"Last year, we hosted an awareness walk for National Recovery Month and it was fantastic seeing people rally together as advocates to show their support," said Eric Teske, director of Health and Wellness Promotion. "We wanted to expand on that idea this year, while also creating a fundraising opportunity for the addiction recovery scholarships."

Mission accomplished. Teske and his team work hard to make IUPUI the destination campus for students in recovery, and events like this help them do that.

"We really focus on creating a place where students feel welcome and supported to do their best academic work and focus on achieving their goals," said Teske.

At the event, racers and walkers ages 6 to 80 years old donned their purple race shirts, got in a workout and showed off their race medals at the finish line alongside other community members.

"A standout moment for me was seeing the way that people would stick around after they finished the 5K or mile to cheer other people on. It was great to see how supportive everyone was of people they hadn't met before," said Anna Comer, IUPUI student and race participant.

"My favorite moment was hearing from a previous scholarship recipient about their recovery journey, which put context and meaning to the purpose of the race," said Katie Wilkinson, health and wellness specialist.

The Jaguar 5K and Mental Health Mile opened the door to having conversations about recovery and mental health and hopes to continue this effort for Recovery Months to come.

Couldn’t make it to the event, but want to show your support? Jaguars can also donate via the IUPUI Collegiate Recovery Community scholarship donation page.