Meet our runners: Maggie Lapan

Thanks to the John Hancock 2014 Non-Profit Marathon Program, Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) was presented with an amazing opportunity to once again participate in the B.A.A. Boston Marathon® on April 21, 2014. We also have a cohort of dedicated and resilient runners who ran for Team MMP in 2013 and are returning to run in 2014 and help fuel the mentoring movement in Massachusetts. We want you to meet our amazing runners. Let’s go Team MMP!

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Runner: Maggie Lapan
Hometown: Brattleboro, Vermont
Occupation: Human resources assistant at Courion Corporation (plus a side gig at David’s Bridal on the weekends)
If your life were a movie, what would you title it?: Happiness is Strength (which is also the name of my blog)
Longest run to date or previous marathons completed: I have completed three marathons and started four!
Favorite song to listen to while running: I actually only run the last eight miles of the marathon with music – six hours is way too long to listen to music and remain focused on the run. Plus songs are giving off all these mixed messages about love and life and it’s distracting. But when I do listen to music, amidst the top 40 bump and grind songs, it’s my Glee downloads that lift my spirits! I don’t watch the show religiously but love me some cheesy Gleek songs!
Favorite post-run snack: Macaroni and cheese. I’ve been limiting these dense foods this year to Saturdays only, so it tastes wicked good after running in the cold!
Favorite way to work out besides running: Strength training, because I always see results.
  1. What inspired you to run the 2014 Boston Marathon for MMP? I knew I was going to run in 2014 a few weeks before the 2013 Marathon. The experience is so much fun with both MMP and the Marathon Coalition. I appreciated the BAA allowing non-finishers to run again with “no strings attached,” but I knew I was going to run again for MMP. There are so many people at the organization I have become connected to over the years – in particular Rich, Marty, and Vanessa. Meeting Erin, who was new to MMP this year, has been a blast because she does a really good job keeping our team on task and focused on the fundraising!
  2. What has been the most rewarding experience of your training and/or fundraising so far? Definitely hearing the stories of successful mentoring programs and matches. Alexis, one of my team members, took some time to tell us about his 10-year-journey with his mentee at a team meeting last year, and it really impacted me. I feel good raising all this money for mentoring, but I really want to get involved in mentoring at some point when the time is right.

    The year before that, someone came to our team meeting from AFC Mentoring, and I was blown away by the work that program does. It’s on my list when I am no longer working two jobs to investigate that program more because I really want to make the commitment to a child who is in foster care and needs a consistent person in his or her life.

    Ever since that meeting, I sometimes look into the programs that are under the MMP umbrella to learn more about the programs MMP supports. I have even featured a few in my blog. Hopefully a few of my followers have been inspired to volunteer or at least consider it for the future.

  3. Tell me about your experience with mentoring. Do you have a mentee? I currently am writing letters to a middle school student in Roxbury as a “Promising Pal.” Mayor Menino was actually involved for 25+ years in this program at the Timility Middle School. I’m on year five. Although I feel like I am making a small difference, I would like to do more. Prior to being a Promising Pal, I was a mentor at Strong Women, Strong Girls the first few years it was a non-profit, and I was also a buddy with Best Buddies.
  4. Who has been a significant mentor to you in your life? My Aunt Heidi. She is the first to admit she always asks me a million questions whenever I see her. Her doing this shows me that she is concerned about me and wants the best for me. And she has three kids of her own! She makes me want to propel myself forward and not settle for anything mediocre. My parents do that too, but it’s different with aunts and uncles when they push you…you tend to listen a little more. :) This excites me because I just became an aunt for the first time last October. I am so excited to develop a relationship with my niece like the one my aunt was persistent about forging with me.
  5. How have you seen mentoring working in your community? One example that I have experienced was when I volunteered for Strong Women, Strong Girls at a Roxbury school when I was in college – so many of the girls that were quiet, shy and maybe a little distrusting of their mentors on day one in September were dramatically changed by the last week of the curriculum in June. The girls were matured by the presence of their college-aged mentors, and I think we, their mentors, were rejuvenated by their youth!
  6. If you were mentoring yourself at age 10, what’s one piece of advice would you give? Seek more opportunities to learn about yourself! What makes you tick? What are you good at? Even if it means volunteering your time to try on a lot of different hats, make it a priority to learn about different things, and have an open mind.
  7. Complete this sentence: When I finish the 2014 Marathon, I will I will celebrate by… Hugging my dad, who will be finishing with me. He was supposed to finish with me in 2013! I look forward to running miles 21-26 with him this year!

If you would like to read more about Maggie or make a donation to her fundraising, please visit her fundraising page