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Marathon Scholars Convene to talk College

September 9, 2013, by acrocker | No Comments

While many kids were spending their last days of summer catching up on sleep and hanging out in the sun, Marathon Scholars got an early start on the school year. On August 15th, over 30 scholars took a break from their summer adventures and met up at Warner Pacific College to explore their college plans, leadership skills, and set goals for another year of college-bound success!

 Throughout the day, students made cards with reasons they are working so hard to attend college. Here are a few of their answers…



The day was made up for 4th graders to 12th graders, all talking about college. For high school juniors and seniors, workshops required more in-depth discussion…scouring admissions websites, picking out favorite colleges, signing up for the SATs. Middle school students learned the difference between state and private schools, what dorms look like, and basic college vocabulary.

 We are so grateful to Warner Pacific College for giving us the space to hold this special event! We are excited to watch these students keep striving for success this school year.



 P.S. Many of these Scholars are looking for Marathon Partners to help them on their journey to college.

Please contact us if you or someone you know is interested in supporting one of the Marathon Scholars!

503-235-2500 –


Scholars Explore Downtown Portland

July 26, 2013, by acrocker | No Comments

Summertime is extra fun here at Marathon Education. After celebrating our newest high school graduates on June 15th, Marathon staff got to work preparing summer programs for our younger Scholars. Last week our students had the chance to explore downtown Portland like VIPs. Scholars started the day at Portland City Hall, where Chad Stover, a Policy Assistant for the City of Portland, led us to the Council Chambers for a discussion about local government. Several of our Scholars are hopeful lawyers and leaders, and they had plenty of questions for Chad about protesters, the democratic process, and taxes!

 After checking out City Hall, Scholars hoofed their way to Powell’s Books, where they picked out summer reading materials and explored the HUGE book store. We had a blast winding through busy aisles and searching for used copies of our favorite books. Each student had ten dollars to spend on whatever book they wanted. One student searched high and low for books on Greek mythology. Another picked a Lego Encyclopedia (and a bag of PopRocks, of course!) Whatever their interest, each kid found something worth reading.

The day concluded at Pioneer Courthouse Square, where Scholars flipped through their new books and enjoyed the sunshine. Even though many of the kids are still in elementary school, they talk about college like it is just around the corner. Students dream of attending all kinds of schools – Harvard, University of Portland, University of Texas – and it is amazing to hear them describe their goals before they have even entered high school. It’s nice to know that with the help of Marathon Partners, encouraging families, and programs like a day in downtown Portland, our talented Scholars will have the support they need to reach those goals.





Science Was King at Annual Winter Event

February 22, 2013, by egray | No Comments

Over 300 Partners, Scholars, families, friends and community members joined us at OMSI last Monday for our first ever Science Night. A record turnout of guests explored all the sights of the museum after hours and had fun learning from the Physics lab to the Biology lab and beyond. One of the biggest hits of the night was the traveling Myth Busters exhibit which had only just opened at OMSI the week before.


Malik and his family enjoying our resource table.

It was great fun to see all of the kids so engaged in the exhibits and puzzles all throughout the museum and we even caught more than one adult learning about static electricity by having a truly “hair raising” experience in the physics lab.

For some of our guests this was their first ever visit to OMSI. It was wonderful to introduce them to this incredible educational resource in our City.


Partner Susie Turk has a shocking good time!





In addition to experiencing all that OMSI had to offer, we were also excited to provide a wealth of resources to our college-bound Scholars and were excited to see every one of the sign-up sheets for our spring college campus visits filled up by the end of the evening. If you are interested to learn more about joining us for one of the college visits, check out our website calender for more info.

The evening would not have been possible without the support of our entire community, our wonderful volunteers and the terrific folks at OMSI. Thanks to all of you who attended! Mark you calendars for our next community-wide event on Saturday, June 15th when we will gather at the NIKE campus to celebrate our graduating seniors and all of our accomplished Scholars.

Out and About With Partners and Scholars

December 15, 2012, by egray | No Comments

by Emma Gray

This holiday season our Partners and Scholars are doing so many fun things out and about in our community. It is always fun to see what great outings our Partners and their Scholars cook up. Whether it’s an end of term cheer leading event or a fancy trip to the ballet, we’ve been hearing about so many fun times we just had to share!

Marathon Partner and Founder Leah Cronn checked in recently with two of her Scholars. Not only was she able to see 6th grade Scholar, Carla cheer for her middle school on “Cure Day” complete with pink bows and shoelaces, but she enjoyed a Blazer game with her college Scholar, Jamie who is currently at PCC but transferring soon to PSU to pursue a career in education.


Ellyn and Ben enjoy a show at Portland Center Stage

It has been great to see our Scholars taking advantage of the many cultural opportunities that abound in our area. Long time Partner Ellyn Bye, celebrated one of her Scholar Ben’s 18th birthday with a wonderful dinner and a night of theatre at Portland Center Stage. It is so inspiring to see our Partners and Scholars celebrating such milestones together. And later in the month, just down the road at the Keller Auditorium, The Margolin Family enjoyed a production of The Nutcracker with their Scholar Shamira.


The Margolins and Shamira at The Nutcracker


Holiday themed concerts and activities at school have also provided fun opportunities for our community to connect. Partners Susie and Farzin Turk enjoyed the Christmas program at St. Andrew’s Nativity where they got to watch their Scholar, Hociel, and five other Marathon Scholars perform.


The Hazelbrook Middle School 6th grade band performs holiday favorites

Partners Charlotte Schwartz and Melissa Meyers enjoyed a rousing 6th grade band concert at Hazelbrook Middle School where their Scholars Michael and Maliyah played wonderfully. In fact, six members of the Hazelbrook band are Marathon Scholars. Our kids are so talented!

Do you have your own story to share? We’d love to hear it! And if any of you Partners out there are looking for some easy but impactful ways to connect with your Scholar check out this new resource compiled by our Program Coordinator, AJ. It has a ton of great ideas. Have fun out there!

The Door to College Just Opened Wider for Eight Milwaukie 5th Graders

December 5, 2012, by egray | No Comments
Whitcomb Scholars
The Marathon Class of 2012

Meet the Marathon Education Class of 2012! These kids are superstars and we are honored to play a small part in what we know is great things in their future.

Antonio Cuevas, a 5th grader at Whitcomb Elementary in Milwaukie wants to go to college because he “wants to achieve his goals.” Cuevas’ goals include, “…to be a leader, to have a good life and to learn new stuff.” His classmate, Junet Lugo Felix, wants to go to college, “…because no one in my family has had the opportunity or money to go to college and since I was little I wanted to go to college.” She adds, “I always wanted to do something in my life that would make my family proud and now I can make them proud by going to college and studying Marine Biology.” Although Antonio and Junet are only in 5th grade, this month, their path to college became a lot clearer. Antonio and Junet, along with six of their classmates have been selected as the Marathon Education Scholar Class of 2012.

In Oregon, less than half of low-income students graduate from high school on time.  Of those that do graduate and enroll in college, only 9% are graduating with a four-year degree. The race to college for these students is truly a marathon with many challenges along the way. The Marathon Education Partners program, founded in 2002, strives to increase the odds for these students. Marathon increases access to higher education for low-income students in the Portland-Vancouver Metro area through a combination of mentoring and a scholarship opportunity.

Whitcomb principal, Sid Ong said of the Marathon Program, “I cannot say enough about how lucky we are to have Marathon helping to provide scholarships to some of our students. It is my belief that parents who do not have the opportunities to change their socioeconomic status pass on that disparity to their children. Families grappling with poverty do not have the means to support the children’s education and this lack of education locks children into a cycle of poverty. Ensuring access to school not only improves children’s lives, but also strengthens communities.”

Each of the eight Scholars in the Marathon Class of 2012 will be matched with an adult Partner who commits to make personal contact with their Scholar at least once a month and will contribute $100 per month to a Scholarship fund for their student to  access when they go to college. This Scholar-Partner match is ongoing for ten years.  The long term commitment combined with the one-on-one personal connection sets the Marathon program apart from other similar scholarship programs and makes it uniquely powerful.

With the addition of the eight Whitcomb students, Marathon now supports 98 Partner-Scholar matches in the Portland-Vancouver metro area. All twenty-five of those Scholars that are of college age have graduated from high school and are actively pursuing higher education. As a direct indicator of success, since 2002 when the first Marathon Scholars graduated high school, Marathon has disbursed over $70,000 in scholarships.

If you would like to become a Partner for one of the Whitcomb Scholars or for the Class of 2013 to be selected this spring, please contact Emma Gray at 503-235-2500 or We can’t wait to introduce you to your Scholar!


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