Physical activity has always been a form of meditation for me personally, and I feel strongly that everyone deserves access to it. I am an avid runner and enjoy many of the fitness classes offered around the city.

When I witnessed the investment and commitment the fitness industry had in bringing physical activity opportunities to West Englewood last year through Gather in Sweat, I was beyond inspired. Specifically, I felt connected to the idea that the proceeds would fund the basketball court for the I Grow Chicago community.

The idea of utilizing fitness to create fitness opportunities for others is brilliant. (Shout out to our Gather in Sweat chair Mark Beier for being the mastermind behind the movement). As an educator, I know how important play and physical activity have on brain development and the overall well-being of a child.

During the time I’ve spent at the Peace House, I know that basketball contributes to the healing process for this community I have grown to love.

I am looking forward to continuing to bring accessibility and opportunity to the I Grow community through The 2nd annual Gather in Sweat event. This year I am proud to say we will be raising money in order to build the first playground on the Peace Campus in West Englewood neighborhood. Many of my favorite childhood memories are derived from playing with my friends on the playground and I am thrilled that this will now be an opportunity for our kids at I Grow Chicago.