How do you take young men who are battling addiction and show them that they can rise above their circumstances? How do you prove that they are worth the fight; that you are willing to stand beside them?
The answer is simple. You give them a seemingly impossible task, put them on a team together and you join them in their pursuit! This is what our staff at Ozarks Teen Challenge, a local faith-based rehabilitation center for teen boys, set out to do when two teams made up of students and staff members began training in December for The Little Rock Half and Full-Marathons, respectively.
“Our training times with our students, provide new opportunities to teach and model what dedication, teamwork, and trust look like to our students,” said Steven Borchert, Academic Administrator.
This is the second marathon that Ozarks Teen Challenge has taken on. Their first half-marathon team made up of students, staff, parents, and one local pastor; trained, struggled and ultimately succeeded together by finishing the Bass Pro Half-Marathon in less than 2 hours and 25 minutes. Their slogan: “One team, One Goal, Finishers!”
Several students summed up what they learned from that first race:
- “If I want to do something and I set my mind to it, I can accomplish it.”
- “I need help with things, I can’t do everything alone. I need people to help push me along the way.”
- “Running with my dad showed me that he is willing to do anything to be there for that one moment of crossing the finish line together.”
After they tackle the Little Rock Marathon, Ozarks Teen Challenge will host their own Home of Hope-Family 5K Run/Walk, July 18th 2015 on the Branson Landing. Students, family members, and the community are invited to run together, joining the battle against teen addiction right here in the Ozarks. All funds raised will go towards building a new Home of Hope Dormitory for the boys of Ozarks Teen Challenge.