Changing One Life at a Time: How Running Transcends Poverty Around the Globe


Fleet Feet and New Balance Winston-Salem owners Emily and Keith Davis have had a heart for the children of Kenya since their first mission trip in 2014.  Over the past seven years, they have invested in them, both financially and emotionally. Living in third world poverty is hard to imagine unless you have seen it with your own eyes; it is something that many Americans will never experience.  When Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir was introduced to Emily and Keith through mutual friends, they discovered another opportunity to pour their love into Kenya.

Wesley grew up in a family of eight siblings, in a mud home in rural Kenya.  Access to food was a special privilege and meals in his home were not consistent.  In Kenya, high school is only for the students that can afford to pay school fees.  Wesley’s family did not have the resources to cover his school fees, but a priest, also a teacher at the high school, stepped in to change Wesley’s life…and change his life it did. Following high school in Kenya, Wesley went on to run for the University of Louisville, win the Boston Marathon, the LA Marathon, and eventually won a position in parliament in Kenya.  He has used his education and financial resources to give back to his family, his community, and his country.  His list of philanthropic accomplishments for Kenya are lengthy and he continues to help students, one by one, overcome the prison of poverty.

In partnership with his wife Tarah, Wesley created the Transcend Running Academy.  This program offers the most talented high school runners of Kenya a chance to finish high school and have a chance to work toward a US college running scholarship.  Wesley and his wife have covered the cost of high school for over 300 students and currently have 11 students placed on US scholarships.  “If it wasn’t for this one person, this one priest that saw the potential in me, my life would be completely different.  This one priest changed my life.  Through Transcend, our goal is to change the lives of Kenyan youth, one child at a time,” says Wesley Korir.

Emily and Keith Davis are taking their passion for running and Kenya and merging the two to help additional children escape from poverty and have a chance to use their running talent to access a world-class education in the USA, and eventually give back to their country in return.

In January, Emily will head to Kenya to break ground on a new school building for the Transcend Running Academy.

The ultimate goal is to raise $150,000 to complete a new school, student dorms, and track.  The first phase, beginning in January 2022, requires $50,000.

For more information about this project please visit or download Wesley Korir’s amazing documentary Transcend on iTunes.  All donations for this effort can be made through, a local charity that is collecting funds for this project.

Emily and Keith Davis have been local business owners for 15 years and operate their businesses based on Christian values.  Their outpouring of love for those in need is reflected in their shoe charity, Mission: Feet First, and in their efforts to support the children of Kenya.




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