Founder’s Story – Grace Lu

Grace Lu Founder

My name is Grace, and I am an avid runner and the founder of this non-profit organization, Healthy Lifestyle for Youth (HLFY). I began running for fun when I was in middle school and then took it up as a more serious pursuit once I reached high school and joined Dougherty Valley High School’s Cross Country and Track & Field Team. Outside of school, I am an enthusiastic foodie and enjoy spending time with my family and mischievous American Eskimo puppy named Teddy.

Through my dedication to running, I began to notice a significant issue in my local community and beyond. It was striking to me that so many kids were missing out from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, whether it be due to factors such as lack of resources or simply lack of motivation. Fueled by my newly invigorated passion for running and vision to help other kids, I decided to take action by starting this non-profit that provides kids with both the resources and means necessary to live more active, confident, and fulfilling lives.

Healthy Lifestyle for Youth hosts running programs for kids of all ages, backgrounds, and socioeconomic conditions. The Heart & Sole Youth Running Club meets on a weekly basis at the local sports park to run together as a group through neighborhood street and trails. It also supports kids meeting new friends and playing fun games together while improving their fitness levels. The Shoes that Inspire Program encourages kid to run every day after school with PE teacher supervision. For those kids most in-need, we provide a new running shoes so they can comfortably and successfully participate in leading a healthier lifestyle.

Running a non-profit organization is, in many ways, just like the sport of running itself. There is an incredible amount of drive and dedication required for both, and the positive results are the pay-off for all the hard work. This is what truly fuels my passion and commitment, and what makes these extracurricular choice both valuable and empowering experiences. I aim to expand my non-profit to benefit as many kids as possible, so that they are able not only able to live more active lifestyles but so that they can be more confident — daring to dream big and reach for the stars.