http://www.abilityexperience.org/

The Ability Experience

Cyclist

June - August 2021 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Having the ability to serve others

What I wish was different

Nothing!

Advice

I think devoting a summer to philanthropy over getting a regular internship was the best experience to learn about myself and how to lead others.
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Volunteer Coordinator

May - June 2019 • Miami, FL

What I liked

I loved that we were able to spend a day in a new city everyday in the state of Florida, spanning from Miami up to Tallahassee for the month of May. Every new city that we were in we visited different facilities that housed people with disabilities for day services or long term care.

What I wish was different

I wish I would have done it earlier because I don’t have the time to do it again once I graduate college.

Advice

Take the experiences in and realize just how fortunate you are to be able to do all the things you do without thinking about everyday.
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Crew Chief

May - August 2019 • Charlotte, NC

What I liked

I like helping people with disabilities

What I wish was different

I wish I would have done it sooner in my college career

Advice

Take a leap of faith, do something that scares you.
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Journey of Hope Cyclist

June - August 2019 • San Francisco, CA

What I liked

Through Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity I had the uncommon opportunity to ride a bicycle across the United States to raise funds and awareness for people with special needs and developmental disabilities. We started in San Francisco, CA on the Golden Gate Bridge, and finished at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. For the duration of the spring semester at UConn, I fundraised $6350 and trained on my bike for at least an hour a day to prepare. To say I liked the trip is an understatement. I will probably never experience finishing the 8,500 ft. elevation climb Mt. Kirkwood ever again, or the brutal monotonous hundred mile pushes in the Sierra Nevadas. I will never eat a tortilla with cold cuts and cheese on the side of the road in Nebraska or wake up at 5:00am to the Rocky IV soundtrack only to put on a cycling kit I washed with dish soap while showering the previous night. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I will never forget it. I am proud to have spent my summer developing as a servant leader. Biking 80 miles a day for 2 months is no easy feat, yet it comes nowhere close to the trials faced by people with developmental disabilities and special needs everyday.

What I wish was different

Nothing. The trip was life-changing and memorable. My best friends grew up in a part of Illinois with a population of 8, and the warm beaches of Long Beach in California, and across the pond in Dublin, Ireland. Without Journey of Hope or Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, we would have never met one another and shared this summer together.

Advice

Everything is impossible until you do it, so do what you can't. If you set goals for yourself and work hard toward achieving them, you will succeed no matter what. And on the off chance you fall short, you will have learned so much about yourself and what you are capable of.
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