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High school teacher is racing to send more of her students to college

By Paola Suro

BATAVIA, Ohio (WCPO) -- Some of Robin Hornberger's best students at West Clermont High School have two choices when it comes to college, and neither is ideal: Go into debt to afford the next phase of their education or abandon it altogether.

"Our dream is that they can do what they want to do, that they can look at all the professions possible and pick their profession," she said. "But for some kids, it's just too expensive. … They would be having more debt per month than they would be making per month just starting a job."

She wants to help them find a third option: Go to college with enough assistance -- no repayment required -- to make it manageable.

That's why she's training every week and paying registration fees out of her own pocket to run in one marathon for each month of they next three years. She's already got two under her belt.

Hornberger's marathons are a fundraiser and a way for her to draw attention to the difficult situation of economically disadvantaged students who want to better themselves through higher learning.

Two months into 2018, she's raised $5,000. Buy the end of 2021, she hopes it will be $500,000 -- enough to send one West Clermont graduate to college with an $80,000 scholarship in hand for the next six years.

"One kid at a time is slow, but if you look into the future, 20 years down the line, that's a whole classroom of kids that have parents who have gone to college," she said. "That's pretty significant."

Hornberger is running with support from sponsors such as Chipotle, Perfection Gymnastics and the Tri-State Running Company in addition to taking donations from individuals. Anyone wishing to support her mission and see her racing schedule can do so here.

"The vision is that they can be what they want to be, and then their kids will have parents who have been college," she said. "Once you get the first generation in college, it becomes more of a norm. That's what I want for our community."

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