Christian began running marathons in 2005, when he was a senior in high school. “I actually started running but found that I just needed a challenge.” And he hasn’t stopped running since. On the ocasions when he didn’t have someone to train with him, Christian would run in place in his garage. “Once you start thinking ‘I can’t make it, or I’m not good enough or smart enough,’ then you stop achieving your goals,” he says.
Christian has faced many challenges in his life, including blindness, poverty, losing his brother to murder and overcoming academic roadblocks, but nonetheless he has excelled, first earning his associate degree in 2008 from Marymount College and then his bachelor’s degree from the University of Santa Cruz.
Today he works in development at the Fulfillment Fund, an organization that helps economically disadvantaged students graduate from high school, earn a college degree and become productive members of society. Christian was the first Fulfillment Fund student enrolled at Marymount. Today many students from the organization are pursuing their degree at the College. “The motivation that came from the Fulfillment Fund is what has pushed me to succeed,” he says.
Christian is planning to attend graduate school and is considering a career in higher education administration — and he has no plans to stop running marathons. “The worst disability people can have is the one they have in their mind once they decide they can’t accomplish something,” he says.