As you would know if you read Day -24 of the blog, one of the main reasons I am undertaking this trip is to raise funds towards an endowed scholarship at UWCSEA.
For those of you so inclined, the website the school is running to coordinate the fundraising is: https://give.funderbolt.com/uwcsea/CO-Cross-Country-Challenge I’m extraordinarily grateful for the progress — we are up to $92,000 in commitments (with a target of $200,000)! Given I am only 1/4 of the way across the US, that feels like tremendous progress to be almost 50% of the way to the goal.
I am deeply passionate about the ideals the UWC movement espouses and the tremendous professionalism and dedication the staff at UWCSEA display in fulfilling those ideals. At this stage we have 102 scholars at the school (we also help fund 8 scholars who attend other UWC schools). These scholars come from 57 different countries. Most will be on a 2-year IB program, but 10-12 will be on programs up to 5 years to reflect their more challenged starting point.
An extraordinary man named Shelby Davis is now providing scholarships worth about $40 million (not a typo) a year to UWC scholars around the world who are able to matriculate about 40 different tertiary education institutions in the US. http://www.davisuwcscholars.org/ What this means is that UWC scholars not only have the opportunity to earn one of the top IB educations in the world, but the possibility that they can also have their college education funded as well. Imagine the transformation in someone’s life trajectory and ability to impact the world if we are able to provide this “break.”
I asked the UWCSEA Foundation to provide some background materials on a scholar; they selected Tintie Ahmed Kone from Burkino Faso. I thought you would enjoy reading the aspirations Tintie Ahmed has for himself following his two years in Singapore at UWCSEA:
As my time in UWCSEA is coming to an end, it is the right time to set myself new challenges and new goals. I will be joining New York University Abu Dhabi. Known for its multicultural community, I intend to carry on my understanding of different cultures there as well as keep on being an ambassador of my country. I truly believe that UWCSEA has given me the tools to adapt in the Middle East while enjoying this new culture, meeting new people and making the most of my time there with great memories.
On a more academic level, I intend to study electrical engineering. I believe that getting an electrical engineering degree will allow to have a stronger impact in my local community back home by giving more access to electricity to local communities in remote areas. Electricity remains a luxury commodity in some areas in Burkina Faso and I cannot wait to give back to these communities. I intend to specialize in renewable energy especially solar energy. Burkina Faso is known to be very sunny throughout the year and I believe that solar panels are the future best alternative for local communities. This is why I really want to be part of this process. UWCSEA has played a huge role in helping me to develop my sense of giving back. When I was joining this school in 2016, I knew I wanted to be part of my country’s development but this will was not that strong.
Through my two years in UWCSEA, I have learned to care more about others and not to standby and watch. I have learned to be more active, to stand for what I believe is right and always take actions no matter the scale. I will always carry such values with me and make sure I apply them. In this way, I will definitely inspire my peers or younger people to always take action for what is right.
Ride Summary: 75 miles, 4160 feet of climbing. Reasonably hard day; a lot of climbing, some headwinds and a relatively treacherous decent on a two-lane road with a lot of trucks and our biggest dread: recreational vehicles (RV’s). Sometimes the shoulder was filled with gravel and almost impossible to ride on (we generally ride on the shoulder, not on the main road). My friend Ole had his 5th flat today.
Song of the Day. I’m falling behind on songs; I think I may need to do this as a batch on rest days. Next rest day is in about 5 days. Keep the suggestions coming in; I have a little file with these. You never know when you’ll win the lottery 🙂