2019 SRLA Superstar!!


On top of training for the Los Angeles Marathon, Karina, a student at Ellen Ochoa Learning Center, completed the SRLA Superstar Challenge this season. This is not an easy task; Karina had perfect attendance throughout the school year, maintained a B average or higher, and helped a stranger with a school project. She also collected $100 worth of pennies for Every Penny Counts, 100 paper products for Ronald McDonald House, 100 toys for Bring Joy with a Toy, and 100 pounds of pasta for Pasta to Make a Difference. In her blog she shares how she felt during the marathon and tells us why she tackled the Superstar Challenge.

During the Marathon, a lot of thoughts and feelings occurred throughout my body. At the beginning of the Marathon, I was very happy and excited that the day had finally come. I started off with a big smile on my face for the first 11 miles and was very surprised that I did not get as tired on the hills as before. But when the last 13 miles came, I was struggling physically and mentally. Though I was very exhausted after the first 15 miles, I am happy to have finished strong and happy about my time. Specifically, there were two things that helped me the most, CHP and my running buddies. They helped me throughout the journey of running my second marathon and having a fun time.

When I crossed the finish line, I had a rush of excitement. I knew I had finished at my preferred time and was very happy because I saw my parents, who were the people that I ran for, as well as for Coach Alan. Through participating in SRLA, I learned patience, hard work, stamina, and perseverance. From participating in the SRLA Superstar Challenge, I learned teamwork and dedication. My experience was very cool and super actually; I worked with one of my coaches’ student and learned a lot about teamwork. I helped a student named Janelle with a science project, which involved cells. For me, it was important to become a Superstar because I was interested in this, which I have never done before, and also because it’s my last year in SRLA and I really wanted a memory.

My leaders are actually the best. They all helped in the little things that mattered and helped the most. They made the team smile, laugh, and have a good time running. Not only did they help in SRLA, but they went out of their way to help us in life, like problems with school. One of my coaches, Coach Bernie, had many sayings that were helpful like to not think about the race, just have fun, or listen to upbeat music because it'll distract us from the pain, but my other coach, Coach Armando, had many other wise words that were very helpful for all the races. Overall, they were wonderful coaches and friends that helped a lot throughout this journey. Some advice I would give to anyone that would like to complete the Superstar Challenge is to have someone to help you through the process, like my coaches, and to just have fun. 
P.S.- Thank you for this amazing experience in the SRLA Superstar Challenge."

To support students like Karina on their journey to the finish line next year, make a donation today.