We meet so many extraordinary people each year. Victoria is definitely one of those people. Victoria is a high school student in a suburb near Philadelphia who volunteered at our recent iCan Bike camp in Philadelphia, PA. She was so inspired by her experience that she decided to go-it-alone in hosting an iCan Bike camp in 2014! Here is Victoria’s story in her own words:
“I started out like most volunteers… I saw flyers for volunteers around my school and decided to sign up for some volunteer hours. My purpose for continuing with the camp completely changed after my first day working with the kids. I was inspired because, despite their disabilities, they were all determined to push themselves and learn to ride a bike.
I was assigned to be the spotter for a boy who was learning at a slower rate than the other riders. When I first started working with him, he was pretty far behind the others. He was at times stubborn, impatient, but stilled pushed himself to make his mom proud. Seeing the look on his face as he ran to his mom after every 10 laps was so rewarding. I knew how good he must have felt and that he was slowly making his way to an achievement that he could enjoy for the rest of his life. I was really hopeful that he would be able to master the 2-wheeler by the end of the week.
On Wednesday, ‘launch day’ where iCan Bike staff officially start transitioning riders onto two wheels, he wasn’t ready for the 2-wheeler. By Thursday he was still struggling and was still riding the roller bikes indoors. He was having troubles keeping balance and maintaining focus but was slowly making progress. Then Friday arrived and he exceeded everyone’s expectations! He joined everyone else outside and was able to bike on his own, with just the help of a push to get him going. His mom was proud of him, I was proud of him, and he was proud of himself.
Looking back, on the first day I worked with him, I had doubts that he would be able to achieve such a feat in just 5 days. On that last day, however, I couldn’t have expected anything better. I realized that anyone could, and should, enjoy that feeling of achievement when they finally learn to ride a bike.
I didn’t want to stop at helping just one rider. I wanted to help as many kids as I could enjoy that experience. I also wanted as many volunteers as possible to feel what I felt, when I realized the difference I had made in someone’s life. So I decided to host my own iCan Bike camp in August 2014. It’s not going to be easy, but by the end, it’ll be worth it. Even if just one person walks away as inspired as I was from my experience, it could create a ripple effect that can change so many lives for the better. Even without the ripple effect, 40 kids will have a new skill that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives!”
Victoria, we thank you for being so inspirational and are thrilled your experience was so profound that it motivated you to take on the huge responsibility of becoming the youngest iCan Bike host in our history! Our hats are off to you.
Do you know an amazing volunteer with a story to share?
If so, please forward it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org