January, 2024


As many of you know, Exceeding Expectations was created 23 years ago with 12 kids in San Bernardino, California. Of this group of kids, not a single one had anybody in their family who had graduated from high school. The expectations for these kids certainly did not include getting an education.


Because we firmly believe that a good education will provide opportunities to succeed throughout one’s life, the goal of our Exceeding Expectations program is to get every kid graduated from high school and college. We use the sport of triathlon and running as a vehicle to accomplishing that goal. A commitment to athletics requires goal-setting, focus and grit, which are the same characteristics that are required in getting a good education and living a productive life.


The commitment I make to every EE member is this:

Your job is to do well in school, graduate from high school, find the college or educational program that best fits you and graduate with a degree. EE’s job is to support you in any way you need and to make sure that money is never an issue for you in getting your education.


It took some time for the kids and their families to believe that this was possible and that we were committed to them for the long-haul. As some of our early members grew up, graduated from high school and college, their success proved, to all those coming behind them, that it was, indeed, possible – if they were willing to work for it – and that our commitment to them was strong and lasting.


We recently gathered for our annual Awards and Scholarship party where we celebrate accomplishments and reward achievement. Today, every EE member and family clearly has expectations that far exceed those of our first 12 members.


Enjoy the story these pictures tell of our 2023 celebration.



We kicked things off by bringing up Exceeding Expectation's co-founder,
Cypress Elementary teacher Jacque Irons.



The party was catered by EE's own Salvador Olivares, father of team members
Richard and Jose, and one of our most valued volunteers.
Everything was made from scratch…the best Mexican food I've ever had!



Nothing motivates the kids more than seeing "those who have gone before."
Everyone EE member in this photo (except the two littlest!) has either
graduated from college, is there now, or is entering next year.



Every year, we're able to recognize more and more parents who get deeply involved.
This is just a small sample.



Family is everything to this program. Here with their parents are
Nancy and Fernanda, and below them, Robert and Mia with theirs.




Damian (8) and Johnny (11) proudly displaying their awards as
"Outstanding Scholar/Athletes."



Johana Alvarez (UC Merced Class of '27) received a scholarship from
the Goldie Sirota Family Trust.
Goldie was our good friend Molly Thorpe's mother.



The McFarland Family is a long-time supporter of Nancy, Fernanda and Marlene.
(We're hopeful they'll be able to afford new pants soon.)



Kevin's mentor Reese presents him with a check we'll be holding in
anticipation of college expenses.



Nik Keller, one of EE's great success stories, presents "Keller's Kids Scholarships"
to Eduardo, Johana, Karen, Fernanda and Yoselin.
Thanks for paying it forward, Nik!



Airlen Franco, seen here with her dad, received the
"Comeback Scholar" award for returning to college
after a long (successful!) battle with a serious medical condition.



After donating an Orbea racing bike to Arian, Derek Stadie and Cat Ogle
followed through by investing in his college career as well.



Our donors make it all possible, and we love it when they're able to
meet the kids up close and personal. We were thrilled that
EE “investors” Brenda and Paul Lilly were able to make the party.

When Cherie thanked them for their gift, Brenda took the mic and said to the kids:
"You're the gift in our lives!"


Volunteers, the lifeblood of EE, were represented by
Jacque, Isi, Archi, Salvador, Meli, Veronica, Carmen and Reese.



What's a party without cake? Jacque and Carmen cut it up!




In the early days when I made my commitment to the kids, my heart always skipped a few beats when I came to the part about “Money will never be an issue.” At the time, I wasn’t sure how we were going to make that happen. But I quickly learned that you generous supporters believe, as we do: If we can help turn around the life of even one of these kids, we all win.


My commitment to you is that we will always work hard to make certain your investment in Exceeding Expectations provides meaningful, life-changing results.


Thank you for believing in us. Happy 2024.