Champions of Change
For over ten years, Shawanda Weems has been an English teacher at PS/MS 15 in the Bronx, New York. In collaboration with the Youth and Community Division of New York Road Runners (NYRR), Shawanda has established youth running programs that serve more than 350 children in her school. Shawanda has seen firsthand the correlation between physical education and academic excellence and the tremendous positive impact of both on student lives. As part of the NYRR Mighty Milers program, Shawanda coaches a Young Runners team for 50 elementary and middle school students ages 10-16, and leads the Mighty Milers program at her school which services 300 elementary school students ages 5-9. Since 2004, she has worked tirelessly with her students before, after, and during the school day, as well as many weekends. She has helped to make physical activity and goal-setting a prominent element of her school’s culture and her students’ lives.