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The Buchtelite

The race to break down barriers of education

By Zaina Salem, Editor in Chief

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A brand new 5k race, organized by DreamAKRON, is raising money in order to establish scholarships for high school students on May 7.

The race is a community event that involves people from the Akron community and beyond to raise awareness of the high school students involved in the DreamAKRON program.

DreamAKRON is a new organization founded in 2015 dedicated to changing the culture in Kenmore High School (KHS) into a “college-ready” culture. Members are made up of Honors College students at The University of Akron who offer three tiers of support to the students of KHS: The Akron Torchbearers Organization, which helps KHS students explore future careers and goals; mentoring, which helps students apply to schools, prepare for the ACT and SAT, and develop study habits; and tutoring, which prepares students for their classes and helps them raise their grades.

“DreamAKRON aims to harness the untapped potential present in the Akron Public School System and give every student a chance to receive higher education,” said DreamAKRON president and founder Isabella Bartholomew. “We also want to retain talent in the Akron area in order to build the community from within.”

Attendees of the 5k can expect music, prizes for runners, food, and fun. Members of the LeBron James Family Foundation I Promise Network will be volunteering at the event, as well as members of Alpha Phi and Omega.

Cost of the race is $10 per student, $15 for community members, and $45 for a family or group of 4-6. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. and check-in is at Coleman Commons at 7:30 a.m.

Bartholomew said that she originally started DreamAKRON because she had an overwhelming desire to do something for the at-risk and underserved student populations in the Akron community.

“In my life I have been fortunate enough to grow up and go to school in a community where I was encouraged to learn, explore different fields, and work hard for higher education,” she said. “Unfortunately, in the inner-city, the environment for high school students is not always so supportive. Every child deserves to have support and be given the choice of whether he or she should attend college. Thus, the idea for DreamAKRON was born.”

There are currently 28 high school students enrolled in the program, but DreamAKRON plans to add more each year. Bartholomew also said that in the future, she hopes DreamAKRON can spread to other high schools in the Akron area.

“I think that all students deserve an equal opportunity to obtain an education, but these students also need a support network in order to complete that education successfully,” Bartholomew said. “DreamAKRON provides these students the support network that they so desperately need. To succeed, they just need someone to believe in them.”

To sign up for the 5k, visit bit.ly/1SUbKwd. To learn more about DreamAKRON, visit its website at bit.ly/1Sfe0P5

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