This afternoon, at a press conference at Morial Convention Center to mark the kickoff of the 2012 Essence Music Festival, the Coca-Cola Foundation announced an exciting new partnership with two of Claim Your Journey’s partner youth development organizations, Youth Run NOLA and Girls on the Run.
As part of the announcement, which is aligned with the City of New Orleans’ new Fit NOLA campaign, the Coca-Cola Foundation presented each organization with a $20,000 grant, as well as Dasani water for training and events, and hats and shirts with the Fit NOLA logo. Students from both groups enthusiastically joined in thanking the Coca-Cola Foundation, Essence, and New Orleans health commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo. Their vital support will ensure that both groups’ students continue to have access to safe after-school spaces, positive adult role models, and opportunities to lead an active, healthy lifestyle in a fun, supportive environment.
Youth Run NOLA offers an eight-month youth development program for at-risk middle and high school students across the Greater New Orleans region. It uses running as a medium to empower youth for success on the track, in the classroom, and in the community. The program combats the obstacles facing our youth, many of whom cope with a lack of safe, healthy after-school opportunities, with a positive, structured program of training and teamwork. Working together, Claim Your Journey and Youth Run NOLA will continue to raise awareness, build relationships, and empower a new generation of runners.
Girls on the Run is a transformational learning program for 8 to 13 year-old girls, teaching life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.
See images, video, and updates from the press conference on Youth Run NOLA’s Facebook page, and be sure to visit both organizations’ websites to learn more about how you can support youth health and wellness in the community.