The Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 16, 2018. Jumpstart is proud to be an official Non-Profit Partner of the John Hancock Marathon Non-Profit Program. The program donates over 1,000 Boston Marathon® bibs to select organizations throughout the community, providing them with a significant fundraising opportunity. This year, we are thrilled that two runners are participating on behalf of Jumpstart: Boston-based Jumpstart Site Manager Kim Monaco, and Sam Lee, a runner from Hong Kong. Kim Monaco has been the Site Manager at Roxbury and Bunker Hill Community Colleges since 2015. Read on below to learn about Kim and click here to read about Sam.
Why are you running the Boston Marathon?
Growing up in New England, Marathon Monday was always an exciting day. When I was in elementary school, both my mom and aunt participated in the Boston Marathon for a few years. My parents are from Natick, one of the towns the marathon runs through. My cousins, sisters, and I would go to my grandmother’s house to watch the race. We would walk down the street and cheer on all the runners. I remember how much fun we had on those days, and from that young age I wanted to run the Boston Marathon. The tradition surrounding the Boston Marathon and the race day atmosphere is so unique and something I knew I wanted to be a part of. When I decided I was going to train for my first full marathon, I knew it had to be Boston!
How long have you been running?
I have been an athlete since I was a kid, but stopped playing organized sports when I began college. Without the benefits of belonging to a sports team, I wanted to stay active and motivated so I decided to sign up for a half marathon in 2011 and fell in love with distance running! Since then, I have completed 8 half marathons and Boston will be my first full marathon. I do my best thinking when I am running. I love being out on the road by myself, letting my mind wander and daydream.
What’s your favorite part about working at Jumpstart?
My favorite part of the Site Manager role is that I get to work with both the children and Corps members. It’s the best of both worlds because I not only have the opportunity to watch the children grow and learn throughout the school year, but I also get to be a part of that same progress in the college students who serve as Corps members. Seeing the Corps members gain confidence and learn how to become effective educators as they complete their term of service is a wonderful transformation to witness.
Why did you decide to run for Jumpstart?
When I decided I wanted to run the Boston Marathon, I wanted to run while supporting a charity’s team and there is something really special about running the Marathon for an organization I am so close to. In running the marathon, I hope to accomplish a lifelong goal of mine while also supporting an organization and mission I care so much about. My whole marathon experience has been more meaningful because I am running for Team Jumpstart. It helps me feel more connected to the organization and gives my tough training runs a purpose. Knowing who I am running for makes the training more enjoyable and the fundraising easier because I think my supporters know how passionate I am about the children and Jumpstart’s mission.
As I train and fundraise, I get to think about the children and Corps members that I get the privilege to work with every day.
How do you see your relationship with the Jumpstart children and Corps members?
I think (and hope) the Corps members see me as a mentor and not just their boss or manager. Many of the Corps members have been at Jumpstart since I began as a Site Manager and we have developed a great relationship over the past few years. I love when they come to me with questions about Jumpstart, but I also really enjoy when they come to ask for advice on their classes or want to share something really positive that happened in their life with me. Additionally, a few of the children we serve have been in the same classrooms for a year or two, so they know me and get excited when I come into the classroom! Whenever someone from Jumpstart comes into the classroom, the children get really excited and it’s so fun to be there to witness their joy and enthusiasm.
What is one thing that you wish everyone knew about Jumpstart?
What children learn and absorb during the preschool years has an impact on their learning and well-being throughout the rest of their lives. I wish everyone knew how important early learning truly is for young children. The work we do at Jumpstart is so important for individuals as well as for our society as a whole.
Jumpstart is all about promoting the importance of reading with young children — do you remember what your favorite book to read was when you were a child?
As a kid, I loved the Madeline series. She was so brave and always went on these thrilling adventures! I had all the books and even had a collection of Madeline dolls.
Jumpstart is thrilled Kim is supporting us in the Marathon this year and we can’t wait to cheer her on at the Boston Marathon on April 16. Good luck, Kim!