Throughout this past spring, while our Run the World campaign was in full swing, students from Arlington Academy of Hope took part in local and regional races of their own. We are proud to say that several She’s the First scholars did extremely well. STF scholars who placed highly in the first (local) round included Bess N., Lornah B., Rachael N., Aisha W., and Mercy K. Mercy in particular took 1st place in cross country, hurdles, and relays and moved on to the regional level for the next events along with Bess who also competed in hurdles. You can even watch a few videos showing each of them competing!

Waiting on the edge of our seats, we were thrilled to hear that from the regional level, Mercy and Bess advanced again to represent at the district level competition. There, Mercy took first place in sprints, hurdles, and multiple jump, qualifying her to go onto nationals! With only 25 students who qualify for nationals from the district competition, 9 of those students came from Arlington Academy of Hope. We are so proud that Mercy was one of them!

Mercy K. excelled through several rounds of the athletics competition!

Mercy K. excelled through several rounds of the athletics competition!

In the coordinating needed to attend nationals, there was unfortunately a bump in the road that stopped the qualified students from going on to compete, when local governments insisted that they didn’t have the funds to transport the students. Though Arlington Academy of Hope offered to fund the bus for their students, the district was unable to produce the necessary paperwork in time. So in true AAH fashion, it was on to Plan B! The school held a ceremony in front of the entire school for the qualifying students to recognize their incredible achievements. Each of them, including Mercy, received certificates of athletic achievement from Headmistress Sarah and the Assistant Head of Sports, Teacher Kefa. In addition, they each received a medal and blow pop, which is a rare but always loved treat for the kids. After the ceremony, the school celebrated by playing games together and with volunteers visiting from a U.S. university. We had a blast cheering them on from afar, and are blown away by their dedication and achievements toward this passion of theirs. It was especially fun since running is a passion of ours too!

Mercy K. received her award for qualifying for nationals!

Mercy K. received her award for qualifying for nationals!

AAH students celebrating after the ceremony, including Mercy in red on the far right with her hands in the air.

AAH students celebrating after the ceremony, including Mercy in red on the far right with her hands in the air.