For the third year in a row, Mass Mentoring Partnership is honored to be an official charity partner of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon® on April 15. We want you to meet our amazing runners. Let’s go Team MMP!
Runner: Hilary Aberle
Longest run to date: 14 miles so far, but I have raced in several half-marathons.
Favorite song to listen to while running: “Sweet Disposition” by Temper Trap
Favorite post-run snack: Pretty much whatever food I find first…I have been STARVING after the long runs!
- What inspired you to run the 2013 Boston Marathon for MMP? I might only run one marathon in my life. Boston is the big one and I grew up in Massachusetts, so I can “go big” or “go home.” I chose MMP because I have worked with children the past 10 years. I have seen first-hand the positive impacts that mentors can have on students, and realize the impact goes both ways. I currently work with students in Somerville and really wanted to support a charity that is close to my heart. Many of my students benefit from mentors, but there are others who could really use mentoring. I would love to give back in this way, and hope to help my school and community by running for Mass Mentoring.
- What has been the most rewarding experience of your training and/or fundraising so far? I was really touched by how generous and encouraging families from the Healey School have been. That has really meant a lot to me, and I have heard lots of stories and received good advice from parents who have run in previous years.
- What is your experience with mentoring? One of my most memorable moments throughout my time spent working with children occurred when I was leaving my job in Los Angeles to move back to Boston. I was working as a youth specialist in a public school in L.A. with students who had been referred to my organization to get support around social and emotional issues. I worked very closely with a fourth grade boy named Anthony who had severe anger issues and difficulty connecting with other students. He often spent lunch and recess by himself, and was constantly getting suspended for fighting. Anthony and I spent hours together, and quickly learned that we both love to play soccer. We started playing soccer at recess, and soon were swarmed by lots of other kids who wanted to join in. Anthony loved the positive attention from his peers, and I encouraged him to spend time with them in class and at lunch. He soon began making friends! When I had to tell him I was moving, I was very worried that he would go back to his old ways. During my last conversation with him, I apologized for leaving and he looked up and said, “Don’t worry Miss Hilary, I don’t need you at recess anymore.” I realized then how much my relationship with Anthony had meant to me. I went into the job thinking that I was going to make positive changes for these kids – that was my job. I was not expecting to be so proud and so touched by a fourth grader. Though my role was not formally called “mentor,” I believe that as adults we have the ability to be positive influences on young people both through words and actions. We must also be open-minded and ready to learn from the students as some of them have already faced challenges that we will never have to experience.
- What do you think is the most important thing a mentor can do for a child? Listen. Children crave conversation and often just want someone to listen to their thoughts and experiences.
- What is the best piece of advice a mentor can give? Despite what you have been through and where you have come from, you can be whatever you want to be and do what you want to do. There is a way.
- Complete this sentence: When I finish the Marathon, I will feel…wonderful!
If you would like to read more about Hilary or make a donation to her fundraising, please visit http://www.razoo.com/story/Hilary-Aberle-Mass-Mentoring-Partnership-Team-Boston-Marathon-2013