Senior Stories: Jennifer, My Drive for Success

Jennifer, SRLA Class of 2018, graduated from Carson High School and is headed to the University of California, Berkeley this fall. Through SRLA, Jennifer learned to “overcome thoughts of self-doubt and replace them with self encouragement that would fuel my drive for success.” She has an incredible future ahead!

Through my experience with SRLA and by participating in the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, I discovered many new characteristics about myself that I never really knew I had. Before joining SRLA, I never would have imagined myself having the capability to become a long distance runner, let alone be able to run 26.2 miles. It was not until I actually started running that I began to understand the life-changing impacts that the sport could have on my life.

During the eight month training process, I began to realize that I am much stronger than I once thought. With the help of my coaches and teammates, I learned that strength is not always a measurement of physical ability. Instead, it is a derivative of determination and the courage to keep moving forward when you feel like giving up. Coming to this realization has influenced me to set higher goals for myself because I now understand that the only person with the ability to hold me back from pursuing my dreams is myself. My SRLA experience taught me how to overcome thoughts of self-doubt and replace them with self encouragement that would fuel my drive for success. Becoming a marathon finisher showed me that with devotion and a positive attitude, I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

I now plan to take the lesson that I learned from running and apply it as I go to college. This fall I will be attending the University of California Berkeley where I will pursue a degree in cognitive science. Often times I am intimidated of the idea of leaving my home in southern California and entering a new environment that is completely foreign to me. When I think of such things, I look back at the moment when I first decided I wanted to run a marathon. I was also terrified of the idea, but I am grateful that I challenged myself because the experience helped me develop into a much wiser and stronger person. As a first-generation college student coming from a low-income family and a child of two immigrant parents from Mexico, I know that earning a degree from a four year university will be very difficult. However, if I can run 26.2 miles, I know I can graduate from college and overcome any obstacle that stands in my way.

Jennifer is a 2018 SRLA Scholarship recipient. To make a donation to support future of Students Run LA like Alexis as they work towards their goals, click here.