OPRF GRAD GOING COAST TO COAST

by: Thomas Vogel (Wednesday Journal Oak Park, IL)

 

Twenty-nine-year-old Frank Chiarelli, a 2007 OPRF grad and Dominican University alum, is about halfway through a 3,100 mile walk from Delaware to California. 

The months-long solo journey, which began on May 1, is Chiarelli's attempt at increasing awareness about social ills in his hometown, Chicago, and raising money to help at-risk youth in the city through job training and mentorship. He's already secured about $4,700 and has another $1,000 in pledges, just about half of his $10,000 goal. That money is earmarked for local social service organizations.

WALKING ACROSS AMERICA: Chicago backpacker with a cause stops in Shawnee to discuss his journey

by: Jennifer Bhargava (Shawnee Dispatch Kansas City, KS)

Frank Chiarelli doesn’t want you to follow in his footsteps.

He wants you to be inspired by them.

The 29-year-old Chicago native has spent the past few months walking across the United States, with no plans to stop until he reaches the coast of northern California.

He started back in May from a small historical town in Delaware and last week, he traveled through Shawnee on his journey west.

His message is simple: if he can walk thousands of miles on foot to raise money for inner-city youth, then certainly other people can take a small chunk out of their time to volunteer for the same cause.

CHICAGO MAN WALKING ACROSS AMERICA MAKES STOP IN SEDALIA

by Ryan Skaith (Newstalk 1050 KSIS Sedalia, MO) 

A 29-year old Chicago man made a stop in Sedalia earlier this week, as part of a nearly 3,100 mile walk across the country, in an effort to raise money and awareness of the drug and gang violence in many inner-city neighborhoods.

Frank Chiarelli began the trek in Delaware on May 1. He planned for 250 days, while estimating he could walk about 15 miles a day, making stops in cities across America to discuss the importance of mentoring kids and getting more people involved in the lives of inner-city youth.

MAN WALKS ACROSS COUNTRY FOR CHICAGO'S YOUTH, VISITS-MID MISSOURI

by Megan Sanchez (KRCG 13 Jefferson City, MO) 

JEFFERSON CITY — Frank Chiarelli has miles to go before he sleeps. He has been walking around 20 miles each day for the past nearly three months, and he's not even halfway done with his journey yet.

The 29-year-old Chicago native decided to start a trek across America in an effort to raise money for inner city youth where he grew up.

Chiarelli said he was tired of hearing friends complain on Facebook or at the bars about the city's issues: crime, violence, and a drug epidemic. He said since he had no background in education or healthcare, he thought the best way he could make a change was to do something big.

CHICAGO MAN MAKES WAY THROUGH TRI-STATE; ON JOURNEY ACROSS U.S.

by Aisha Toliver (WFIE 14 Mt. Carmel, IL)

Chiarelli said he is heading in the right direction now, but it hadn't always been this way. His mother battled alcohol addiction, which he said affected his upbringing.

His life changed after moving in with his father, and he worked with his dad to put himself through school.

Now, he's sold all of his furniture, cashed out his 401K, and on May 1st headed out to fulfill his mission.

"I want to influence others across the country to get involved, I think it's a nationwide problem, young people being exposed to drugs and gang violence coming from broken households," said Chiarelli.

MILES ON A MISSION AND MESSAGE: WALKING FOR AT-RISK CHILDREN EVERYWHERE

by Matthew Crane (DC Free Press Jasper, IN)

Frank Chiarelli’s walk through Dubois County is part of a personal endeavor to raise awareness about a national issue that doesn’t necessarily pass through the fences of our perspectives.

But the Chicago native has lived on both sides of that fence; a fence that separates one child from ending up dead or in jail from the child that succeeds in life.

On Frank’s website, https://www.sevenmillionstrides.com, he gives a glimpse of the moments that led him to decide to walk the 3,100 miles — or 7 million strides — across the United States. He writes that his mother’s addictions led to instability in his home and touches on how it led to her eventual death.

MAN WALKS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, STOPS IN MADISON, TELLS US WHY

by: Jeremy Sage (WKM News Madison, IN)

Jeremy: I'm here with WKM News and I'm out here on Heritage Trail trying to see what people are doing this summer. You seem to be getting some exercise...

Frank: Yes you can say that, I'm actually walking all the way across the country.

Jeremy: Wow, I didn't expect that answer (laughing). So are you talking about the continental United States? What do you mean?

Frank: I'm walking from the state of Delaware to California, just north of San Francisco. I'm from Chicago promoting a fundraising and awareness campaign for at-risk youth. 

Jeremy: Wow that sounds pretty awesome... and your not Forrest Gump right?

Frank: So sir, I'm just walking, although Forrest is an idol of mine.

Jeremy: Well I may not be a smart man, but I'd still like to know more about your cause.

JUST PASSING THROUGH

by Jackie Graves (Bay Weekly Times Annapolis, MD)

Getting the feel of his first pair of shoes five days into a walk across America to raise money and awareness for at-risk youth, Frank Chiarelli passed through Annapolis on May 6.

“It feels like I’ve been doing this for months. That’s how my body feels,” he said of his walk to the Pacific Ocean begun May 1 in the Cape May/Lewes area.