too small!