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Founder of charity race cheers on other teens with a passion to make a difference

The world is not perfect.

This fact has been challenging humans since the beginning of time. From economic to political problems, environmental to social problems, we all have been affected.

Amanda Hausmann, a junior at Nardin Academy in Buffalo, decided to take on a challenge that personally affected her.

In seventh grade, Amanda read “I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai. Inspired by this powerful story, Amanda sought to make a difference in the world.

In 2014, Amanda decided to start a local 5K race to benefit an organization called the Ric O’Barry Project. Each year, there is a massive slaughtering of dolphins and whales in Taiji, Japan. The Ric O’Barry Project strives to put an end to this injustice. All proceeds of Amanda’s 5K race would go directly to benefit this charity.

In April 2015, the first Dolphin Dash occurred at Ring Road in Delaware Park. The race was a local hit and Amanda contributed to a cause that she has a great passion for.

At the beginning of the 2105-16 school year, Amanda started an organization called Girls United for a Cause, or GUFC. This student group was created to encourage girls to start their own service project for a passion they love, similar to Amanda’s Dolphin Dash.

According to the Dolphin Dash website, GUFC “offers young women hands-on leadership experience, skills for organizing and running charity events, and encourages young women to stand up for a cause they believe in and create their own service project.”

GUFC meets once a month to discuss the Dolphin Dash and other independent charity events the girls are organizing.

At every meeting, members bring one nonperishable food item that is donated to the Western New York Food Bank.

The members of GUFC also volunteer at special events for Read to Succeed and other programs. GUFC has helped Amanda and other girls around Buffalo to make an impact on the world.

The Dolphin Dash is taking place again this year. Amanda says it has taught her so much.

“The Dolphin Dash has taught me that everyone has a passion, and if people just channel that passion they can do anything,” Amanda says.

“I hope to encourage people to be more aware of and care more about the world they live in,” she continues. “Whether that’s by being more aware of the importance of protecting the environment and all of its beings or by caring for a specific cause that they have a passion about, I don’t really care. Anyone can make a difference if they just try.”

The 2016 Dolphin Dash will take place at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 17, on the Delaware Park Ring Road.

If you are interested in getting involved in GUFC, email dolphindash5k@gmail.com.

Grace Brach is a sophomore at Nardin Academy.

“The Dolphin Dash has taught me that everyone has a passion, and if people just channel that passion they can do anything.” Amanda Hausmann, junior, Nardin Academy