Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology student and Team IHP runner Molly Allen is raising money to support student scholarships

When Molly Allen laces ’em up on April 15 and tackles this year’s Boston Marathon, she will be adding the world’s oldest marathon to the four other 26.2-mile courses she’s run around the world while fulfilling a personal goal.

A competitive runner in high school and college who continues to log mileage regularly, Allen is one of two runners who will run the 2024 Boston Marathon for Team IHP and add to the more than $160,000 that more than two dozen students, alumni, and faculty have raised to support the MGH Institute since 2011.

“This race has been on my bucket list for years,” said Allen, a student in the MGH Institute’s Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology program who previously graduated from the IHP in 2018 with a master’s in SLP.

Growing up in upstate New York with an older brother who is autistic helped spur Allen to major in psychology and minor in neuroscience at Haverford College before heading to Boston to attend the IHP.

“My brother's ability to effectively communicate his wants, needs, thoughts, and opinions has been key to his quality of life and independence throughout his life,” said Allen, who continues to work at the League School for Autism and hopes to use her doctoral degree to advance the evidence base for, and quality of, neurodiversity-affirming services for autistic individuals. “Once I began to seriously consider career options for myself, I realized that supporting autistic individuals in strengthening their self-advocacy skills was extremely important to me, and speech-language pathology was the perfect fit.”

Because Allen has been able to pay to attend the IHP twice now, she is running to raise funds for student scholarships so others can follow their dreams of making a difference in the lives of patients.

“It is so important to me to pay it forward by fundraising for scholarships so that any interested student, regardless of financial status, can access the top-notch education provided by the IHP,” she said, noting that she learned how to be a critical thinker, problem solver, and supportive clinician in the master’s program.

“I am especially excited to be supporting an organization that has had such a positive impact on my personal and professional life while running through the city I once called home for five years.”

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