Want to Get Away?

Does all this winter weather have you down?  Are you thinking about an exotic getaway?  Look no further than the Marathon Scholars Rising Star Gala on March 4th.  Our live auction will feature amazing getaways to Thailand and Italy.  We also will explore the USA with a trip to New York City, Los Angeles, the Oregon Coast, and even a staycation in Portland.   Something for everyone and a lot of excitement brewing about this great event – which will be our best and biggest!

Visit www.MarathonScholars.org/risingstars to join in the fun!


Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences

Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences

Being the first in your family to ever attend college is a remarkable achievement.  A chance to change the trajectory of your life and that of your family for future generations.  In order to support this important mission of Marathon Scholars, we are putting together many once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our annual fundraising auction, Rising Stars.  Things that will forever change your life.  You might visit an elephant preserve in Thailand, pose for photos with an Academy Award and have lunch with an Oscar winner in Los Angeles, see Hamilton on Broadway in New York City, or enjoy a Porsche for a weekend.

Visit www.MarathonScholars.org to register for the event and ask your friends to join you.  As the event approaches we will give you a sneak peak at all the auction packages.  It will be a wonderful  evening to celebrate and support a remarkable cause!

What does a private plane ride, a trip to Thailand, tickets to Hamilton on Broadway, and a signed basketball from the Blazers have in common?

These are all items which will be available for purchase at the live auction on March 4th.  The Marathon Scholars Rising Stars Gala will be a great evening for a great cause and we want you to be a part.  Visit www.MarathonScholars.org/risingstars to register.  As the event approaches we will give you a sneak peek at all the auction packages.

Why I volunteer for Marathon Scholars: enabling the dream of a college education

jennifer-davis-headshotBy Jennifer Davis, member, Board of Trustees

In May of 2015, I attended my first board of trustees meeting for Marathon Scholars.  I am excited about what this organization has accomplished and what we can do to further the mission of making the dream of college a reality for talented, low-income kids.  We identify high-potential students in the 4th grade and walk with them, providing them mentoring and a college scholarship, until they complete their bachelor’s degree.

I first learned about Marathon Scholars, when their executive director spoke at an iSing Choir concert as the beneficiary.  I was attracted to several things about the organization.

First, we measure and hold ourselves accountable to the right thing: college graduations. Not college enrollments. The statistics around low-income and first generation college student graduation rates are deplorable and often these same students, with great potential and good intentions, apply and are accepted into college, but then cut their academic careers short of a degree (and the earning potential and opportunity that brings), but take with them student loans that can further burden their future.  Marathon Scholars takes seriously their commitment, and that of the student scholar and their parents, to complete college and is delivering great results.  Scholars in our program are 7x more likely than their peers to complete their degree.

Secondly, we start at the right time: 4th grade.  We select students from partner elementary schools each year through an application process and pair them with mentors to help with individualized guidance, advising, and college prep programming for the next 12 years.  This is critical for students who might be the first in their family to ever consider a college education.  In addition, they receive the first of their college scholarship, totaling $12,000 donated month-by-month by a financial sponsor who is also dedicated to the student’s success.  4th grade might seem like too early to be talking about college, but it seemed to me to be the perfect time.  Before they must persevere through advanced math and English classes.  Before they start making life-impacting decisions that would later affect their college readiness.  Before they are told that they are not college material, Marathon Scholars reminds them that they are!

I welcome you to join me in this good work.  You can participate in many different ways, giving your time or resources to this great cause.  Our scholars are in need of mentors, who can work with our students at different phases of their educational journey to help them arrive at a new and promising destination: the life of a college graduate!  Contact the staff at Marathon for more information about volunteer opportunities.

You can also follow Marathon Scholars on TwitterFacebook, subscribe to this blog, and via our email newsletter which you can access on this website.  While you are there, you can also check out the great video of what mentoring means to these scholars.  And mark your calendar for the upcoming gala fundraiser on March 4, 2017.  We’d love to see you there!


Mentor Update

JB & AC Crater Lake June 2016Marathon Scholar Anthony Chin and Partner John Bloss recently celebrated the 100th birthday of the National Park System by visiting Crater Lake in southern Oregon. They have been matched with Marathon for nearly 13 years and have built a trusting relationship. Anthony is currently a student at Portland State University.
On their recent trip, they traveled by train from Portland to Klamath Falls and stayed there for a night. On the following day they were joined by Richard, John’s friend from the Peace Corps, who brought along all necessary camping supplies and equipment. They camped at Collier State Park and enjoyed visiting the Logging Museum located adjacent to the camping area. All survived a below freezing night in high quality sleeping bags.
After breaking camp the next morning they traveled to Crater Lake to take in the spectacular view. There was still a good amount of snow in mid-June, so some snowballs were thrown. We also had a relaxing lunch on the back deck of the Lodge located on the rim of Crater Lake.
The group had a second night of camping at Diamond Lake, which is a 30 min drive north from Crater Lake. They had a superb camping spot with a snow-capped mountain within view. They enjoyed another night around the campfire and also took a short hike along the shore.
They broke camp the next day and traveled to Jacksonville, Richard’s home, and got a tour of that town’s gold rush era historic district. Anthony traveled back to Portland by Greyhound from Medford the following day. John stuck around an additional day to spend more time with his friend and also tackled a 5 mile hike north of Ashland.
In addition to all the fun activities, Anthony and Richard had the opportunity to talk about computers and careers in the technology field. Richard holds a Masters degree from Cal Poly and is about to retire from a 30 year career with Hewlett-Packard.
 Trips like these expand everyone’s view of the possible. Here at Marathon Scholars we support the many creative ways our Scholars and Mentors connect, whether that’s in the woods, over a drafting table, or in the kitchen cooking up a new recipe. We’re currently recruiting mentors for college-age students. Click here to learn more and begin the application process!