I have run one marathon in my life - San Francisco 2010. During the event, I literally thought I would die. After I crossed the finish line, I swore I would never do another marathon. Please give me a couple of minutes of your time so I can explain the reason, the higher purpose, for why I am going to run one more marathon – Boston – this coming April.
Outside of my family, my life's passion is education. I firmly believe that education is the key to unlocking an individual's potential and the cornerstone on which successful lives are built. I was fortunate to have parents who were committed to providing me with the best education they could afford. Cara (my wife) and I hope to continue this tradition with our children. Many individuals are not so fortunate to have that type of parental support.
In 2011, I had the privilege of joining the Board of USA Funds as a Trustee. USA Funds is a non-profit corporation that has helped 22 million students enhance postsecondary education preparedness, access and success by providing financial and other services. As USA Funds celebrated its 50 years of service in 2011, the Trustees awarded $1 million to a remarkable organization based out of Boston -- Bottom Line.
Bottom Line is a non-profit that helps disadvantaged students get in to college and graduate with a degree. By providing one-on-one mentoring and support from college applications through college graduation (up to a 7 year commitment), Bottom Line has a profound impact on the lives of the students in their program. This year, Bottom Line is supporting more than 1,900 high school and college students from offices in Boston and Worcester, MA and New York City (a recent expansion).
In cities across the country like Boston and New York, approximately 2 in every 3 students who enter college will drop out. For low-income students who are the first in their family to attend college, as few as 1 in 4 students who enter college will actually earn a degree. Since their founding in 1997, 97% of Bottom Line’s high school students have enrolled in college and 74% of their college students have graduated in six years or less. This type of success, in my opinion, is simply remarkable.
Along with other similarly committed individuals, I have chosen to support Bottom Line by running the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2012. Bottom Line’s Marathon team is hoping to raise $90,000. I personally have committed myself to raising $10,000. I can only achieve that goal by doing two things: a) training to successfully complete the marathon and b) asking you - my family, my friends, my professional network - for your support.
Whatever you can contribute will help Bottom Line succeed in its mission - to help students "get in, graduate, and go far!" With your donations, we can fundamentally change lives for the better.