I don’t know that I’ve always written about the people who helped truly get me there.
The first time I ever ran more than a mile, it was with my students.
We didn’t have a field. We ran laps around our school in preparation for the LA Marathon. My body rejected every single step and, after the first mile, all I wanted to do was quit. Who do you think you are? my mind screamed. You’re not built for this.
Then, I heard screams from the balcony of our building. “Go Ms. T! You can do this!” I looked up and saw a handful of students smiling and waving at us as we ran along. I was a new teacher at the school, and we were only a few months in, so I was surprised they knew me.
I couldn’t help but laugh, wave back, and start running again. I wanted them to see me keep trying. I wanted them to know they made me want to keep trying, because of how hard they worked. I wanted to keep going because I wanted to make them proud, the way they made me proud.
Now, 7 years later, I have the chance to help another group of students. I love running, now, because it makes me feel limitless and without potential.
So many of our students have this same potential, but aren’t given the access or resources they need to thrive the way so many other do. So many of our students are taught, early on, that their potential is tied to where they grew up or the community they come from. Their histories are painted as a false anchor instead of a bright sail to push them forward.
Our students deserve better. Hoku Scholars tries to give them those tools. Every step I take for this race, I hope to help give more students the same limitless possibilities I feel when I run.
I hope you’re able to help on this journey. Every little bit counts.