Hello, Everyone:

We’re well into 2023 and the Exceeding Expectations kids continue to thrive. Hard to believe it was 22 years ago that this rewarding journey began. Just recently, I had a walk down memory lane which reminded me that we have a long journey ahead – many more kids to help exceed expectations.

I returned to Cypress Elementary School where I first spoke to a group of kids in December, 2000. At that time, I spoke to them about setting goals, working hard on those goals and how good it feels to accomplish a big goal. In March, 2023, I again spoke about goals, but this time I had two EE members to speak alongside me.


Fernando Alvarez, a 10-year-old Cypress 5th grader, spoke of his and his family’s experience with EE and taught his classmates the Exceeding Expectations team motto: Never, ever, ever give up. Here, his younger cousin, Edgar, gets in a word for EE also.


Marlene Samano is a very early EE member who was in the talk I gave 22 years ago. Marlene is now 29 years old and a UCSD graduate and Master’s degree recipient. She gave a powerful talk about being just like each of them when she was younger and how her good education has improved her life and the life of her family. She encouraged them to do the very same.

The kids listened carefully. Little 9-year-old Mia wasted no time in setting her goals.

Click for video of Mia


We’ve recently added seven new middle school kids and six elementary school kids from Cypress to our EE roster. It’ll be fun watching them thrive and succeed.

We continue to race, even while contending with the “atmospheric river” weather conditions California has been dealing with. In late February we braved wet, windy conditions and took part in the Run for Ukrainian Refugees 5K. It was a rather small field, due to the weather, but our kids took over the podium  in nearly every age group.


Next on the schedule was the Run for Ike 5K, where, with a larger field, the EE kids still ruled the podium!


We kicked off our Summer Run/Bike training program, which we use each year to select the group that gets to go to San Diego in October to participate in the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) "Best Day in Tri" event. We used the gathering to make several announcements:

Ahris was recently awarded the season MVP award by his soccer team. This award not only recognizes his obvious athletic ability, but his skill at being a team member – bringing the best out in his teammates and helping them win.


Nancy Alvarez will graduate from the University of Redlands this month with a degree in Business – our first EE member to graduate in less than 4 years! She’s now in the process of interviewing for her first real job. Her cousin, Johana, is graduating with honors in June and will be off to college in September.


Kevin is in the 7th grade, so has a few years before he heads off the college. Reese is a devoted EE volunteer who has bonded with Kevin over the years. Having Reese alongside always brings out the best  in Kevin and he’s beginning to get more engaged and set tougher goals. Reese used this opportunity to present Kevin with a $1,000 scholarship, which is the start of Kevin’s college fund. For a kid like Kevin, who suffers from low expectations of him at home, Reese’s investment in him tells him that Reese and all of EE have academic expectations for him and that Kevin has our full support – academically and on the race course.



As you know, this program is a small, grass-roots operation where we try to meet the needs of each kid when and how they need it – financially and otherwise. Over the 22 years, we’ve learned that, when the kids know there are others who care and expect great things of them, it can be a game-changer.

Your investment in our kids is the support that makes this work. I speak for all of Exceeding Expectations when I say Thank You for all you’ve done for EE over the last 22 years. And I look forward to having you along on the journey in the years ahead.