Senior Story: Perseverance Beyond the Finish Line

Through Students Run LA, Arely captured her dreams to become the best version of herself! She’ll be taking her SRLA Scholarship with her to CSUN this fall. Congratulations, Arely!

The start of my junior year I had given up all aspirations in life and the potential of a hopeful future. This is when I decide to challenge myself by joining a school program called Students Run LA (SRLA).

I never imagined running a mile for fun, especially not completing a marathon. When practice started in September, I put all my problems aside and I started my journey; even though I had people in my life that laughed and said I could not do it.

This was one of the hardest things, physically and emotionally, that I have gone through thus far. Constantly being pushed past my limits was draining, but I knew that there was no other direction to go, but forward.

Luckily, I am blessed with an encouraging family that helped me through my doubts. Every step of the way my dad’s words followed me, “I do not ever want to hear you say that you cannot do this, you can do anything you set your mind to!”, which helped me cross the finish line. Student Run LA pushed my limits physically as well as mentally. Through the hardships, I discovered that I had strength inside of me to keep going and a strong support system within my family.

Since running, I have been able to rediscover the beauty that life has to offer and its endless possibilities. Now I allow myself to dream and be the best version of myself. Students Run LA has also provided me with benefits in academics. I challenge myself in the classroom more with my course load due to the discipline I have gained. This new found joy in challenging myself has allowed me to continue feeding my intellectual curiosity.

Arely will continue to challenge herself as she attends California State University Northridge this fall with a 2019 SRLA Scholarship to help her realize her academic dreams. Arely is also the recipient of a special $500 Honda Dream Scholarship. American Honda, in recognition of its 60th Anniversary and partnership with Students Run LA, awarded 45 SRLA students who applied for the Honda Dream Scholarship a special one-time $500 scholarship this year.

To make a donation to support the next class of SRLA runners to help them work towards their goals like Arely did, please click here.

Christine Pajak