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After running the Boston Marathon last year in 90 degree heat, a heat that no one could have ever expected in April, it would seem reasonble that I would never want to run a marathon again. So, some may call me crazy, and I guess I am, because I am running again! However, for me, it is not crazy at all! It is not crazy because of the cause: the cost of college is higher than ever, making it more important than ever that students who want to go to college have access to this opportunity!
This cause is personal to me on so many levels. First, my biggest fan, Rashaun Martin, was a uAspire (formerly known as ACCESS) Scholar when he was in high school. He greatly benefitted from the financial aid counseling that assisted him in filling out the FAFSA as well as the financial support that Rashaun received through Last Dollar Scholarships. If it wasn't for uAspire, Rashaun would not have had the opporunity he had to attend college at CUA. Furthermore, in graduate school, I was a uAspire counselor and experienced first hand the tremendous impact uAspire had on students and their ability to attend college. Still now, uAspire continues to make a great impact in working with the students that I counsel at Boston Latin School as a guidance counselor. What an outstanding organization!
It is no surprise that I am running the Boston Marathon for Team uAspire. uAspire works to ensure that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to - and through - a postsecondary education. To accomplish this mission, uAspire provides free financial aid advice and advocacy to all the students of Boston, Springfield and Lawrence to help them overcome the financial barriers to higher education. Their programs work with students and their families from middle school to high school through college graduation, ensuring that finances never get in the way of potential. uAspire has helped students secure more than $150 million in financial aid in the last three years alone and has awarded more than $5 million in need-based last dollar scholarships since its founding, maintaining a 75% college graduation rate for the students we serve. Through partnerships with high schools, community organizations and local universities, uAspire has helped more than 50,000 students achieve their dream of higher education.
I hope you will take the time to support me again this year as you did in the past. I cannot do it without you and I cannot thank you enough for making a difference in the lives of young people! Thank you so much for your support!