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Running for Health Education: Runners show support for Peer Health Exchange at Boston Marathon

Published on April 15th, 2019

Thousands of runners and spectators gathered around for the 123rd Boston Marathon on April 15, 2019, with many cheering on athletes along the 26.2-mile route of America’s oldest marathon.

Peer Health Exchange Boston Executive Director Uchenna Ndulue and Boston Marathon runner Paula Verderber

The event also marked a new partnership with Peer Health Exchange Boston and John Hancock in the Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program. The Non-Profit Program provides more than one thousand Boston Marathon bibs to select non-profit organizations throughout the community, which provides organizations with a significant fundraising opportunity. This year, Peer Health Exchange Boston received two bibs allowing our runners, Paula Verderber and Danielle Voke, to raise money for our cause.

Danielle Voke after finishing the Boston Marathon in support of Peer Health Exchange

 “Peer Health Exchange Boston is honored to partner with John Hancock to participate in the Boston Marathon. We work with hundreds of college volunteers to impact thousands of young people in our partner schools. As the premier athletic event in the nation, The Boston Marathon is a great opportunity for us to promote our impact and showcase our work,’” said Peer Health Exchange Boston Executive Director Uchenna Ndulue. “We are fortunate to work with talented, driven athletes like Dani and Paula, who have chosen to represent Peer Health Exchange because they believe in the critical importance of health education. We hope that this event will further awareness of the need for young people to have reliable, evidence-informed health education.”

Peer Health Exchange’s curriculum spans over the course of 14 workshops. Workshops equip ninth graders with the knowledge, skills and resources to make healthy decisions about substance use, sexual health and mental health.

“I am so excited to run my first Boston Marathon for Peer Health Exchange. As a volunteer since 2015, it is such a rewarding experience to fundraise for the students we work with and to provide them with better resources,” said Peer Health Exchange Health Educator Danielle Voke. “I couldn’t wait to run through the city that has made me into the person I am and to do so in one of the most prestigious races worldwide. As a former college athlete, I was looking forward to a competitive field and to having a fun race!”

Over the last decade, Peer Health Exchange has grown to provide their trauma-informed, skills-based health curriculum to over 30,000 young people across the city while building a culture of preventative health and wellness. This year it has reached 3,100 ninth graders in 17 high schools across Boston.

All young people deserve the knowledge, skills, and access to resources they need to make healthy decisions. Health education improves young people’s health outcomes, high school graduation rates, and life opportunities.

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