Athlete and Natick High School senior, Grace Connolly, was recently named the 2018-19 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. As a Gatorade Runner of the Year, Grace selected Youth Enrichment Services (YES) to receive a $1,000 grant from the Gatorade Play It Forward Foundation. The grant will directly support YES’s Track & Field program. Serving youth (ages 4-14), the program operates year-round and offers young people the opportunity to be physically active as they run, jump, and throw.
“We are honored that Grace chose Youth Enrichment Services to receive the Gatorade Play It Forward Foundation grant again this year. The funding will directly support youth in our Track & Field program,” says YES Executive Director, Bryan Van Dorpe. “Grace is an excellent role model for young people at YES. She shows them that they can achieve their goals through perseverance and hard work.”
More than 350 young people will benefit from the YES Track & Field program during 2019. The four-season running program is free-of-charge and is currently offered at three sites in Boston: Moakley Park (South Boston – Summer, Spring, and Fall), English High School (Jamaica Plain – Summer), and Blackstone Community Center (South End – Winter).
About the Gatorade Play It Forward Foundation: The Gatorade Play It Forward Foundation works in collaboration with the Gatorade campaign, an annual program that recognizes the nation’s most outstanding high school athletes in 12 sports. The Gatorade Play It Forward Foundation empowers more than 600 of the honored athletes to choose a local or national youth sport organizations to receive a $1,000 grant. Honored athletes also have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant.