Kalel: SRLA Gave Me Hope

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My name is Kalel. I am a 13 year old freshman at Benjamin Franklin Magnet High School and this is my first year in SRLA. It has been the best thing that has happened in my life. The dream of running, for me, started when I was five years old and my dad ran one of his first marathons. He says that when I saw him after he finished I said I wanted to run with him. Ever since then I’ve had the dream of running.

My time with SRLA has not not been without obstacles. There have been many  time where I wanted to just drop it and go back to playing video games at home (my old life). I think back to when I had just started class and I was the overweight, I think back and know I can’t go back to that. I won’t, I push through the pain and run. I know now what I can do, and what I could become if I just keep pushing through. In the past it had been hard not to be able to go out and do things with friends because I was overweight. That really hurt me but now I feel fit and will continue working on my physical and mental strength. I am able to do the things that I couldn’t do with my friends.


Since I skipped first grade, I was always younger and weaker than my classmates and they held that against me. They would always call me small, and I got angry about it which caused more teasing for me. This carried over from elementary school and went on all the way through middle school. Everything pointed to things staying the same through high school. SRLA was the answer and the confidence boost I needed.

At the 18 mile Friendship Run, I crossed that finish line and felt so good inside. I knew I achieved something extraordinary, not just for me but for others like me who suffered through getting made fun of like I did. I’m hoping to inspire others to do good and to get fit maybe even do SRLA and cross that finish line for themselves.

Later this month when I get to the Marathon I will finish because I believe in myself and I know others do as well. I’ll hope to do it all again next year because despite any pain it has caused it also gave me hope. I know I can finish because I have friends in and out of SRLA that are inspiring me to push and who have helped me step by step to get me where I am today.

Make a donation today in honor of Kalel and his teammates and it will be MATCHED during the month of March.