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DREAMer Running Boston Marathon For Free Soccer Program That Serves City's Public Schools

BOSTON (CBS) -- Ever Barrera is a dreamer, in all aspects of the word. At age 14, knowing no English, he came to the U.S. from El Salvador, settling in Chelsea.

A DREAMer child, his mom left him with his grandmother when he was eight.

"She came here to give us a better life. It wasn't very safe. We lost a lot of family members because of violence in the country," said Barrera.

Barrera is a busy man and father. He drives for Lyft and is a full-time staff member for Boston Scores, a soccer program with Boston Public Schools that provides kids with afterschool soccer and enrichment programs.

And now, he is running the Boston Marathon for the Boston Scores team.

"I never had a job like that, you know. I always had labor jobs," Barrera said. "I feel like we come to this world with a purpose and a mission...I think this is my purpose."

Andy Crossly, COO of Boston Scores, said what makes Barrera so good at his job is how well he connects with the kids.

"He relates really well to these kids," Crossly said. "A lot of the kids that we serve are recent arrivals to the United States. So I think he shares a lot of lived experience with our kids."

Barrera began working for Scores as a part-time referee and worked his way up. He says his immigrant experience and love for soccer is why he got involved with Boston Scores.

"A lot of our kids, I want to say like 65 percent, are Latino. They looked at me like 'Oh, he looks like me.' They feel more connected, more comfortable talking to me in Spanish," he said.

This year is the first in nearly a decade that Boston Scores will have a marathon team, and it's the first year Barrera is running.

"He joined our staff two years ago, and when I found out he was going to do the Marathon, it didn't surprise me," Crossley said. "He just keeps adding things to his collection of things he does for the program and the kids."

The team wasn't sure what to expect, but they've surpassed $120,000 in fundraising.

"I didn't know anything about fundraising, and Andy helped me create a plan," Barrera said. "It's not the same thing as asking people like, 'Hey, can I get five bucks for something?' This is different. I feel embarrassed asking my friends. But he's like, 'No don't worry.' So he's been helping me a lot."

Barrera has his eye set on the finish line for a special person.

"First of all, I want to finish. I want to get that medal," Barrera said. "I haven't seen my grandma in 16 years. She's coming in May from El Salvador, and that's one of the things I want to show her."

Noticing all of his accomplishments, Lyft will be highlighting Barrera in a national campaign.

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