News & Media
Throughout this year, Out & About Magazine has been profiling local volunteers and the programs in which they serve. The series has been developed in cooperation with the State Office of Volunteerism, and we hope it will show readers how they can improve their communities by volunteering their time and talents. For the full article click here.
I Can Do 26.2
Chika Chukwuocha promotes healthy bodies. About six years ago, she developed an interest in running, joining the Black Girls Run group, and improved to the point that she has twice completed the Philadelphia Marathon. With a strong interest in community service (the financial systems analyst is married to Nnamdi Chukwuoucha, the former Wilmington city councilman who was recently elected to the state House of Representatives), she doubled down on her children’s interest in running by starting I Can Do 26.2, a program for children ages 4 to 12, with the goal of having them run a total of 26.2 miles, the length of a marathon, over six weeks during the summer.
“I’ve seen children who are slightly obese, or who aren’t enthusiastic about running,” she says. “The first time, they can hardly do a lap” around the track behind P.S. du Pont Middle School, “then after a couple of weeks, they’re doing two or three laps. Then they won’t stop.”
Chika Chukwuocha was honored for a program that helps young people lead a more healthy lifestyle.
What pleases Chukwuocha most is getting texts and emails from parents telling her how much the youngsters want to continue with the running program.
She would like to expand the program beyond six weeks in the summer, and she’s working on finding funds to help achieve that goal. In addition to the actual running program, she collects running shoes for the children and hosts an annual 5K walk-run fundraiser.
“You have to care about where you live, what mark you want to leave on earth,” she says. “I want to teach children how to be healthy, how to lead a more fruitful life.”
Photo Dan Trader Photography