Why I Walk: Cori Swanhart '19

August 18, 2016.   Myself and 40 peers sat on the cold floor of the Lower Abbey Church as we prepared to embark on our Road for Hope journey together.  We were asked to explore the question I am excited to write about.  Why do you choose to walk Road for Hope?  The student leaders asked us to write why or who we were walking for on a popsicle stick.  People jotted down answers rather quickly as I sat there clueless about what my answer was. I tried to “dig deep” and come up with some intricate, powerful answer, but was unsure what I’d gotten myself into. 

cori faith rfhAs the days and miles passed, accompanied by many laughs and tears along the way, I still struggled to find an answer to what seemed to be a simple question.  Why do you walk Road for Hope? I knew I was walking for the 8 local charities, the phenomenal work they do, and the vulnerable people they help. I knew I was walking to raise awareness about the importance of paying it forward.  But, I also knew there was more to it than that.  It wasn’t until I crossed Saint Anselm Drive and returned home to the Hilltop that I realized I was walking to become a better version of myself. 

I like to think the majority of human beings strive to help create a kinder, more peaceful world.  I like to think I am one of those people.  This at times is a challenge.  Road for Hope has taught me that in order to create a kinder world, I have to create a kinder world inside myself first. I must strive to become a better version of myself.  The growth Road for Hope gifted me has allowed me to offer a fiercer compassion to others.  My first 130-mile journey was extraordinary.  I know there is still so much more to give, and more to gain, from this program.  I cannot wait to begin my next 130-mile adventure!

  • Deborah Lavoie

    Beautiful Cori – made me tear up. Best to you and Ashley Cryer (my niece)