On November 4, my team and I arrived at Benito Juarez Elementary School at 4:30 pm to deliver new ASICS running shoes to 18 students who were selected after submitting an application with an attached essay prompt about what it means to maintain a healthy lifestyle. After multiple fundraising events and jewelry sales to raise money for the new shoes and months of planning the deadlines and details of the program, all of the hard work and dedication finally paid off.
I arrived at the elementary school located in Richmond, CA, which was next to a park and a few other commercial buildings. After meeting with Sarah, the woman who closely works with AMPS and who was able to give much support and guidance along the way, my team and I gathered up the new ASICS shoes and prepared to meet the kids who would be receiving them. The Dean of school lead us to a classroom, where more than 30 students were sitting and waiting for us to present the shoes. We introduced our program and the kids were super sweet and attentive; they asked all sorts of questions ranging from “Why did you guys start this program?” to “How old are all of you?”
After the introduction, I called out the names of the kids who submitted their applications and they met me in front of the room to collect their new pair of running shoes. Afterwards, they went back to their seat to try on their shoes. The pure look of excitement and joy that all of the kids had after they saw their new pair of shoes and walked around wearing them was something I will never forget. All the effort and commitment that we put into the program was definitely worth it after seeing these kids’ reactions and happiness that their new shoes were comfortable and stylish.
After everyone received their shoes, we all headed outside to a pavement loop and the kids started their first day of running training practice. We ran right alongside them and I was extremely delighted to see their smiling faces with their sparkling new shoes eagerly run 7 laps around the loop.
This experience was truly a very meaningful and rewarding experience because I was able to see all of my and the team’s diligence and drive pay off and feel that I was truly making a positive impact on someone’s life. I hope that these running shoes will continue to inspire the kids and give them the confidence to dream bold and work hard everyday towards their goals.