PLATFORM : Not Giving Up
Everybody talks about the problems of drug abuse and gangs. The solution is to give these kids an alternative and make it more fun than what they’re into now. I’m not just telling them to do it, I’m also running the marathon myself. We train together three times a week and on Saturdays.
These kids are looking for alternatives. They don’t want to spend the rest of their lives in East L.A. By completing the marathon they learn not to give up, that things can be tough and you can still make it.
This works. I find kids who would otherwise end up becoming gang members. Kids who are smoking and using drugs often stop once they start running. Eighty percent of the students who complete the marathon end up getting their high school diplomas. For other continuation kids we’re lucky if we get 20% to graduate.