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Concordia University Chicago

Tenille’s Run in Honor of Dr. Deb Serra

What is my story? It is one of growth and courage. I entered Concordia University Chicago as a broken human being. I didn't know who I was or where I was going in life. I had no idea what I was capable of, and I was afraid to face the world on my own.

My first semester at Concordia, I took 'Freedom and Responsibiity' with Dr. Deb Serra who assigned service learning to enhance our education. My project was a water station somewhere in the middle of the 2007 Chicago Marathon. I remember that historic race as hot, humid, and incredibly inspiring. I witnessed remarkable determination required to endure such a grueling experience. I witnessed participants of all ages and abilities. Overcome with emotion, I wished deep in my heart that I had what it takes to finish the marathon myself.

Over the next few years, my relationship with and respect for Dr. Serra deepened. She challenged me to rise above my own expectations. She had an uncanny ability to make students feel accepted, embracing them right where they were while daring them to rise to their potential. Dr. Serra embodied Concordia's mission, goals, and heart for its students.

Last fall Dr. Serra was taken from us, and this October I will run in her memory. I run to honor a woman who changed many lives. I run to support a mission Dr. Serra believed in, a university that exists to transform people. I run because Dr. Serra, along with her fellow faculty and staff at Concordia, encouraged me to pursue my dreams, equipped me with the attitude and abilitites to do so, and continues to do the same for every student today. I run for everything I believed was impossible including broken dreams restored through the grace of God. I run for those who believe they can't, with hope that someday they find the strength and courage. I run because without the help from God, Dr. Serra, and the entire Concordia community, I wouldn't be who I am today.

Will you join the next chapter of my story?

Simply click on the 'Donate Now' button on the right. Proceeds will be directed to the refurbishment of the new Health and Wellness Center on campus. I chose to support this project on campus because I want to see more resources for health and wellness made available to CUC's students.

Follow my training progress on Twitter: @CucTenille13

Our Supporters

  • 1

    Paige Craig

    $10
    Thanks for taking this challenge for all Cougars - past, present and future!
  • 2

    Anonymous

    $150
  • 3

    Susan E McPherson

    $50
    So proud of you Tenille! God bless as you strive to reach this goal for Him!
  • 4

    mario serra

    $100
    Good luck and run well.
  • 5

    Lee Brenner

    $25
    Best Wishes and have fun Tenille. Thanks for honoring Deb's memory.
  • 6

    Janice Edwards

    $50
    Tenille, we love you and are behind you all the way. Gramps & Gram
  • 7

    Kari & Joe Conroy

    $100
    Way to gooooo, sis! Enjoy the run!
  • 8

    Anonymous

    $15