Allow me to introduce you to Elaine and Mandisa, two of the most exceptional teenagers you’ll ever come across. Elaine and Mandisa live in a challenging area of South Africa–the HIV/AIDS rate is around 48 percent and the unemployment rate stands at 85 percent–but you’d never know from the enthusiasm demonstrated by each of them.  During the time I spent with them, I was constantly amazed by their outstanding academic achievement and burgeoning leadership skills.

Elaine and Mandisa could use some financial help with their studies. As parts of Imagine Scholar, an educational nonprofit operating in rural South Africa, both of them take a taxi 45 minutes each way from their villages attend classes after school. It costs $80 so sponsor Mandisa for one month of costs — this pays for transport to and from Imagine Scholar, healthy food in class, school supplies, quarterly field trips, and many other things. For Elaine, it’s $78. Lump those two together and you get $156/month. Multiply that out my 12 months and you get a very achievable fundraising goal: $1,896.

Check out my Crowdrise page here: http://www.crowdrise.com/runandyrun

Check out the Imagine Scholar Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/ImagineScholarSouthAfrica

Here we are in front of the schoolhouse — that’s Mandisa on the left and Elaine on the right.