For the last 19 weeks I have been training to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9th with the Golden Apple Foundation. Golden Apple believes that the critical contributor to student achievement is the quality of the teacher in the classroom and is dedicated to providing exceptional preparation for teachers at all stages of their careers. The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois prepares college students to be highly effective, dedicated teachers for at-risk students in schools of need in Illinois. No other teacher preparation program has had the success that we have achieved in adding to the diversity of the Illinois teaching force and in retaining teachers in the profession (over 80% stay at least five years) – providing credible, stable role models for at-risk youth in challenging schools. My goal is to raise $800 by October 9th to help provide more Illinois students with teachers who will say, “You can do something amazing. You matter!” Please join me in supporting the mission of this amazing organization!