View from QCA: Arrowhead teens on the run — Good!
By Nicholas Cunningham
Take Two Miles and Call Me in the Morning
just a few months ago, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, that a neighbor to
Arrowhead Ranch, called to report that a bunch of residents were on the
She was right, but what she was not aware of was that the teens
weren’t running from the program, they were actually training for an upcoming 5K
If you are from the Quad-Cities, you are probably very familiar
with Arrowhead Ranch. For over 60 years, it has provided help to at-risk
teenagers who are at very critical crossroads in their lives.
Arrowhead has gotten involved in local races such as the Crimestopper’s 5K and
the Run for Viva 5K and has had tremendous success. In addition to being a
writer, I am also a counselor at Arrowhead and have helped incorporate running
into their treatment program.
At first, convincing residents that a
three-mile run would make them feel better was very difficult. But as we started
running and they learned that they could go at their own pace and set personal
goals for themselves, their interest peaked.
Some, who couldn’t run for
two minutes straight just a few months ago, are now completing two- to
One particular resident, Jeremiah, 15, was a little
hesitant to go on the runs at the beginning but is now one of the stronger
runners. “It definitely works with my treatment because when I am mad, I can go
run and it clears my mind.” said Jeremiah. “Even if you don’t like to run, you
can still help out and volunteer at the event.”
The support from the
community is always overwhelming and for the races it was no different.
Recently, Charles Cervantes, president of Viva Quad Cities had a strong message
for the residents. “Everyone makes mistakes,” said Cervantes. “It’s what you do
afterwards that defines us.”
As cooler weather comes into the area, you
can find the residents at Arrowhead training for their third run of the year,
the Lagomarcino’s Cocoa Beano 5K on October 29th in downtown Moline. While the
residents lace up their shoes to go for a run, they will not just be running
towards the finish line but running towards a new way of
Nicholas Cunningham of Moline, IL is a counselor at
Arrowhead and a writer for Hola America English & Spanish Newspaper.