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  • Writer's pictureNick Allen

Year in Review, 2023 Fundraiser, and Grand Canyon Challenge

Summer is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for our annual fundraiser and physical challenge! In the last twelve months, we’ve grown substantially as an organization. With the addition of a dozen new volunteers, we can now serve the community and push the boundaries of health and longevity like never before.

Our projects have gained steam, with our 4th and 5th scholarship recipients set to receive their awards in the next two months. The applications we receive continue to amaze us, and our only regret is that we don’t have scholarships to offer to every one of these outstanding high school graduates! This past year’s winners were Reem Taleb, an Oakland high school graduate now attending UC Berkeley, and Natasha James, a high school graduate from the Navajo Nation who is now at University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Reem grew up in a low-income Yemeni immigrant family, and now looks to craft a career in global health where she can help populations both here in the U.S. and abroad in Yemen. Natasha is studying geological engineering, and hopes that with this expertise she can help limit health disparities by bringing water, electricity, and paved roads to the Navajo reservation where she was raised. We’re immensely proud of them both and can’t wait to see what wonderful things they do in the future!

We’ve also established a new focus on nutrition and exercise programs in underserved public schools. With childhood obesity rates on the rise, it seems more important than ever to reach kids early, especially those in resource-poor environments. These programs expand our work to improve the social determinants of health in at-risk youth, allowing us to have an immediate impact while we set the groundwork for longer-term projects like our transitional housing program.

We continue to do our best to support the unhoused communities in both Oakland and Phoenix, providing resources and health screenings ourselves and through partnerships with local organizations. We’re grateful to have a strong partnership with Street Medicine Phoenix, and with their help we’re in the process of providing cardiovascular health assessments for hundreds of unhoused individuals who lack access to healthcare. The results of this work will be published with the goal of directing more government and private funding to disease prevention in this population.

Translating the latest science into understandable, actionable insights for living happier and healthier continues to be one of our top priorities. With a newly formed research team, we’ve been able to analyze the literature and put out more educational content than ever before. The upcoming year will be an exciting one on this front, as we have several research studies on the horizon and are planning to introduce more ways for our community to interact with us and learn how to live longer while maximizing quality of life.

While we’re powered by an entirely volunteer workforce, these programs unfortunately require substantial resources to run. That’s why we’re asking for your support this week in our 2023 Fundraiser. As is tradition, we’ll be looking to encourage donations with an ambitious physical challenge. This year, we’ll be carrying 100 lbs of water each from the Colorado River at the base of the Grand Canyon to the South Rim, a journey that covers 7 miles and 5000 vertical feet. The only person to date to have succeeded in this challenge is U.S. marathon record holder Ryan Hall. The Zone 7 Grand Canyon Challenge is presented by Athletic Greens, a company that we truly believe in and one that has committed to helping us better serve the community. We’re also thankful for the support of Oaklandish and LMNT, both of which are completely aligned with our beliefs and our work. While we were hesitant to take on sponsors, our alignment with these companies made the decision easier. These organizations and their products were near and dear to our hearts before their support of Zone 7, and that’s why it was an easy decision to partner with them.

Though we’re immensely grateful for the support of our sponsors, small donors continue to make up over 90% of the funding for our community projects. If you’re willing to support the work we’re doing to improve health and longevity in Oakland and Phoenix, please visit where you can contribute via credit card, Venmo, or check. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, your donations to Zone 7 are fully tax deductible!

Don’t forget to tune in this Saturday, May 6th, as we take on the Grand Canyon Challenge! Updates will be posted on social media, so make sure to give us a follow @zone7health. We thank you for following along our journey this past year, and with your help we look forward to creating healthier and happier communities in the remainder of 2023 and beyond!


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