2019 Youth Leadership & Scholarship Fundraiser

Patricia’s Olympic-Distance Triathlon

5 Questions with Patricia Julianelle

Why are you doing this fundraiser?

I love working at SchoolHouse Connection, with my awesome colleagues who are making a difference for children and youth experiencing homelessness from birth all the way through higher education and adulthood. But my favorite SHC program is our Youth Leadership and Scholarship Program. I learn so much from our youth, and I receive so much love and inspiration from them. This fundraiser is my way of giving something tangible back to them, and supporting that program.


Is there a goal for this fundraiser?

Yes! The goal is to raise a dime for every meter I swim, bike or run — that’s a total of $5,645. And if I reach my goal, we will receive a grant to match it, dollar for dollar, bringing the total amount provided to our scholars and young leaders to $11,290.

Are you nervous?

Yes! I’ve never done a triathlon of this length, and I’m not a great athlete. I’m most worried about the run. Both the run and bike routes are VERY hilly. At this point, I’m the only woman signed up in my age range, so maybe I’ll win first place!  I’m training hard, and when I start to feel tired, I just picture some of our youth, and hear them laughing and talking about their dreams. Running a few kilometers uphill is nothing compared to the marathons they’re running every day.


Tell us about the race.

I’m doing an olympic-distance triathlon. There’s a 950-meter ocean swim, 45 km bike ride, and 10.5 km run. The race is in the oldest and driest desert in the world– the Atacama Desert in Chile. My wife is Chilean, and I live half-time in Chile. The Atacama Desert is 15 million years old, and the driest part of the Atacama receives less than a millimeter of rain each year. The race is on the coast, which is a green and vibrant area due to daily fog known as camanchaca.


How can people help?

Well, I’m grateful for all donations, large or small. Every penny of every donation will go directly to one of our scholars or young leaders– to buy books for school, pay for a car repair to get to work, pay for a trip to the dentist or counselor, buy food or hygiene items, get a cell phone or laptop.

Patricia Training Hard

Training Day - August 11, 2019

Swim Training Day - August 13, 2019

View of Santiago, Chile

Cerro San Cristobal

Santiago’s largest park and second-highest point.

Patricia Training in a Wet Suit

Why a wet suit? “Because the coast of Chile is chilled by the Humboldt Current, which brings water from Antarctica to my swimming beach. Water temperature was 53 degrees for yesterday’s swim. Compared to 70 degrees in Long Island Sound and 84 at Melbourne Beach, the swimming spots of my youth, it’s brutal. My bare head and hands go numb! Not to put too fine a point on it, but our youth experiencing homelessness suffer from cold, hunger, and danger every day.”

Making Progress

Training at Playa El Canelo

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