Everyone is invited to participate in Steps for Students

January 24, 2016

HOUSTON — Steps for Students is a community event that takes place on Saturday, Feb. 20, and is comprised of a 5K Run/Walk (8 a.m.), a Post-Race party (9 a.m.) and the Steps Sunrise Mass (6:30 a.m.) at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown Houston. 

The race brings together all 60 Catholic schools, which are located in the 10 counties of the Archdiocese and serve more than 19,000 students. 
Steps for Students underwriting sponsorships supports tuition assistance, which allows families to give their students the gift of a quality education that will prepare them for the future and it also allows schools to raise funds for needs in their own communities.

One of the great things about the race is that registrants can choose to support a specific school team or the tuition assistance program with their registration fees and pledges collected. These funds go a long way in supporting Catholic education. To Steps for Students Race Co-Chair, Diana Dávila Martínez, "Catholic education is everyone's responsibility and we invite everyone to participate as part of our Archdiocesan family."

Last year more than 11,000 runners participated in the event and even more are expected this year. Steps for Students is a USA Track and Field sanctioned, chip-timed race. The public is invited to participate, even if the participant is not affiliated with a school to run or walk. 

Communities are born from a desire to bring many people, businesses, partners together to serve a common purpose. For 11 years, Steps for Students has become a community created by those who believe in the importance of a transformative education and seek to empower the futures of students in Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. 

Since 2006, some of Houston's professional sports teams have partnered with Steps for Students to promote education and to celebrate the amazing spirit of our Catholic schools and the race. If you have attended Race Day over the last 10 years, you have seen the Astros and the Rockets presence and the excitement they have brought to the Post-Race party. 

This year, we are also excited to welcome Toro and the Texans' cheerleaders to Race Day. An exciting development to come out of this year's race is that during the pre-game festivities for Catholic Family Night with the Astros, on May 6 at 7:30 p.m., there will be a special Steps for Students presentation on-field. The annual Catholic Family Night with the Rockets is March 18 at 7 p.m.

Returning as Title Sponsor this year, Yellow Cab and Taxis Fiesta, top out an impressive group of local businesses that believe in the transformative power of a quality education and have joined the ranks of supporting Steps for Students. 

New to the race this year is Neighbors Emergency Center, who will be the Official Timing Results sponsor for the race. Their emergency care facilities can be found in communities in the greater Houston area. 

Volunteers from across the Archdiocese are vital to the success of the race. Naomi Cooper, Race Director with Fastlane Services, said, "It takes over 200 volunteers working together to prepare for and ensure a safe and smooth race." 

School teams, corporate partners and parish-based groups like the Knights of Columbus Council 7230 Ladies Auxiliary return each year to help. Ladies Auxiliary President Susie Lara said, "In the beginning we felt called to do what was needed and we really enjoyed it. Now in our 10th year, it is even closer to home as our members have school-age children and we see the benefit of the education they receive in Catholic schools, and any opportunity to help, as a village, to shape that education is one we will take."

According to the Steps for Students Steering Committee, there are still volunteer positions available and double service hour points are given to high school and college students who volunteer. To register to volunteer online, visit www.steps4students.org/volunteer

Everyone is invited to become a part of the Steps for Students 5K Run community by:

1. Registering to run or walk in the race.
2. Come out to Race Day and cheer on the runners, and join us for the Steps Sunrise Mass and veneration of the reliquary of St. Anthony of Padua at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Pkwy. in downtown Houston.
3. Sign up to become a Volunteer or Sponsor for the race.