Hi there! My name is Melanie Hess and I am a soon-to-be-graduate of Champlain College, a small private school that overlooks beautiful Lake Champlain in Burlington Vermont. I am currently a twenty-one year old business student looking for a larger-than-life adventure before I have to settle down and put my degree to use. I believe that you can find an adventure in anything you do but I am not sure the next time I will have the opportunity to ride my bike across the country! I love to hike, snowboard, and hula hoop all of which you will never see me doing without a smile on my face! I am an officer of the Ski and Ride club at my college where I get to share the passion for snow with others by helping fellow students enjoy the mountains of Vermont. I heard about Bike & Build from a friend when I was studying abroad in New Zealand and she raved about the time she had, the people she met, and the lives she helped by completing this adventure.
I grew up in the beautiful state of New Hampshire where I had a large back yard to play and woods to explore. My sense of adventure has not died out and in fact I feel that it is stronger than ever which is part of the reason why I want to set out on this trip. After living in Vermont for the past three years every winter rolls around and there is a moment of truth of how many people in my city are without housing in the cold winter months. Shelter is a necessity to sustaining human life and that is why I feel so strongly about affordable housing. By providing affordable housing it would get people off the streets, especially in the cold winter months and into a home where they can focus on being a family. I would be raising money for affordable housing but more importantly I would be raising awareness for families that are battling this fight right here in our own country. Burlington is a college town where landlords hold the power to make housing as expensive as they want knowing that college students need a place to live. Each year Burlington gets a lot of refugees and the affordable housing issue makes it almost impossible for them to get on their feet.
I am excited to see what this adventure will hold for me along with making lasting friendships with my fellow bikers. If there is something I have learned from past excursions throughout the world it is that you really get to know someone when you are traveling with them and that being said is one of my favorite aspects of the trip. I have never biked more than 40 miles in a day but I could not be more excited to see if I am up to the challenge. I am sure there will be days when I will be screaming in pain but I know that it will all be worth it in the end and hey, who doesn’t like a challenge? Most importantly I couldn’t be more excited about this adventure and cannot wait to see how I will affect the lives of others!
|Melanie has currently raised $4,535.|
That's 101% of her $4,500 fundraising goal.