Over the next two months leading up to RIDETZ, we will introduce the wonderful, enthusiastic people who make up 2016’s team of adventurers. This way, you can learn about the riders before they leave, and then you can follow along on our blog for updates on their journeys as we post throughout the ride! They take off on June 18th for this once in a lifetime experience. Today, we are thrilled to introduce first-time rider and long-time supporter of TFFT, Maggie Boorman.
Why are you participating in RIDETZ?
I have been asked this question multiple times over the past few months. I’ve been asked by my parents, who know I didn’t learn how to ride a bike without training wheels until I was about 7 years old. I’ve been asked by my friends, as I lug my bike back into the house after a long ride. And, I’ve asked myself the same question a few times, as I struggle through the challenges of my training and fundraising for this trip. It’s hard to explain to people why I’m taking on this challenge…400 miles across Tanzania, when you’ve only owned a bike for 4 months? It may sound crazy, but it’s never seemed too crazy to me. Once I explain why I love The Foundation For Tomorrow so much, maybe it won’t sound as nuts to you either.
The Foundation For Tomorrow (TFFT) has played a significant role in my life. I started volunteering for TFFT when I was a sophomore in high school. At Myers Park High School, I led the club chapter and organized events, fundraising, and outreach to sponsor a student, Richard Francis. I even traveled to Tanzania for two weeks in the summer of 2011 to teach English classes at a local school and to meet Richard.
During my past four years at Clemson University, I have volunteered my time serving as TFFT’s Sponsor Communications Coordinator, which allows me to communicate with all of the families who sponsor students. I have also worked full-time in the Charlotte TFFT office for the past three summers, and have learned more and more about the organization, and about education in developing countries.
Ever since my last trip to Tanzania, I have had an itch to go back, and I can’t believe it’s finally happening. I’m a different person than I was 5 years ago. I’ve grown up a lot, learned about myself, and TFFT has become an even bigger part of my life. The knowledge I’ve gained from working for TFFT has made this so much more meaningful for me, and I know my trip will be incredible.
I believe that quality education is the most powerful tool to change the world. I believe children in developing countries can have a brighter future if we give them the tools. I believe that geography should not dictate the chances a child has to succeed. I believe TFFT is changing the lives of so many orphaned and vulnerable children across East Africa, and I believe those children deserve it. These are the beliefs that will keep me going as we trek those 400 miles from Mt. Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean. When the hills seem a little too steep, the sun is shining a little too hot, or the falls are a little too frequent, I’ll think of the smiling faces of those we’re riding for and I’ll know that each mile is well worth giving those children a brighter future.
I can’t wait to be back in the beautiful country of Tanzania, to see the happy faces of the TFFT kids, and to embark on this awesome challenge with my sister, Laura! We are so grateful for all of your interest, support, and positive thoughts as we take on this crazy journey!