Pedal for Promise

Elite Team

I’ve got a confession to make—mea culpa!—I didn’t think Marissa could do it.

When the UrbanPromise Academy junior joined the high school’s Elite Cycling Team—which included a 12-week intensive training regimen—I had my doubts. Before you call me a cynic, though, let me add that I think the world of Marissa and have always enjoyed her sassy and spunky personality. I’ve known her since her middle school days at our CamdenForward School where she participated in an UrbanTrekker after-school program. Elite
Marissa is an outgoing, vivacious young woman—there’s no question about it. But the Elite Team’s early morning practices, three-month commitment, and 50-mile goal made me doubt she would make it to the end.

But she proved me wrong! With tears of joy in her eyes, surrounded by a cheering section of friends and family, Marissa crossed the finish line and exclaimed, “I did it!”

She accomplished what I never imagined: She completed the Pedal for Promise and our seemingly endless weeks of training, and she did it with a determination and drive that impressed all those who rode along with her. I joined in her celebration after crossing the finish line—a few minutes after she had already arrived.

With 300 riders, a fundraising total of $57,000—and counting!—for experiential learning programs, and a group of young people feeling an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment, the event was undoubtedly a success.

Jim Cummings
Director of Experiential Learning