5K race on Hartsfield-Jackson runway benefits first-generation college students

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 4:50 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Instead of planes, a runway at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will be filled with thousands of people Saturday morning as roughly 2,000 people will participate in the 8th annual Mayor’s 5K on the Runway.

While this is one of the fastest and flattest race courses in Atlanta, the event is also a step toward helping young people achieve their dreams of going to college.

Kelli Ross, director of partnerships for the City of Atlanta, said this is one of several events funding the Mayor’s Youth Scholarship Program.

“The average family gets about $6,000 because of the signature events we have each year,” said Ross.

There are 88 students representing more than 30 colleges who will benefit from the scholarship. About 3,000 students have benefitted from the scholarship since it was created.

Many recipients wouldn’t be able to pursue higher education without the aid, explained Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.

“Some people are from zip codes where they’ll be the first of their family to go to college,” said Dickens. “We want a society that has the opportunity to thrive.”

Corelle Hill, a senior at Georgia State University, said the scholarship helped her pay for books, study tools, and housing.

“I knew I needed as much assistance as I could get since I was a first-generation college student,” said Hill.

Hill’s excitement over receiving a degree comes with relief she won’t carry a financial burden after graduation.

“I would do whatever it took to be able to go to college and not be financially stressed out,” she said. “The scholarship has helped me in so many tremendous ways.

While students take off pursuing higher education, the hope is they’ll eventually come home and better the community.

“With this scholarship, they can go to college, get a great degree, and get a career and contribute to society, raise a family – have a home right here in Atlanta,” said Mayor Dickens. “The ultimate goal is that you’re born here, you’re raised here, educated here and you raise a fam here. And we’re doing our part with this 5K.”