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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tommy Daigle Posts For Bike and Build

First Day Off the Bike Permalink 08/14/07 - 03:46:53 pm

Today we awoke at 4 am. Yes, that's right, the day after arriving in Seattle we woke up at 4 to catch a ferry to Vashon Island for our penultimate day of building. The Vashon build is going great-we have three houses to frame, four roofs to deck, and siding on several more houses. This is a great way to finish our trip. I don't really feel like writing more, so here's the speech I gave to the riders and families at our final dinner. *and thanks again to all our hosts and donors!*

I am very proud of this group.
We have ridden our bikes across the country, raised over $125,000 for affordable housing groups, built in several different states affecting families and communities in ways that we don't even know, and we have spread the news of our mission from coast to coast. All of this is great, but there is something about this group that is great than that. Over the summer I have spent time with each and every rider of p2s and I have come to realize that they are some of the most caring, genuine, and conscientious your adults that I have ever known. Everyday there would be examples of a rider reaching out to another, helping with something they didn't have to, engaging strangers in conversation. I've come to realize that this is who these people are-they are passionate about the world and people around them and they want to play an active role in it. This summer they did that and I am proud of this group.

I in hopeful of this group.
I used to be cynical about our generation. I say used to. These riders are full of life, are sometimes too crazy, and are all well versed in the art of laughing. Several will be serving their communities this year with Americorps, others are exploring it as a future option. One will spend the next year working with inner city youths, still others will be teaching. Most will be back in school and I venture to say that all will be volunteering in several different capacities. All have the option, if they choose, of being beacons in their communities, leading others in action. It may not always be easy for them, but I have hope in this group.
I am challenging these riders.

We have had a summer that we will never forget. I challenge you to remember the families and mission we have served and the people who we worked with along the way. I challenge you to go further, to take what you have gained this summer and build upon it. Find a cause that you are passionate about and pursue it. If there is a cause that you are passionate about but there are no outlets for you to follow, create them. You are young and there is power in youth. Here are your examples-Wendy Kopp created Teach for America while she was an undergraduate at Princeton. Michael Brown and Alan Kjazei started City Year while they were students at Havard Law. Gandhis' radicalization began when he was thrown off a South African train for refusing to downgrade his seat when he was 24. Decades later Martin Luther King saw a need and started the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at age 28. There is a raw power in passionate youth and I am challenging you to use it! Set your goals high and then set them even higher. Work towards these goals and bring others with you. I am challenging you to challenge other people, young and old, to work and make this world a better place.

I am challenging you.
I believe in this group.
On Saturday we climbed Washington and Rainy Pass, both over the north Cascades. It was a day that we all, with some anxiety, knew was coming. Two days prior to it a rider turned to me and said, "we're ready. If there is anyone ready to climb these passes, it's us." He was right. And if there is anyone who is ready to go out and make their marks on the world, it's you. I believe that you will never loose your positive attitudes. I believe that you will always laugh when going down a mountain and that you will run towards the person in need instead of walking in the other direction. I believe that you are ready to be challenged.
I believe in all of you.

godspeed ya'll!
prof ta'daigle

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