The Good Stuff
Racing for a Reason: Boingo Wireless Supports Youth through the Sport of Triathlon
- 4 min read
For over a decade, Boingo Wireless has partnered with Exceeding Expectations, a non-profit organization dedicated to redirecting the lives of at-risk kids in Southern California through the sport of triathlon.
The Exceeding Expectations program was created in 2001 by Cherie Gruenfeld, a member of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame. Because of the healthy, goal-oriented lifestyle triathlon training offers, Gruenfeld felt it was the perfect foundation for a youth program.
Boingo recently caught up with Gruenfeld to discuss Exceeding Expectations (EE).
Boingo: Can you elaborate on what the EE program is all about?
Gruenfeld: The goal of Exceeding Expectations is to get our at-risk youth to graduate from high school and provide support to pursue whatever post-high school venture will provide them the opportunity to change their lives for the better, from college to military service to starting their own businesses.
Through this program, kids are becoming the first in their families to graduate from high school and many are achieving the ultimate goal – going to college – which would have been unthinkable before they became a part of Exceeding Expectations.
Boingo: Tell us about this year’s Exceeding Expectations graduates.
Gruenfeld: The Exceeding Expectations program includes kids from elementary school through college and beyond (once an EE member, you’re always a part of our EE family)! And this year’s graduates – of all ages – are excelling academically, a few of which I’ll highlight.
Nancy graduated from the University of Redlands with a degree in Business and will be starting her first professional position with a tech company in Northern California in July.
Johana graduated from high school and has chosen to attend Cal State Merced. Her orientation is in July and she starts her freshman year in September.
Additionally, two EE students, Natalie and Richard, graduated from 8th grade where Natalie was celebrated as the Valedictorian of the class. Our elementary kids were also honored with an end-of-the-year ceremony where two EE students, Mia and Damian, received Principal’s Awards for their academic achievement.
Boingo: This organization is centered around the sport of racing. What types of activities do the EE kids get to participate in?
Gruenfeld: Events include year-round running races and triathlons, team training sessions and an annual Swimathon/Runathon. One of the most fun events we do is the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Mud Run which takes place on the course where they train the police force, so the competition is fierce among big teams of military and law enforcement personnel. It includes carrying sandbags up and down a hill, climbing steep, muddy slopes using ropes, sloshing (or swimming!) through about fifteen long mud pits, sometimes with firefighters spraying you from hoses along the sidelines.
EE also supports kids’ individual interests by providing music lessons and taking them to concerts, shows and art exhibits, as well as supporting their performances and non-EE athletic competitions. We also hold an annual holiday awards and scholarships party. While EE is most visible when the kids are racing, developing athletes is not what this program is all about. It’s about supporting our youth and creating opportunities for their future.
Boingo: What opportunities are there if someone is interested in getting involved with Exceeding Expectations?
Gruenfeld: Exceeding Expectations is purely donor-funded and run by volunteers. Every penny we collect directly benefits the kids. Boingo is the lead sponsor of EE and your support has had a direct impact on advancing childhood education and positively shaping the lives of at-risk youth. We’re grateful for donors like Boingo and encourage those who want to learn more to visit our website at eefoundation.org.