STJ Graduate Students Runs for Children’s Charity

St. John’s student Sean McGrath will be running in the 2010 New York City Marathon on November 7 to raise money for Team For Kids, a charity dedicated to fighting childhood obesity.

McGrath, who earned his bachelor’s degree in History last spring and is currently completing a master’s degree in education, says that Team For Kids means a lot to him because working with children is a big part of his life.

“I have spent the past 6 summers working at 4-H Camp Overlook in Franklin County and it is always the highlight of my year,” said McGrath. “I am also planning on becoming a high school Social Studies teacher.”

McGrath’s passion for running and working with the youth is the reason why Team For Kids is so important to him, which he says provides children with fitness and character-building programs throughout the United States and South Africa.

In addition to raising money, the runner is keen to also raise awareness, reminding people that obesity related illnesses are of the leading causes of death in the United States every year.

“In order to fix this,” said McGrath, “we need to instill a sense of value for physical fitness and healthy eating in today’s youth. That is why I run.”

Running 26.2 miles won’t be a new experience for McGrath either, as he ran the Long Island Marathon in 2009. He notes that running is not just a way for him to help Team For Kids, it’s a crucial part of his life.

“Running always keeps me centered. It’s what makes a bad day a good one and what makes a good day a great one,” said McGrath.

“There’s a peacefulness that comes over you when you go out for a 2 or 3 hour long run. When I am out there running, nothing else matters.”

And while running adds a lot to McGrath’s daily life, he says that training for and running in a marathon reminds him that he can accomplish whatever he wants in life.

“All I have to do is take things a step at a time and keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

Sean will be around campus in the coming weeks fundraising for his cause. Donations can also be made on his Web page at www.runwithtfk.org.