I am running The Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. No one is more surprised by this than me!
How did I get here?
Three years ago this coming April, I took my first steps as a runner. I started with the Couch-to-5K program, and ran my first 5K in June 2010. When I took those first steps, I could not fathom running a mile without stopping, let alone 26.2. But, with a lot of hard work, more than 2000 miles of training, 6 half marathons and many other races, support from my marathoning spouse, and mentoring from countless runner friends, I am now ready, and anxiously wanting, to train for my first marathon.
The Boston area has been my home for almost 17 years now, and the Boston Marathon has been an inspiration to me. I want to give back to the city I love, and if I only run one marathon (who knows what the future holds?), I want it to be Boston, and I want to do it for a charity that is making an impact in the Boston Community.
Why Summer Search?
The mission of Summer Search is to find resilient low-income high school students and inspire them to become responsible and altruistic leaders by providing year- round mentoring, life-changing summer experiences, college advising, and a lasting support network.
My 3 year journey to running a marathon is analogous in many ways to the journey of the students served by Summer Search. For most of the high school students accepted into Summer Search, going to college seems about as likely as running a marathon seemed to me 3 years ago! Summer Search serves highly at-risk low-income kids, most of whom face significant challenges in their family lives and neighborhoods. Accepted into the program in their sophomore year of high school, over the next 3 years, the students are provided with mentoring, summer programs, and college resources, including help with figuring out how to finance school. Three years into the program, 99% of Summer Search students graduate high school, and 95% go on to post-secondary education – most are the first in their families to do so! In addition to providing much-needed academic guidance, Summer Search mentors help Summer Searchers to learn for themselves that they can seize opportunities and succeed in anything they aspire to. Summer Searchers also give back to their communities: over 80% of Summer Search high school students engage in their communities with 24 or more community service hours. Summer Search changes the lives of the kids it serves, and their families, and puts graduates in a position to make big differences in their communities.
I am very happy to have the opportunity to raise money for Summer Search as I train to run the Boston Marathon. I will be helping many young people to set and then achieve their academic goals while reaching my own goal. I will appreciate any support -- moral or financial -- that you can provide!