Kevin: Becoming a Leader
Kevin, a 2018 SRLA graduate from Camino Nuevo High School, says that “SRLA has influenced me. Seeing all the former students go off to college and become these amazing people really inspires me, knowing that I have aspired to do something like that as well. As a matter of fact, SRLA motivated me to aspire to obtain a higher education and go off to college. Seeing the alumni who have been part of SRLA inspired me to push for a higher education and become a force for change in my community.” In his blog, he shares how SRLA helped him when he was going down the wrong path.
Being able to participate in Students Run Los Angeles for the past six years has truly been a blessing and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Starting in middle school and continuing into high school has been an adventure, and I have seen a significant transformation in myself. Through the SRLA program, I have grown not only as an athlete, but academically, and I have become a leader in my school and in my community.
To describe myself and where I go to school, I attend Camino Nuevo High School and I participate in the SRLA team there. Working with this team for the past 4 years has been amazing, and I am especially grateful for the support offered to me which I was heading down the wrong path.
During 9th grade, I wasn’t the best kid. I didn’t do any work, I fooled around and simply didn’t care about my education. I came into high school with the mindset that I would get away with anything and simply pass all my classes. However, that was not the case. I was receiving horrible grades and my coaches took notice. This marked the beginning of my self-improvement. The amount of support and love the coaches have for their students is amazing. Adding these factors together allowed to make a change in my life.
Training for the marathon was an extra push of motivation for me, knowing that I’m putting my all into this. Four years later I have significantly improved my academic standing and I am still working on ways to improve in order to be the best possible scholar when I move on to college.
Besides my academics, SRLA was a huge factor in helping me come out of my comfort zone and stepping up to become a leader in my community. I would have to say this may have been the toughest year for our team so far. Students tragically had to drop the team which affected us. It was a shame to see how students who before loved and got excited about running were now not putting in their full effort; it was heartbreaking. I took this in and reflected on our situation. I thought to myself, is there is any possible way to restore the team and improve it to the level where it once was? I decided to take the initiative, taking matters into my own hands as I wanted the best for the students.
I began organizing running practices and became someone who these students looked up to, acting as an ‘older brother.’ In addition, this allowed me to get to know the team better on a personal level. I loved being there and being their coach in some sense. They knew they could count on me if anything happened. Loving this aspect of being a leader and helping people out, I decided to go back to my middle school and train the students there as well. Being a role model to these students was such an amazing experience; to hear someone saying, “you’re my inspiration” just hits you. It just shows the amount of dedication that I have put into this program and the love that I have for the sport overall. Students Run Los Angeles truly shaped me to become this mature young man. There aren’t words to describe my gratitude and appreciate for what this program has done for me and thousands of students across Los Angeles.
Kevin is a 2018 SRLA Scholarship recipient. To make a donation to support future Students Run LA students like Kevin as they work towards their goals, click here.