The sun was not up yet, but already Daunte P. was running.
The high school senior was running seven miles with the rest of the boys at the Ron Burton Training Village (RBTV) in Hubbardston, Mass. This summer day in 2019 was like every other day for the boys at RBTV — wake up at 4:30 a.m. and run. The run taught them determination. It taught them to sacrifice. And for Daunte, it taught him gratitude.
In 2017, doctors found a tumor in Daunte’s right pelvis. For 18 months, he was not allowed to do any physical activity. Forget running seven miles, Daunte couldn’t even run 10 feet.
He underwent five surgeries and missed a lot of school. He was committed to getting better, and today, he is. Earlier this month, Daunte received the 2020 Corey C. Griffin Courage Award, given to a child or children who show courage in the face of adversity. The award was presented at the 12th annual Boston Winter Ball.
“I want to thank the Corey C. Griffin Foundation and the Boston Winter Ball Committee for this incredible award,” he said at the event. “I am truly humbled to receive this recognition and it will hold a special place in my heart.”
The Corey C. Griffin Foundation is proud to support Daunte and all of Corey's Kids who attend RBTV. The Foundation offers a wide variety of programming support to RBTV, including leadership training and annual visits by members of the Griffin family and the Corey C. Griffin Foundation Board.
Organizers of the Corey C. Griffin Foundation and the Boston Winter Ball believe that everyone, no matter their background, is able to learn from adversity. Daunte is certainly an example of that.
Daunte and his younger brother learned the importance of sacrifice from their single mother, who instilled in them the importance of education and giving 100% at everything you do. It was that latter point that Daunte remembered as he embarked on his seven-mile journeys.
“Watching her sacrifice and work hard as a single mother has inspired me and my younger brother to never give up,” he said. “She has taught me that my attitude will determine my altitude and, this helped prepare me for the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Daunte explained that while the seven-mile run is an important component of RBTV, at its core, RBTV is about preparing kids for life by teaching love, peace, patience, and humility. RBTV campers meet and interact with some of Massachusetts’ most powerful leaders, each of who shares their own life-changing story.
Daunte also graduated from Prep for Success program that helped Daunte increase his SAT score by 250 points. He currently is an honor roll student who is taking for Advanced Placement classes and has a 4.4 grade point average in his senior year.
“I would like to thank the Burtons and sponsors of [the Ron Burton Training Village] because RBTV would not be the same without you,” Daunte said. “Your support allows young men and women to take part in a beautiful, beautiful journey.”
Daunte will attend Northeastern University with a well deserved scholarship.