Team Fulfillment Fund is back for a third year, running the 2014 ASICS LA Marathon on Sunday, March 9. Meet some of our team members and learn how to get involved!
In the pre-dawn hours on Sunday, March 9, 16-year-old Abraham (pictured at left, with his Fulfillment Fund mentor Rob) will lace up his running shoes and head to Dodger Stadium, where he will prepare to run 26.2 miles, longer than he has ever run in his life.
Not only is he running to achieve a personal milestone, he's also running to raise awareness of the need for Fulfillment Fund mentors like Rob, who is helping Abraham prepare for a future at college.
The Fulfillment Fund has already made a big difference in Abraham's life. When Abraham first entered the Fulfillment Fund program as a 7th grader, he wasn’t very enthusiastic about school. But by the time he was in 8th grade, he was the middle school’s student body president, and by 9th grade, he had straight A’s. He appreciates the Fulfillment Fund, he says, because “they give me opportunities and there is always my mentor to help me out.”
Last year, Abraham and Rob ran the half-marathon together, and this year, Abraham plans to run the full marathon on his own, with Rob cheering from the sidelines. While training, Abraham thinks of soccer, “which helps me run,” he says. After high school, he would like to attend UC Santa Barbara, and says he sees similarities between completing the marathon and achieving a college education: “When you finish, you’re going to be really happy.”
Help Cheer on Team Fulfillment Fund in the 2014 ASICS LA Marathon, Sunday March 9 @ Mile 10 (Hollywood Blvd. & Wilton Avenue, one block from the Hollywood & Western Metro Rail Red Line) View our flyer with more information!
Another member of the marathon team is 15-year-old Noah (pictured at right with his Fulfillment Fund mentor Frank), a 9th grader who joined the Fulfillment Fund two years ago.
Growing up in a family of southern Nigerian descent, Noah aspired to be a first-generation college student, but initially, Noah did not want to have a Fulfillment Fund mentor because he felt uncomfortable spending time with a stranger. That changed as he got to know his mentor Frank, and now they are friends who enjoy going to the movies, UCLA games (basketball and football), eating at restaurants and hanging out at the beach.
Prior to being involved in the Fulfillment Fund, Noah did well academically, but did not take his teachers or assignments as seriously as he could have. Today, with the help of Frank and others, Noah understands the long-term importance of his performance at school, and his grades reflect his change in attitude: His GPA has improved from a 3.0 to a 3.5.
Fulfillment Fund staff describe Noah as a positive, energetic person, who always addresses people with respect. He speaks Urhobo, a language of the Urhobo people of southern Nigeria, and says his future goals are to get accepted to a good college, get a good job, and make a difference in the world.
Joining Abraham and Noah on Team Fulfillment Fund is Adrian, who joined the Fulfillment Fund as a 7th grader.
An excellent student who is described as soft-spoken and hard-working, Adrian was so advanced in his academics, he skipped the 8th grade. Now in 11th grade, he is running for student council, has participated in debate team, and is preparing to take the SAT, with an eye toward studying engineering at Stanford University.
Completing the 26.2 miles of the LA marathon will require determination and perseverance, he says, the same qualities he’ll need to accomplish his goal of getting accepted to Stanford.