Endeleo Project Founder, Relay Teams Competing in 140 Mile Triathlon This Weekend to Close the Achievement Gap

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Education not-for-profit will compete in the Challenge Atlantic City Ironman-distance triathlon this Sunday to help increase access to educational opportunities for under-served children locally and around the world.

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The Endeleo Project's founder was inspired to start the charity on a trip to Kenya.

140 miles is nothing compared to the sacrifices people make to help others all over the world every day.

With only three days until he will run a full marathon after biking 112 miles and swimming 2.4, David Hersh is in good spirits. Hersh is the founder of The Endeleo Project, a not-for-profit that increases under-served children’s access to education. He is doing the race to raise awareness and money for education organizations in Philadelphia, Nicaragua and Kenya. With the help of four relay teams that have joined him in the effort, as well as an extremely supportive race partner, The Endeleo Project is one more step closer to meeting the goals Hersh set for it six years ago.

"Endurance races are a good way to raise awareness about the great work our partner organizations are doing," said Hersh. "I wanted this race to reflect the scale of our goals and the level of sacrifice and commitment our partners are making to help children every day. So it had to be big. Adding eleven people to help spread the word has been huge. We are getting closer to reaching our goals.”

Those goals are ambitious. The current campaign will help fund education projects for each of the organization’s partners. For example, The Endeleo Project hopes to finance after-school and back-to-school programs for Face to Face Germantown, in northwest Philadelphia, the purchase of farm land for subsistence farming and vocational education in rural Kenya, and supplemental schooling in San Juan del Sur Nicaragua.

The goal is not just financial, however. “In some way we are trying to change the way people see the world. Most of what we learn about the outside world is so negative: crime, poverty, war, disasters. We rarely learn about the positive, hopeful stories of great people doing great things for others. What’s more uplifting and hopeful than people devoting their lives to ensuring that disadvantaged children have brighter futures? How different might we feel about the world if these were the stories that we saw every day?”

To make the connection between his organization’s goals and his and his team’s athletic feats, Hersh tracked down Robert Vigorito, the race director for Challenge Atlantic City. Says Hersh, “Challenge is a renowned international race provider putting on a great race right here in Atlantic City. Just as importantly, Bob was supportive from the beginning. He and the Challenge Family really seem to get what it’s all about. Success as a charity and success as a triathlete is about dreaming big and making the sacrifices necessary to turn those dreams into reality.”

Hersh was recently interviewed as part of the tv coverage of Challenge Atlantic City. He is hoping that coverage will provide the final push that gets The Endeleo Project across the finish line.

Further details on their current campaigns can be found on their Crowdrise page. For general information about The Endeleo Project and its partners, visit endeleoproject.org, follow on twitter @endeleoproject or on Facebook. Videos about the campaign and The Endeleo Project’s partners are available on YouTube. David Hersh can be reached at david.hersh(at)endeleoproject(dot)org or 443.624.0825.

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David Hersh
since: 08/2009
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