Paying Student Loans Through Sweat
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) After graduating from Temple University in 2012, Jason Kasher found himself on a single-minded mission to eliminate his student loans.
Determined to pay off the remaining $30,000, Kasher, 23, quit his job working as an operations manager at a central Pennsylvania-based logistics firm and embarked on a new endeavor. He launched his project, paidtorun.com, and aims to run through the U.S. with sponsorship from local companies and individuals. Kasher plans to run 1,000 miles total between this month and March 3, 2014 and will wear any T-shirts or other attire that a company sends him with their logos and branding.
Even though he worked throughout his four years at Temple, he found himself with $36,000 in student loans after graduation. During his tenure at the logistics firm, he managed to knock down the debt by $6,000, but Kasher started to rethink his career goals and sought to seek a different challenge.
The concept came to fruition after he looked at prices for an airline ticket to visit family in Florida one day and saw the prices increase by $100 overnight. Although it was not feasible, Kasher comically explored the option of running to Florida from Pennsylvania instead. The idea to run 1,000 miles and pay off his student loans was born.
Although the Reading, Penn. native was an avid runner previously and hit the pavement four times a week on average, Kasher had let his running slide for the past 18 months.
"I had a passion for getting back to running," he said. "I always wanted to get back into jogging and I could tie both running and paying off my loans together."
Kasher began training in April and ramped up his training in June by adding strength training and running four to five miles up to three times a week and running at least six miles once or twice a week.
Getting back into running was not difficult even though Kasher was a "little bit stiff."
Kasher readjusted quickly and was determined to stick to his goal so he could pay off his student loans within the next year.
"After awhile you get used to it and I fell back into line pretty quickly," he said. "I was very confident that I wanted to do this."
His first run was on September 1 in Atlanta, where he was sponsored by a family intrigued by his idea. Running six miles daily, the first week went by smoothly with a small restaurant, a blue grass band and even a martial arts studio sponsoring him. Kasher initially asked his sponsors to donate $1 per mile and increased it by a $1 each day as he received more followers and attention.