By Dan Nash, City Year Milwaukee Mentor

On October 9th, 2016, I ran 26.2 miles in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and I teamed with City Year Milwaukee to help raise funds and awareness for the organization. This was my first-ever marathon, and the experience was incredibly rewarding. What was most rewarding was having the opportunity to help support such a critical cause - supporting students to graduation. 

I set a fundraising goal of $2,620, which was exceeded with total funds raised of $2,922.40! The success of the fundraising efforts was a direct reflection of the generosity that so many of my family members, friends, and colleagues showed in helping to support the cause. I'm very appreciative of all of the support that was received to help make the goal a reality. 

The fundraising goal amount didn't just correspond to the 26.2 miles in a marathon – but also to the 26 percentage point gap between the high school graduation rate in Milwaukee of 62% and the state rate of 88%. Our contributions support the organization that helps bridge that gap. 

Helping to support City Year's workwas a great motivator for me during training and the day of the run. I spent a lot of time thinking about the charity that I wanted to fundraise for and how I wanted it to be reputable, meaningful to our community, and something that I have a personal connection to. City Year is that organization for me. 

I have had the pleasure of working with City Year Milwaukee team leaders and corps members in a mentor capacity the past two years. In meeting with these individuals, I’ve learned more about the organization, and I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand the incredible level of care and commitment they have towards making a positive impact in the lives of students in Milwaukee’s schools. Their work is truly inspiring, and there is no question that this organization helps bridge the gap that stands between students and their potential. 

Because of that, I couldn't be happier with the results of the fundraising efforts, and I'm excited about the positive difference that City Year will continue to make in the City of Milwaukee in the future. My hope is that the graduation rate continues to increase, and I never need to run 26 miles again! 

I'm thankful to all those who supported, and I appreciate City Year helping me to support their efforts.

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