MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- As we celebrate Black History Month, we're highlighting achievements here in Central California.
The founder of a North Valley non-profit was recently honored during a Madera City Council meeting for the strides her organization is making on the track field.
Alisha Brown is a Madera native, mother of three, and a teacher at Madera High School.
She is also the founder of Project Run Madera, a non-profit that gives middle and high school student athletes running gear.
Alisha's mission is personal to her, she ran track as a student in Madera, got a scholarship to UC Riverside, then ran professionally.
She remembers her mother not being able to afford running shoes, her family and coaches would pitch in to help.
"Having aunts and uncles who bought running shoes for me made all the difference for me. Without that i wouldn't have been able to run because my feet literally hurt so bad that I couldn't run at one point. I ended up having plantar fasciitis," explains Alisha.
Since 2021 Alisha's non-profit has helped 500 local runners.
They have donated running shoes and sports gear to over 300 students across six schools
"I just wanna be able to give to the athletes like people of this community have given to me. I know what it feels like to not have and then have somebody come and help you. That is a feeling of gratitude that you never forget," mentions Alisha.
Alisha hopes her non-profit can continue to grow and help reach kids across the Central Valley.
"Let them have that feeling of somebody cares about my life, somebody cares about my success, somebody sees me. That is the message we are trying to send to these athletes. I see you and I wanna help you to be the best student athlete that you can be," Alisha says.
This year, the organization's goal is to raise $20,000 to fund local runners in middle and high school.
They are half way to their goal.
If you'd like to donate to project run Madera and help student athletes get new gear this season you can visit Project Run Madera's website and click the donate tab at the top right corner.
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