On April 20th, 2020, I’ll be running the Boston Marathon to fundraise money for a cause I care deeply about - the Boston Museum of Science’s Traveling Programs. Running the Boston Marathon is on the bucket list of every runner - the race is legendary for its course, its history, and how tough it is to get into.
Those who know me know how much running and movement mean to me, but it wasn’t always this way. Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I was shy, self-conscious, and didn’t move very much. Part of it came from growing up in a very strict and traditional household, and part of it came from lack of self confidence. However, one day, I saw a show on TV about a village outcast who makes friends by being kind to everyone who meets, and training to become the best ninja in his village. I took inspiration from that anime and started throwing myself out there, exercising and signing up for all kinds of things and stepping out of my comfort zone, talking to strangers and shooting for the stars in school, life and otherwise. Movement gave me a medium to discover who I was, and what I was capable of.
We fast forward to now: I’m a first-generation college graduate from Brown, and working as a software engineer at Bose. I’ve traveled the world. I’ve run 2 marathons and 6 half-marathons. I’ve made friends from all walks of life, and have been inspired by strangers near and far. I’ve accomplished a lot of the dreams I had when I was that self-conscious kid, but I’m not done yet.
My next big dream? To run the Boston Marathon, and raise a *HECK* ton of money while doing so. I’m running in the 2020 Boston Marathon to support the Museum of Science’s Traveling Programs. The mission of the Travel Programs is to ignite curiosity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) via exciting outreach programs throughout the region. Last year, the program made 1,089 outreach visits, taught 2,127 programs, served over 100,000 people, and drove 65,367 miles. These Travel Programs provide special STEM opportunities to students and regions that otherwise don’t have financial resources for a field trip to the Museum. Your support will aid in scholarships, program expansion, and of course, the vans that make this entire program possible. *ALL FUNDS* raised will go support this amazing program.
I’m one of few women engineers on my team, and one of the few across the industry as a whole. I know firsthand how important it is to ignite interest and curiosity in STEM at a young age, especially for gender minorities. I don’t know if I would have been as interested in STEM if I didn’t have incredible female mentors from a young age, some of whom will be with me during my marathon - I’m writing their names on my shoes, to remind me of the shoulders of the giants I stand on. Sarah Wilson, Helen Haskell, Karen Lyall, Ann Ziegler, Mom, and so, so many others - this one’s for you.
Please consider donating if you are able! Bose Corporation will match up to $5,000 in donations!! So you’re actually helping me out -twice- by giving even just $1. :) My Venmo is @up_nguyen22 and my charity page is here!
I’ll see you at the finish line on April 20th, 2020.