Steps For Students offers opportunities for support

January 14, 2014

HOUSTON — Preparations continue for the upcoming Steps for Students 5K Run, now in its ninth year. 

This year’s race, set for Feb. 15, will be chip-timed for the first time ever and features a single-loop course starting in downtown Houston beside the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and the Chancery, 1700 San Jacinto St.

Presented by Yellow Cab and Taxis Fiesta and chaired by Diana Dávila Martínez and Román Martínez, the event is an Archdiocese-wide race where all school and parish communities come together to support Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. 

The goal is to raise awareness and support for our network of Catholic schools and Catholic education as a whole. 

Román Martínez, president and chief executive officer of Texas Taxis, the parent company of both Yellow Cab and Taxis Fiesta, said there are many ways people can support Steps for Students that do not include running.

“You can pledge an amount to our underwriting campaign,” he said. “We have categories ranging from $500, $1,000, $1,500 all the way to $10,000.”

He said sponsors get many opportunities to showcase their support, from appearing on the official Web site, be listed in more than 10,000 t-shirts and brochures, and signage on race day. 

“But, more importantly, all of our underwriting funds help support tuition assistance for children who want to receive a Catholic education,” he said. 

People can also contribute directly through the website,, to any of the 60 teams that represent all of the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese who will be participating on race day. 

“All funds raised by each particular school go back directly to those schools to help them with their needs,” Román Martínez said. “Schools have purchased smart boards, or provided scholarships with their funds.”

Román Martínez, a former student of both St. Theresa Elementary and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, is proud that this is the company’s fourth year of being the presenting sponsors for Steps for Students.

“I would not have been able to (attend Catholic schools) without scholarship assistance. I now want to do whatever I can to help others have that opportunity,” he said. “Moreover, I owe my success in life to the foundation I received at those great Catholic schools that my parents sacrificed to help me attend. This is my way to say thank you to them.”

Another way to support is to cheer on the participants on race day.

“Last year we had a beautiful day at the cathedral when we had close to 10,000 participants,” Román Martínez.

The event will start with Mass at 6:30 a.m. at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Pkwy. in downtown Houston, then move on to the Catholic School Village where all will congregate for fellowship before the race. Then Daniel Cardinal DiNardo will bless everyone present as the race begins at 8 a.m.

This year’s event will again include the Kid Zone, sponsored by St. Anne Catholic School Parents and Teachers. Christie Billings, member of the Steps for Students organizational committee, said she is proud the school has been able to sponsor the kids area for six years.

“We will have activities for kids of all ages,” Billings said. “The area will have a golf putting green, a basketball hoop, Plinko, bean bag toss, rink toss, a spinning wheel and even hoola hoops and ‘skip its.’”

Online registration is already underway and will remain open until 11 p.m. on Jan. 30. Visit to register and learn more about the race, or “Like” their Facebook page at