BOSTON (CBS) -- As a competitive swimmer through high school and college, Kydani Dover knows firsthand the disincline a student can learn through sports.
"It was a lot about balancing my schedule and my tasks throughout the day," Dover recently told WBZ-TV. "Really asking for help when I needed it."
Now, the Boston native is the one providing that help through Boston Scholar Athletes at Excel High School.
"It's important for students to know that there are those opportunities, to really show students that they can do many things, and do them well," she said.
"It's a good place for teachers to keep you in check," said 12th grader Charlene Jean-Lestin. "If you're not someone who scrutinizes your grades, you could slip really easily."
Dover arrived last August, just before Excel was designated a "turnaround" school, downgraded to Level 4 in the state system. It's created uncertainty for both students and staff.
"It's been hard on them just knowing, and not knowing, what's going to happen," she said.
So when the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon for the BSA presented itself, Dover saw it as a way to show her students how much she believes in them.
"For me, supporting students is everything. Students are at the core of what I believe is essential, as far as helping our society grow," she said. "The more support we have for our students, the better off our society and our country is going to be."
"It helped me see there is someone out there who wants to give their time to sit and help you understand there are things you can achieve," said Kymae Henderson-Reed, a senior at Excel.
"It makes me want to up my game," added Jean-Lestin.
This will be Dover's very first marathon.
"I'm really excited. I'm also nervous,"she said with a laugh. "They know that it's something special and they know it's going to be a long run. They're curious how I'm going to finish."
It's the same perspective the teacher has as she prepares her students to take their place in the world.
"Thank you so much for running this marathon, and showing us that you really care about us," said Reed.
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