When most of us were sixteen, we were focused on typical teenage activities: learning how to drive, going to school dances, and studying for exams.

Meanwhile, Ava Lang, a sixteen-year-old sophomore at Collierville High School, has been busy planning her own trail race to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Captain of her school’s track and cross country team, Ava is the oldest of three children and has always been a driven, hardworking young woman. Her mom Teresa Lang, an avid runner and cyclist, encouraged her to get involved with the St. Jude Leadership Society to strengthen her natural leadership abilities.

Since 2019, the St. Jude Leadership Society has been a distinguished membership of high-performing high school and young collegiates who share a passion for leadership, service, and community. During a six-month period, members can exercise their leadership skills while raising funds and awareness for the kids of St. Jude.

Ava became a member earlier this year, and her mom has acted as her mentor throughout the process. When brainstorming how she wanted to raise funds for St. Jude, Ava naturally gravitated toward a fitness event. Ava and Teresa knew that if they chose a fundraising route that they were passionate about, people would be more likely to support and participate.

Although Teresa has been a huge supporter of Ava’s fundraising venture, she emphasizes this is really Ava’s undertaking and that she’s running the show. They’ve been planning this trail run since January, and are thrilled that their efforts will come to fruition on June 11!

The Trails for Tots 5K and Family Fun Run takes place Sunday, June 11, at the Tour De Wolf Trail at Shelby Farms Park. The 5K begins at 2 p.m., and the Family Fun Run starts at 3 p.m. All proceeds from the race will support the kids at St. Jude.

Ava has a fun day for the entire family planned, with face painting, bubbles, a variety of vendors, music, and more! Open to runners and walkers of all fitness levels, the race is the perfect opportunity to have fun and get active with your family while supporting St. Jude.

Visit Raceroster.com/events/2023/75000/trails-for-tots-5k-and-fun-run to sign up today.

By Lucy Modzelewski