BENEFITING: ESPERANZA ACADEMY INC
ORGANIZER: ESPERANZA ACADEMY INC
EVENT: Boston Marathon 2014
EVENT DATE: Apr 21, 2014
On Patriots' Day 2013, I was running the Boston Marathon and on my way through Kenmore Square. The finish line wasn't in sight, but I knew I was running well enough to get there. I was a bit behind my goal time, but I had been having a wonderful run. It was a beautiful day, and I had been buoyed along the course by the fantastic support of the crowds along the way.
As focused as I was on putting one foot in front of the other, I suddenly realized that something odd was going on. Runners were coming toward me, and spectators were walking onto the course. Shortly thereafter, it became clear I couldn't keep running because something was wrong with the race. While my family and I were spared the danger and horror of being at the finish, what I experienced that day has stayed with me: a terrible act of violence, but also the profound displays of the best of humanity both before and after the bombing.
The BAA is giving me the chance to run again in 2014, and with this run, my seventh marathon, I want to demonstrate my profound conviction in the basic goodness of people and my desire to honor those who are dedicated to building community and a brighter future for Greater Boston. That's where Esperanza Academy comes in.
Esperanza is an independent, tuition-free middle school for girls founded 8 years ago to provide educational opportunity in Lawrence, a community with significant challenges. Admission is by lottery.
Esperanza offers its 65 students a transformative education that integrates a rigorous academic curriculum with cocurricular programs in athletics, the arts, community service, cultural-enrichment, social skills, and spirituality. The pride of Esperanza is its students: Girls who are willing to learn for almost 10 hours a day, 11 months out of the year, against challenging odds.
The city of Lawrence consistently ranks among the lowest in high-school graduation rates in the Commonwealth. The teenage-pregnancy rate is four times the state average. Ninety-one percent of Esperanza students speak a language other than English at home. Because Esperanza accept students using a lottery system, many of the students have never received the attention, nurturing, and support they need to gain the academic and social capital to achieve success.
It has been noteworthy year for Esperanza Academy. The first class of alumnae class graduated from high school in 2013. Remarkably, 100 percent of those young women graduated! And most of them, over 80 percent are currently enrolled in college. The school brims with energy, and the girls' enthusiasm is infectious.
I am so proud to be supporting Esperanza with my run, and I look forward to sharing more about the school in a blog, I will be starting soon. Thank you so much for considering a donation to this school which is doing such great and important work.