As part of my 2014 goals, I wanted to try and connect my endurance athletic training and events with a cause in which I believed. That cause is furthering STEM education in our high school age students.
26 years ago I started high school (jeez, am I really that old?) and the then (and current) CFO pulled me aside when things were a little tough to let me know everything was going to be OK. He didn’t have to do it, and it certainly wasn’t in his job description, but that’s just the kind of guy he was (and still is).
Rob Levin is one of those guys who has touched countless lives. His is the impact to which so many of us aspire. More than anything, Rob made sure to drive a message of belief in one’s self, and staying true to who you are. He was witness to some of my more awkward moments, but he remained a mentor and friend throughout it all.
When I completed my first Ironman in 2005, I had an extra print of my finishing photo printed. I signed it, framed it, and sent it to Rob. Why? To let him know how much I appreciated all of the help he had given me, the confidence he helped build up with in me, and hopefully to be a story starter for the next generation of awkward young men and women who came into his office looking for guidance.
It seemed only natural that I would reach out to Rob when it came time to raise money for a cause. I wanted to figure out a way to give back to my high school, Harvard-Westlake. This is a school that is certainly not without resources, but there are many opportunities to give back. Not every student has it so easy. My brother and I were recipients of financial aid during our time there, raised by a single mother who put herself through law school at night while raising three boys. Be that as it may, the relationships developed over the years with Harvard-Westlake provided me a unique opportunity to develop and guide a giving opportunity for the community which gave me so much.
After a few conversations, Rob and I settled on connecting my entrepreneurial background, business experience, and endurance athleticism with a weekend event that the students of Harvard-Westlake were putting on this year. I committed to raising the money to fund that event. I plan to participate in the event, and hopefully I can impart some wisdom to the participants.
Fundraising Websites – Crowdrise
Starting today and on through my final event of the year on July 27th, I am targeting raising $10,000 for the Startup Scramble weekend event. There is more information in the link below, but this is a pretty awesome event for the students. I hope you will join me in supporting this student-led effort, meant to foster creativity, empowerment, and team work among the student participants.