Blog: 14 May 2015

Thursday, May 14
Because of Pedal for Promise, UrbanPromise is able to provide innovative, experiential education to Camden’s teens.
With over 520 riders participating this year in the Pedal for Promise, we exceeded our goal of 500 riders — but that was only half of the goal. We still need help to reach our fundraising goal of $150,000 dollars.  With $111,225 already raised we need your help to close the gap! 
Those dollars will make a difference in the life of a teen who is growing up in a city rife with difficulties. The good news is that with support, these challenges can be overcome: 100% of our young people graduate from high school and 93% go on to college.
Our high school students will develop math and science skills through wooden boatbuilding and robotics. They will learn about history and government as they explore the nation's capital and Civil War battlegrounds. Ecology and geography will come alive as our youth travel 2,500 miles through Colorado and Utah this summer and visit 5 national parks.
Brandon is one of those young people. There was a time when Brandon couldn’t get off the couch or put his video games away, and going outside to play wasn’t an option for a kid living in Camden.  That all changed when he came to UrbanPromise Academy as a freshman and joined the UrbanTrekkers program.  He is now a junior, and his dad tells me he’s never home.  You won’t find Brandon just hanging out on the streets, although you may find him riding his road bike with the UrbanPromise Academy Elite Team cycling through the city and Cooper River Park. If he’s not on his bike, you might find him in the boat shop crafting a wooden canoe as part of the Advance Build or paddling down the Cooper River leading an ecology paddle for other youth.
Brandon rode the 62-mile metric route this year, but he cramped at mile 50 and couldn’t finish. When I saw him he was feeling really down, “I didn’t finish Mr. C; I couldn’t make it.” He said he rode 50 miles but it was tough going, “I gave it everything I had.” I told him he was amazing: 50 miles was a big deal! He could ride his bike to Camden and almost back to the New Jersey Pines in that distance.  He looked at me in total shock, “It’s really that far?”  He now believed he accomplished something terrific.
We cannot do this work without you!  Whether riding with us on the road or through your donations, your support offers Brandon and all the kids at UrbanPromise the opportunity to get out of the house and experience challenges they never imagined and that will transform their vision of the future that is possible for them.
For those who have already contributed to this event: THANK YOU!  
Did you know you can still support Pedal for Promise?! Making a donation today, gives students like Brandon life changing opportunites. 
Jim Cummings
Director of Experiential Learning at UrbanPromise
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