Five Native high school students were selected to participate
in activities held at Harvard and the Boston Marathon. The PURSUIT
program, organized by Wings of America, was a collaboration with
the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) and the Boston
Athletic Association (BAA). Through this opportunity students were
hosted overnight by Harvard College students, heard from a panel
of Native athletes and scholars, toured a biomechanics lab, and
learned about the college admissions process.
of America selected five outstanding Native high school
runners to participate in the first-ever Boston Marathon "Pursuit"
program. They'll spend an overnight with students, visit Harvard
& Northeastern tomorrow, and then run the 5K and volunteer
at marathon stations later on. Welcome!
Wings of America is a national running program dedicated to
promoting wellness and well-being for Native youth throughout the
country. This past fall, Wings put out a call for applications from
Native youth who could demonstrate a commitment to both well-being
and academics. In total, five students were selected to travel to
Boston and visit the Harvard campus.
Students arrived Thursday evening and visited with Native undergraduate
and graduate students at the Harvard University Native American
Program over dinner. They met their college hosts and retired for
the evening. One of the first activities the next morning was running
on the Charles River next to campus.
Morning activities included a panel on balancing athletics and
academics with long-time Wings participant Newell Lewey (MIT Graduate
Student), Julian SpearChief Morris (Harvard Law Student), Alvina
Begay (N7 Ambassador/Professional Runner), and Itzel Vasquez-Rodriguez
(Harvard College Student & Track/Field Manager). Each of the
panelists shared words of wisdom from their personal experiences,
counseled students on balancing studies and competition, and encouraged
the Pursuit participants to make the most of their opportunities.
Runner, Alvina Begay
Students also toured the Harvard Peabody Museum and visited
the Running Biomechanics Lab overseen by Dr. Dan Lieberman. In the
afternoon, HUNAP gave an admissions overview to students and shared
best practices for applying to college. Afterwards the group made
their way to Northeastern University for a campus tour and visit.
Pursuit participants ran in the B.A.A. 5K on Saturday and volunteered
along the Boston Marathon route at water stations.
HUNAP would like to thank our college students for hosting -
Caden, Damon, McKayla, and Truman. A big thanks also goes out to
Alvina Begay, Dr. Capone (Peabody Museum), Dr. Lieberman (Human
Evolutionary Biology), Itzel Vasquez-Rodriguez, Julian SpearChief
Morris, Michael Ruiz (GSAS Research Scholar), Newell Lewey, and
Wade Campbell (Anthropology PhD student).