SYF Student Takes First Place in Orlando 5K Race, Mall and Academy Team Up for Success


Top row: left to right
Chris Spafford (Simon Youth Academy student), Mr. Gerald Allen (OJT teacher), Ajay Bohra (Simon Malls)
Bottom Row:
Sonia Ledger (Lead teacher), Madison Shannabrook (little ducky), Maribel Lebron (Assistant Principal)

Simon Youth Academy at Outlet Marketplace teamed up with Mall partners for the Quack Attack on Poverty 5K race on February 18, 2017.

SYF student Chris Spafford led the way coming in first place in the Juniors age division.

“We had a great time getting some fresh air early in the morning, and our student came in 1st place,” Sonia Ledger, Lead Teacher at the Academy said.

That’s an impressive accomplishment because the Quack Attack on Poverty 5K is a nontraditional race.

Participants must complete the 3.1 miles wearing a duck-shaped pool inflatable around their waists while navigating bubbles, squirt gun and wacky quack zones.

After winning his division, Chris turned around to find his team.

“Chris won first place, then ran back to find us and walked the last 2 kilometers with us,” Ajay Bohra, Assistant General Manager at Orlando International and Outlet Market Place, said.

Bohra said the relationship between SYF students and teachers is unlike other schools.

“How often do you hear of teachers and students running a race together on the weekend? Not often,” he said. “That shows how committed each are to each other.”

That unique relationship is what makes SYF teachers and students so special, Bohra said. “We do what we can to provide support, but the recognition goes to the Academy students and teachers. We see the impact SYF makes in students’ individual lives, and we’re thankful to be a part of it.”

Ledger said she appreciates the amazing support the Academy receives from the Premium Outlets team. “We loved bonding with Ajay from the Outlet Mall team. He’s such a good partner to us.”

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