Hello! My name is Kelsey McComas! Originally from Ashland, KY, I am a 21 year-old senior studying biology and art history at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY. Science has always been a main interest of mine; as a child I always believed that I would grow up to be a marine biologist. Now that I am a bit older, my post-graduation plan has changed from marine biology to pharmacy school. My goal is to apply to the University of Kentucky’s College of Pharmacy for the fall of 2013, after my amazing summer with Bike & Build!
I have traveled overseas to Greece, Italy and the Philippines as well as locally to many places in the U.S. Besides traveling, I enjoy taking walks in downtown Lexington, KY (one of my favorite cities, although I may be a bit bias), experimenting with different foods, as well as making ceramic pottery. This past year, in my ceramics class, I have really developed my artistic side. My most recent final project was a series of dings, which are ancient Chinese ritual food vessels from the Shang Dynasty period.
During high school I was actively involved in my community, volunteering for four years at the Community Hospice as well as various school-related service opportunities. Entering into college, my volunteerism grew through my initiation into Phi Mu Fraternity, whose main philanthropy is Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH). We work with our local CMNH affiliate UK Children’s Hospital closely and donate about 8,000 dollars for CMNH annually. As well as participating in numerous philanthropy events on campus and through Phi Mu, I spent the summer of 2010 volunteering at the Hospice Care Center in my hometown. There I acted as a receptionist, visitor-patient liaison and took the magazine cart around daily to the patient’s rooms.
I first heard about Bike & Build from a past participant of the program. My sister and I actually met up with him on his Northern Route in 2009 when they stopped in Chicago for a day. Although it was not something that I thought would be in my immediate future then I was in awe of what he was doing, hoping that one day I could be that spontaneous and daring- and this is what I am most nervous about going into Bike & Build, as I have never undertaken such a huge time and energy commitment before. However, this is also what I am most excited about: testing my limits and myself. I am also looking forward to the actual bike ride itself, being able to see the continental U.S. first-hand. The furthest west I have been is Bozeman, Montana, and the view out west is completely different than my hometown in Appalachia.
The issue of affordable housing availability is one that I am able to witness first-hand in my community. The idea that housing should be affordable and easily accessible within the area in which you live seems obvious to me. Despite this fact, the city of Lexington has reported that one-third of residents are using 30 percent or more of their monthly income to sustain living spaces. In North of Center, a local newspaper, it was reported that there exists plenty of vacant properties downtown that are not being utilized properly. These spaces could be re-inhabited to meet demands in Lexington for affordable housing. Through my participation in Bike & Build I am hoping to bring awareness to my city.
I am in a transitional stage in my life right now where I am graduating from college and entering the real world. The way I see it, I only have a short while until I will not have enough flexibility in my schedule to take on such a life-changing adventure. This is why now is the perfect time for me to participate in Bike & Build!
|Kelsey has currently raised $4,725.|
That's 105% of her $4,500 fundraising goal.