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I have always been an average student. Basic grades, basic GPA, basic amount of work, and I never actually tried pushing myself to the limit because I knew that after high school, I wouldn’t be able to afford college.
When hearing about Student Run LA from a couple of teammates, I thought it was crazy running 26.2 miles and still being alive. But the members who told me about the team encouraged me to try it out for at least a day and I will see that even though it will leave me breathless, it will also leave me with pride. I looked into the program and found out that almost all students who join Students Run LA attend college. After reading this, I thought to myself, “Is it actually possible?” This triggered me into wanting to join since I knew myself I needed some sort of motivation. When I actually became a part of the team, it left me with so much more than pride and motivation. It proved to me that I can do anything I set my heart to.
When conversing with my teammates, I came to find out that all of them were in fact determined to attend college. College wasn’t really my initial plan. It’s not easy raising 5 kids on your own like my mother was doing so my plan was to graduate, get a job, and help her with my 4 younger siblings. I never talked about my plan to anyone till I joined Students Run LA. My coach and teammates, little by little, became a part of my family. Through all the tough times in practice and in the races, I grew closer to them to the point where I shared my plan to a few of my teammates. They advised me to push forward just like I do with running. I will never forget what one my closest teammates told me, “It’s funny how you refuse to let me pass you during the races but when it comes to your dreams, you refuse to see that they are possible. You have it in you, Rose. You have determination, you’re just too lazy to actually reach your goal”.
I didn’t believe her at first but she was right. I began to think of it more and more and decided that college is going to be possible for me because I myself will make it possible. In addition, my coaches were determined to make me realize that I can do anything by helping me cross the finish line and the Los Angeles Marathon. My teammates, also, made an agreement. We decided that if we cross the finish line at 2016 Sketchers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, we will give it all we got to make it into the college of our dreams.
Getting closer and closer to the date, my grades began increasing. I started off with a couple of A’s, B’s, and C’s and by the time I ran the 2016 Sketchers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, I was running as a straight A student.
On the day of the marathon, our coach gave us a really heartwarming speech about how proud he was of every single one of us for pushing forward and making is as far as we did. This speech uplifted me and motivated me even more to crossing than finish line. It wasn’t a choice anymore. I had to do it. Running in general, is no joke. But being a part of Students Run LA makes it a lot more fun. I remember running during the marathon and constantly saying “Thank you!” to everyone I passed who were cheering the runners on and providing us with water, Gatorade, and snacks. The run was an unforgettable experience that will always motivate me to keep running.
After crossing that finish line, it was a fact that I will be applying and attending college. I joined again senior year wishing I could have joined freshman year. I would have received better grades if I had and I would have also had a lot more bittersweet memories with my teammates, coaches, and the program. But in the end, I am really grateful for what Students Run LA has to offer. They offer much more than than races and metals. They offer the opportunity to set your goals and reach them. They make you realize you can do anything you set your mind and heart to.
I will definitely look into becoming a part of Students Run LA in the future as a coach, not only to motivate students to attend college, but to inspire them through my story and to assure them that anything is possible, even college.
Way to go Rose! Rose is reaching for those higher educational goals. After graduating from Gertz-Merkin in June, she will be attending CSU Stanislaus in the Fall, taking her motivation and drive all the way to the college finish line. Rose received a $500 scholarship to help her pursue her educational dreams.