If asked Natasha Vejar-Preece would describe herself as “lazy,” she is anything but. In fact, Natasha is a middle school student hoping to make a difference in her community. On April 8th, 2017, this young woman will be working behind the scenes to make sure her Children for Children 5k is running smoothly.
At 13, Natasha is the youngest race director in San Diego. Two years ago as part of her school’s community outreach program, the then 11-year-old nervously stood in front of the Mission Gorge Trails board of directors pitching her idea. Her mission is simple — to get kids helping kids participate in sport. All proceeds will benefit children in low-income areas to give them more opportunities in sport through nonprofit organizations such as Kids in the Game and the Jackie Robinson YMCA. Natasha may seem like your typical teen, she enjoys: volunteering, running, traveling, history, and pastries; She dislikes math and has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up.
But upon meeting Natasha she portrayed herself as very professional. I felt like I was conversing with a young woman my same age. As she sat across the table from me, carrying her notebook and sipping her tea, I saw more than a teenager. I saw the future generation valuing her community and reminding me that no one is too young to change the world. Natasha is growing up into a strong, young woman shaped by the competitiveness of sport. When asked what motivates her to keep going she said, “Winning! Natasha has formed the Children for Children Foundation to support her race. If you are interested in donating to her foundation or racing in the Children for Children 5k check out her event on active.com. She says one of the most challenging parts of being a race director is getting people to sign up. So if you live in San Diego, love trail running and helping children — I hope to see you there!