Hey friends -- Jesse here! First things first, thanks for finding your way to my Bike & Build page!! The fact that youíre here already tells me you must be a super rad and swell individual.
To start things off, letís get some quick facts down. Iím 21 years old and am coming at you LIVE from Chicago. Iím originally from San Diego, but Iíve been suuuuper blessed to spend the last 2 years traveling the country and doing some awesome non-profit work with AmeriCorps. So after a year of moving around Colorado with AmeriCorps NCCC, I found myself in Chicago working with the educational nonprofit, City Year. Iíve been here since August 2015, and will be here for the remainder of time building up to Bike & Build!
Bike & Build found me when I was working as a wildland firefighter out of the Pike & San Isabel National Forest. Another AmeriCorps NCCC member told me about this absolutely wild summer she had biking across the country and building homes, and told me that I could do the same thing if I really wanted to. As an already super avid bike rider, and someone very invested in service work, the opportunity to partake in a Bike & Build summer blew my mind. After applying and getting accepted to Bike & Build, I found out that I was assigned to ride the same route as my friend who told me about Bike & Build in the first place -- talk about legacy!!!
So as Iíve been preparing for Bike & Build -- you know, fundraising, biking, getting all my gear AND building up my own excitement and the excitement of my friends & family -- Iíve also been working on the south side of Chicago as a near-peer tutor and mentor. I work with a class of sophomores, aiming to support them in their attendance, behavior, and course performance. A lot of the kiddos I work with come from underserved communities, and consequently have attended underfunded schools their entire lives. This ultimately means theyíve got some major gaps in their learning, and face a lot of challenges in & outside of their school lives, home lives, & communities.
While I was initially inspired to tackle a Bike & Build summer because of the foundation laid for me by the riders & service workers who came before me, my motivations have changed. Now, the students I work with are why I want to bike. Even though Iím their tutor, the lessons these kids teach me every day are priceless. I feel empowered to continue serving to a cause larger than myself because of the resiliency my students demonstrate day in & day out. Even with everything working against these kids -- my students -- they still find a way to persevere. That mentality will be something I carry with me throughout the summer, and for the rest of my life. And my hope is that one day, my students will have overcome everything telling them to give up, and that theyíll be the ones telling me about their crazy, beautiful & fulfilling adventures in service. Imagining that day is all the inspiration I need.
|Jesse has currently raised $4,576.|
That's 102% of her $4,500 fundraising goal.