Hey! My name is Kat, I’m 22 and originally I’m from Oklahoma, but moved to Arkansas when I was ten, making my Sooner status a bit more “pig friendly.” Though for college, I attended Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas where I studied environmental studies and art history, making my collegiate allegiance a bit more Warrior oriented. I love learning new things and being adventurous, so my interests are always expanding. However, there are two constants in my field of interests, the first being that I’ve always been a competitive athlete and the second being that I’ve always had passion for helping others, and Bike and Build is the way to get the best out of both!
When a couple of my soccer teammates at Hendrix decided to do Bike and Build a few summers ago, I immediately knew it was something I had to do! I mean, bicycling across America with people from all over (the prime way to see the states), AND getting to raise awareness for a cause that is so much bigger than any of us- done deal!
As far as my past experiences with volunteering, I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of so many great organizations, Habitat included. Though, many of the organizations I’ve been more involved with are local, one in particular called Ozark Mission Project (OMP). OMP is an organization that helps people, that for either physical or financial reasons, can’t maintain their homes. We help in all sorts of ways, from doing minor home repairs to something as big as building wheelchair ramps, all the while keeping open hearts and open minds. OMP was the first organization to put me in a situation that made me learn a lot about the diversities in my surrounding communities and showed me the real impact I can have as an individual, and the even bigger impact I can have as part of a group. Being a part of a group like OMP, like Bike and Build, can make an impact that reaches farther than anybody can even realize!
OMP also helped me realize my passion for making an impact that lasts. Affordable Housing is a cause that does make a lasting impact. The actions I got to take to help with OMP differ a little from what this summer with Bike and Build will bring (though, I still get to swing a hammer and use power tools!), but it’s the same sort of feeling of helplessness people can get, that we’re fortunate enough to help change. We get to help raise money and awareness for a cause that brings a family a home, and can in turn change the entire way the lives of those families are lived. Isn’t that awesome?!
I want to do Bike and Build because it’s an opportunity that once I heard about it, I couldn’t think about anything else. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few amazing adventures of my own, but this is one I can experience with a group of people that share the same passions for helping people and being outside that I have. It’s going to be an incredible journey that will test us all physically and mentally, and I couldn’t be more excited!