Meet Marathon Scholars: GB’s 2014 Grant Winner

Our GB grant program allows us to work with really cool organizations we wouldn’t get to work with otherwise: killer nonprofits with basically no marketing budgets. We always seem to have the (very) good fortune of selecting grant winners who are passionate about who they’re helping and who love great creative work. It’s consistently been a match made in advertising heaven.

This year is no exception. For 2014 grant winner Marathon Scholars, our 7th grant winner so far, we’ve created a way to tell their story that is unique, touching, and gets right to the heart of why they deserve your attention. Their challenge is very few people knew they exist, so our job is to create a much higher level of visibility for their mentoring and scholarship program.

Some quick background on Marathon Scholars: it’s a comprehensive college-completion program that pairs low-income students – or “scholars” – with adult mentors, who stick with these kids as they make their journey toward a college degree. Mentorship is just one part of the program, which also provides direct support services and scholarships that give students the full support they need to turn their higher education dreams into a reality.

Sounds amazing, right? What’s even more amazing are the very unique, special relationships these mentors and scholars form over the years. We thought to ourselves: how do we get to the heart of those relationships so Portlanders get it? How do we make sure they get that without mentorship and help, these kids wouldn’t reach their full potential?

That’s when Listen In was born. Inspired by Story Corps and launched earlier in 2015, Listen In allows the world to do just that – listen in on conversations between scholars and their mentors, who have forged a bond that will help the former stay on track in their journey toward a college degree, and provide an incredible, life-changing experience for the latter. 


There’s no video to distract; just voices, telling their story. It’s the kind of experience that inspires you to close your eyes and just…listen.

This summer, the very first class of Marathon scholars prepares to graduate from college after joining the program as third graders. Listen In is a celebration of that incredible journey, and will help to celebrate every graduating class to come.

We’ll begin talking to local media about the Listen In project and the first graduating class in June. We’ll also start sharing stories through some radio advertising, so keep your ears open and check out this wonderful organization. Maybe it will inspire you the way it’s inspired us.

Post Date
April 27, 2015
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