Saturday, July 6, 2013

Presentation in the Sacramento Rose Gardens

Sacramento - July 2nd

Today, I met with a group of students in the Sacramento rose gardens. A group of catholic high-school girls arrived in a small white van and everyone was wearing black. I jokingly asked them if they were coming from a funeral, but they explained that they were all attending a black dress birthday dinner after our meeting. I went on to deliver a brief presentation on Support My School and my cycling journey to spread awareness for the campaign. I explained the purpose of Support My School, and then discussed how I was inspired by the campaign and took up cycling as my way to contribute to this educational initiative. The school-girls where shocked by my story and could not believe that I planned to cycle from San Francisco to Cincinnati with such little experience. I explained to them that this journey would not be possible without dedication and a collective effort. I have been training for months and I have also utilized the assistance and knowledge of many individuals who came together to make this journey possible. I worked with fellow students and a cycling coach at Xavier University to get in tip-top physical shape. I met with countless bicycle shops to learn about bicycle maintenance and to find the best routs to travel on. I also collaborated with Coca-Cola India to develop a presentation and schedule public speaking engagements. Similar to they way that many individuals came together in preparation for my cycling journey it also takes a collective effort to improve educational standards in India. Support My School helps to build schools, construct bathrooms, and provide other basic amenities, but the campaign is successful because of the way it inspires community involvement. In order to insure that there is sustainable improvement Support My School utilizes a network of local NGO's and charities that are familiar with the local communities  that they enter. Then through a grassroots effort they bring a community together to support education initiatives and provide sustainable improvements. The discussion with the school-girls in Sacramento stressed the importance of a collective effort and we discussed the endless opportunities that can be developed when individuals work together.