I am Birmania Tavarez, a Dominican girl that came to this country at the age of 20 with a lots of hopes and dreams.
When I first arrived, I began my education in the United States by studying fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Many doubted that I will not even get admitted because of the language barrier yet despite all the negativity, I was able to achieve that goal.
My life has been filled with many ups and downs; and more downs than ups. Past bullying, hardships, and even a loss of my first business have pushed me to be stronger than the girl that first arrived almost twenty years ago.
One rule I have learned is that failures are placed in our path to help us achieve goals. Recently, I have set in mind to complete the NYC Marathon. With the help from Coach Kenya, Metro Plus Health Plan, and I heart radio media. I plan to keep improving myself and to let the world know that despite circumstances, your past, and failures, you can achieve anything you want to in life. And this race will be dedicated to my son letting him know that dedication does pay off.
Katherine Al Rashdan has always struggled with her weight but after the birth of her son in February 2018 she ballooned up to 267 lbs. Finally in March 2019 she began a weight loss journey that has so far resulted in her shedding more than 40 lbs! The NYC Marathon is a welcomed next step in her weight loss journey and she thanks Coach Kenya, IHeart and Metro Plus for putting together such a healthy and life-changing prize package. She lives with her husband and two kids in Long Island, New York. Please follow her on her weight loss journey on Instagram and YouTube @NYCMarathonMama.
My name is Arely Fernandez. I was born in Manhattan and my parents moved to Queens shortly after. I am the mother of two amazing kids Jayla and Julian. I am so lucky to have my loving and supportive husband Juan. I have an amazing and supportive mom and dad. My siblings are the best, so supportive. Family means everything to us ,we are so close.
I have been an elementary school teacher for the past 18 years for the Department of Education. I love teaching I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. Teaching is my passion.
On my free time I love to spend time with my family, read books, and run. I have been running for fun for the past five years on and off. I have always had the thought in my mind of running the New York Marathon one day. I was scared and I thought I couldn’t do it , I used to say to myself I am not a professional runner. My brother Juan ran The Chicago Marathon last year, currently he is training for the Philly Marathon , and he is already signed up to run The New York City Marathon 2020.
Now thanks to God I have been gifted with the opportunity of running the New York Marathon. I am so grateful for having this opportunity. I have been running more and following running tips from my brother who is an avid runner. I am so happy that now I get to make time out for running which makes me feel good.
My family is truly my driving force. I think about them when I am doing long runs and start to feel like I want to give up, they keep me going. My Mom and Dad help to watch my kids so that I can go out to run. I pray to God that I can be strong enough to finish the New York City Marathon. My kids Jayla and Julian are my biggest motivation to complete the New York City Marathon. I want them to see anything is possible if you work hard.
I want to thank God, my supportive family, my best friend Grace for making this happen, thank you Power 105.1, MetroPlus, Za’ Mani Davis and Kenya Gipson , you are an amazing person.