I started running about 8 years ago, and have always dreamed of running the Boston Marathon. Additionally, I have a strong passion for helping young people. I have been teaching in Massachusetts for nearly a decade and currently teach some amazing students, many of whom come to school hungry, or are dealing with difficult situations and need support in order to overcome their obstacles and be successful. I can't think of anyone I would rather run for than these kids!
I feel very fortunate to have been selected in a bib lottery organized by the town of Framingham. Each of the 22 runners selected must raise a minimum of $1500 for one of six charities, and because I want to support the amazing students I teach, I chose Resiliency for Life.
Check out www.resiliencyforlife.org for more information, but in a nutshell, we are a 501c3 within Framingham High School that helps students, who are at risk of failing grades or possibly even dropping out of school, to set and achieve their goals. The Resiliency Program is half funded by the school district, but we need to raise over $200,000 per year and the money we raise goes to pay for trips to visit colleges, snacks so our students can better focus in class, school supplies, co-pays for therapy appointments, after school tutoring, bi-monthly parent meetings, after school enrichment classes and even portions of staff salaries. Our students have been featured on the A+ segment on Channel 5 in Boston (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZoji6x4Iic)
And one of our graduates was a designer on PROJECT RUNWAY (http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/project-runway/cast/nathalia-jmag).
She also spoke at the United Nations regarding sustainable fashion.
Almost all the students who graduate with RFL attend college or enlist in the armed forces. It's amazing what can happen when an at-risk student knows that at least one adult in school cares about him or her and is willing to help the student see that speed bumps are not walls. I am asking people to donate $26.20 to honor the 26.2 mile marathon course, or more if you can, to join the Resiliency family so that we can continue to support these amazing students.