For my Master’s thesis, I want to combine two of my passions together: running and education. Here in L.A. County, there is a program called Students Run L.A. This program is targeted toward at-risk youth and essentially they are challenged to complete one of the ultimate endurance challenges -to run a full marathon. This non-profit organization supplies the youth participants with gear, running coaches, mentors, and a stable factor in their otherwise unstable lives. Once I get my credential, I would love to be a part of this program because I believe it brings nothing but positives to these students. Most of the students who participate not only complete the Los Angeles Marathon, but they also graduate High School and learn that they can accomplish anything they put their minds to.
Essentially, I am tailoring my thesis down to this, at-risk high school students who participate in exercise and team related programs and activities, such as the SRLA program, have a better chance of graduating High School than their peers who do not have this type of outlet in their lives. Some of my main points to support this claim will be that (1) students learn that they can set and achieve any goal they work toward, (2) exercise related activities, such as SRLA, take at-risk students off of the streets and places them with positive role models on a consistent basis, (3) physiology explains that exercise helps reduce stress and tension, which helps the at-risk youth in all aspects of life, including academics, (4) students gain a sense of accomplishment upon completing the marathon, which is once something thought unimaginable, and place higher expectations upon themselves. And so on and so forth.
I know I have a lot of work to do for this still. Right now it is just an idea and I will probably have to make my topic more poignant and expand on every detail, but for now I’m excited to have a topic in mind. I officially start my thesis this summer when I take my Research Methods class. I’m hoping this is a topic that I will get approval on because I’m very passionate about all of the benefits of running.