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February 22, 2017

Leadership Through Service organizing benefit race

Students in FGCU’s Leadership Through Service Living Learning Community are hitting the ground running to make a positive impact in Southwest Florida by organizing a race to help the Quality Life Center in Fort Myers.

The Survive and Thrive 5K and Obstacle Run takes place Saturday, March 25 starting at the FGCU main campus loop. The race kicks off at 8 a.m.

Aaliyah Dawson
Raliyah Dawson

One of the organizers, freshman nursing student Raliyah Dawson, sees the event as a chance to help teenagers served by “The Q,” as the center is known, get off to their own running start in life.

“All of the proceeds from the race will send a group of teens on an educational and historical trip to Washington, D.C., which we plan to make an experience of a lifetime,” Dawson said.

The Quality Life Center was started 25 years ago in Fort Myers by Abdul’Haq Muhammed, founder and executive director, who had a vision for uplifting children and young adults through confidence-building programs based on core values that teach participants the tools for a rewarding life. Through early learning, afterschool, arts, teen and summer-camp programs, “The Q’s” goal is to transform lives of at-risk youth and, in turn, bolster the communities in which they live and work.

That goal aligns perfectly with the mission of the Leadership through Service LLC at FGCU, which is a partnership between the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Office of Housing and Residence Life. The program is designed for first-year students who are interested in community-engaged leadership.

To that end, Survive and Thrive 5K and Obstacle Run organizers are looking to the university and Southwest Florida community for help in getting this project to the finish line. “We are looking for runners, sponsorships and support through donations and supplies to help make this a successful event,” Dawson said.

To register, donate or get more information, go to the event website. Entry fee is $15 until March 10, then $25 until race day (discount available for children). The first 200 entrants will get free T-shirts.