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I began this amazing journey like many others in Sole Train, a little nervous and brand new to running. I knew that the young man I was paired with (I'll call him Jackson) had never run either and even though his demeanor showed how “confident” he was, I had some insight into his deeper feelings. As a Site Support Specialist with Roxbury Youthworks Inc., I had worked alongside the Department of Youth Services and come to know Jackson quite well, allowing me to tell that underneath his supposed confidence were nerves. However, after our first “short” 2 mile run, both of us were hooked. It didn't take long for Jackson to realize how much of a talented runner he is and he embraced his new found talent like a true athlete, with dignity and a humbling respect. Over the next several weeks we would both take part in an incredible journey of personal growth and teamwork.
By partnering with the Department of Youth Services, Sole Train has been able to help youth accomplish goals they never thought were possible. Running taught Jackson not only how to run better, but it also taught him how to communicate openly about his accomplishments and how to acknowledge other people's accomplishments as well. Sole Train gave him a confidence that was genuine and well deserved. Jackson had never been part of something so special and Sole Train helped him feel connected to his community on a deeper level. I know that he will never forget the impact Sole Train has had on his life.
-Nick Zinni, Sole Train mentor
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