2012-10-17 / Front Page

LIC Marathoner Returns To Help

Former Long Island City resident Ryan Light has been selected to run in one of the largest marathons in the world, the New York City Marathon on November 4. Running through five boroughs, Light has mixed emotions about seeing the neighborhood he grew up in, for the first time since he left at age 18.
Raised in a severely dysfunctional family led to trouble concentrating at school. He was labeled mentally deficient and deliberately lived up to the label. Leaving home at 18 with no allies and no intention of ever returning, Light spent his adulthood trying to find meaning and success. He gradually came to realize that education and mentorship really was the key to success in life.
Light credits his eventual turnaround to a friend who became a father figure and mentor. “He loved me, he treated me well, and more importantly, he took an interest in me. I hadn’t had that before,” he says. “He showed me the value of mentorship and of having someone in your life who cares about your life choices.”
Having lost his brother to an overdose a few years ago, Light says, “Organizations like Go for Hope give hope to kids in terrible, impoverished situations, and that’s one less child who turns to drugs.
“Go for Hope is important to me because it provides mentorship to these kids. It partners with organizations in Central America already active in the local communities and developing strong mentors for them. I was one of those kids, and I know it can mean the difference between life and death.
“Long Island City kids needed mentors,” Light said. “Kids across the world are looking for someone to come alongside them.” In honor of Light, Go For Hope has named the Lighthouse Scholarship after him.
Light is currently a senior program manager at Microsoft outside Seattle. His next goal is to join Go For Hope on a trip to Nicaragua to meet the children personally.
To donate to Light’s cause in support of his marathon, visit http://fundly.com/ RyanLightNYCbound. For more information on Go For Hope International, visit www.GoForHope.org.

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