(2 min read)
To my friends and family --
I can't contain my enthusiasm/ also kinda nervous to announce that I'm supporting The Fresh Air Fund this year in the New York City Marathon. Many of you know I've been kicking and screaming to run this race through my favorite city in the world, but I'm SO excited to partner with FAF, an organization I've been involved with since 2015.
For those of you who aren't familiar, The Fresh Air Fund (FAF) provides a summer camp experience for kids from low-income communities, which are either hosted by a host family away from the city or on special FAF camp grounds. In order to "earn" this capstone trip, however, the students have to commit to a 3-year Career Awareness Program which includes opportunities like job shadowings, academic tutoring programs, and mentoring sessions.
This work means a lot to me because growing up, I never had a chance to go to sleepaway camp, nor did I have mentors to help me navigate the college world - like choosing a major or applying for financial aid. I volunteer as an academic tutor at FAF because I want to be that mentor for someone else. The job description was purely academic, but I feel my role is in practice a mentor, friend, and tutor combined - teaching not only concepts in grammar and math, but also softer yet crucial skills for success like public speaking and conversational skills.
The learning goes both ways. One semester, I realized that my 7th grade student was not even aware of the specialized high school exam that when I was his age, had been preparing for since I was in 6th grade (and was made aware of way before that). In all the drama with the SHSAT, it wasn't the test that was the problem - the issue started way before the student sits down in front of that Scantron. The playing field was uneven, and it can trace its way back to the community level. Where were his teachers in emphasizing this amazing and free opportunity to uplevel his education? Why wasn't the school educating his parents? They were clearly supportive of his success - his mother and younger brother took the train with him to FAF every Tuesday evening, and waited for him to be done to go home to Queens together. From this, I learned to look at an issue beyond face value.
I've grown a lot from volunteering with The Fresh Air Fund, and I hope that you can support me in helping the FAF students grow, too. The participants are bright and full of potential, and I hope that our influence helps them build confidence, discover new interests, and explore different career options.
All the best,
P.S. FAF was recently featured in the NYT!
The Fresh Air Fund wrote -
The Fresh Air Fund is thrilled to have been chosen by the New York Road Runners as a charity partner for the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5, 2017.
By raising $2,500 for The Fund, you can help children from New York City's low-income communities learn new skills, discover talents, build confidence and have fun through a Fresh Air experience!
Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund has made a difference in the lives of over 1.8 million children.
Fundraise for The Fresh Air Fund and run to continue this important tradition.
*We have limited spots available. In order to be an offical runner with The Fresh Air Fund team please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.