On Sunday, November 5, 2017, Stay-Focused alumna, Emma Albert, who learned to SCUBA dive with Stay-Focused in 2015, served as a Grand Marshall at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon. Emma, who has taken an interest in wheelchair racing, is a member of the Rising New York Road Runners Youth Ambassador program. The program is centered around a six-week speech fundamentals and public-speaking training workshop that helps participants improve their presentation and communication skills by speaking at special New York Road Runners events.

Congratulations to Emma, who won her 1600 meter race on Friday, November 3rd.

Here’s a quote from Emma from the Press Release about the 2017 Grand Marshalls from NYRR.

“Racing has impacted my life in such a positive way, and I am looking forward to continuing this program at the TCS New York City Marathon, as well as many other events this upcoming year. I am extremely grateful and humbled that the New York Road Runners had faith in me to represent them as a Youth Ambassador as well as allowing me to be a part of their Youth Racing Program, where I have had the privilege to meet many other inspiring individuals. I hope to continue to grow and push myself as a racer and someday possibly compete in the TCS New York City Marathon and many other races around the world.” -Emma Albert, 14, from The Beacon School in Manhattan.


RYAN CHALMERS succeeds Jo Ann Keyser-Armstrong as Director of the Rochester Rookies

On June 12, 2017, the disability community in Rochester, NY, honored Jo Ann Keyser-Armstrong, a decorated Paralympic athlete, and Director of the Rochester Rookies, an adaptive sports program for teens with disabilities. Following Jo Ann’s 41-year tenure as Director of the Rookies, Ryan Chalmers, a fellow Paralympic athlete (London 2012) and, himself, a compelling advocate for persons with disabilities and adaptive sports, will assume the role of Director, and continue the organization’s good work.

As Ryan stated at the celebration, “No one could ever measure the impact Jo Ann has had on our community … Jo Ann made us believe we could do anything, and she gave us a life we never would have known without her.”

Team USA/Stay-Focused Alumni

After 11 days of intense completion, the Paralympic Games have concluded. Overall, Team USA collected 115 medals, the most successful performance in recent history. Below are highlights of the incredible performances from Stay-Focused alumni.

  • The United States women’s wheelchair basketball team, led by Gail Gaeng, Rose Hollermann, and Jenn Poist defeated former Paralympic Champion, Germany, 62-45 to win the Gold medal.
  • On the track, Tatyana McFadden, Amanda McGrory, and Chelsea McClammer, “Mcswept” the podium in the 1,500- and 5,000-meter finals. McFadden and McGrory also took home a silver and bronze medal, respectively, in the Marathon.
  • In a sprint finish with the top 8 women, Susannah Scaroni had a strong showing in the marathon, finishing the race at 1:38:47.
  • Hannah McFadden made her presence known by nabbing a 4th place finish in a very fast 100-meter race.
  • In one of the closest races throughout the competition, Brian Siemann took 4th place by .02 in the 800-meter final.
  • In an exciting sprint finish of 11-men fighting for bronze in the Marathon, Aaron Pike finished with a time of 1:30:13.

We are so incredibly proud of our alumni for their performances throughout the Rio Paralympic Games. Their efforts are a testament to the work and time they have dedicated to performing at the highest level possible. Go Team USA!

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