As 2022 draws to a close and we reflect on the past year and what our Exceeding Expectations kids have accomplished, we can’t help but look further back to 2001 when this program began.
With our first group of 12 kids, not a single one had anyone in his or her family who had graduated from high school. This year, two of our "kids," Josh and Marlene, now young adults, each graduated with Masters degrees. Josh, with his Masters in Music, spent much of 2022 in Europe performing in concerts as a violinist. Marlene used her advanced degree in Social Work to snag her “dream job”, providing rehabilitative care in a prestigious facility in the San Bernardino area.
In 2022, the question of graduating from high school, which was our first goal for the kids in 2001, is simply no longer a question. All Exceeding Expectations kids and their families know that a high school diploma is a given and just the first step towards making a better life for themselves.
We currently have nine kids in college, one of whom, Nancy, will graduate from the University of Redlands in April with a degree in Business. Nancy’s cousin, Johana, is a high school senior this year and will graduate with honors next June. She’s currently in the process of making the decision as to what college she’ll attend.
As you know, we use sports as the vehicle to provide our kids with opportunities and to develop the skills and attitudes they’ll need to do well academically and in life. In the athletic area there have been two exciting accomplishments recently.
Richard Olivares, 13, is one of our finest runners. Last month, he raced in the USA Track & Field Cross Country Championships and qualified to compete in the USATF Junior National Cross Country Championships in Texas later this month.
Best of all, Richard is an excellent student as well.
Three EE members recently competed in the Indian Wells 70.3 (half IRONMAN distance) as a relay team. Archi braved the bitter cold water as the swimmer, Meli biked the 56-mile course and Salvador ran the 13.1-mile course. Meli and Salvador are both EE fathers and volunteers extraordinaire and Archi (UCLA Class of 2018) also donates a great deal of his time volunteering and mentoring the kids. This distance triathlon is a first for the two dads, both of whom have proven to be outstanding athletes and valuable members of our EE family.
A group of family, friends and EE teammates, were there to support Team Exceeding Expectations.
Pizza at the coach's house the night before the race
Archi preparing to enter the frigid, 57o water
Meli at the finish of the 56-mile bike leg
Salvador burning in the last few feet of the 13.1-mile run
As many of you know I competed in the 2022 IRONMAN World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, in October. This year’s NBC documentary of the event featured the Exceeding Expectations kids along with a bit on my 22nd and final World Championship IRONMAN race. It aired in November, and you can see the EE-related pieces of that show plus a little extra on the kids by clicking here.
Over the years, you Exceeding Expectations supporters have been very generous. This has made it possible for us to use training and racing to help develop the kids while still making certain we have the financial means to assure that every EE kid has the opportunity to get a good education that will become a ticket to a better life.
We are very grateful to each of you for the role you play in this.
I never want to overburden you, and at this time am simply asking for EE to be on your list of potential recipients if you are in a position to do any end-of-year giving. Our foundation is a non-profit 501(3)c, which means that your donation is fully tax deductible (Tax ID 20-4227809). If you choose to contribute you can do it by check, made out to “Exceeding Expectations” and sent to:
31855 Date Palm Dr., #3-505
Cathedral City, CA 92234-3105
Or, you can donate securely using PayPal through our website, even if you don’t have a PayPal account.
Another painless way to donate to EE is through Amazon Smile. When you go on the site to shop, simply start at smile.amazon.com and select Exceeding Expectations as your charity. A small portion of what you spend is donated to us, and it costs you nothing at all. And, with the shopping we all do, it adds up. Thank you in advance for remembering Amazon Smile.
Happy Holidays and, as always, many thanks for your support.