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At Dermatology and Skin Health, we take great pride in helping do-good causes achieve their goals. This is exactly why we’re pleased to announce our sponsorship to The REAL Ride which is a great socially fueled initiative which has, in part, been planned with some support from our own Physician’s Assistant, Michelle Roy.
The REAL Ride is 5,000 mile, coast-to-coast, bike ride that celebrates the challenge of “the road less traveled.” We’ll explain this more in a second… But, in short (or long depending on how you look at things), for three months, the cyclists of the REAL Ride will cycle across the United States via an unconventional route — a combination of dirt roads, trails, forest tracks, wooded paths, and country roads when avoiding pavement simply isn’t possible.
The purpose of this?
To push back powerfully against America’s high school drop-out crisis, and its disproportionate effect on the country’s most disadvantaged students. The purpose of the REAL Ride is to raise funding and awareness for young adults left behind by the traditional education system, and to shine a light on the innovative schools that refuse to let them slip through the cracks.
In Roxbury, MA, Boston Day and Evening Academy leads this charge. BDEA launched the Responsive Education Alternatives Lab (REAL) to help spread its model, including through the creation of a national informal network of like-minded schools — to learn from each other and improve together. For the benefit of more students and more communities.
In Philadelphia, PA, The C.B. Community School is following BDEA’s lead and making a profound impact helping vulnerable students who have been involved with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems to learn, heal, and grow into caring, confident, competent citizens of the world.
In Denver, CO, Emily Griffith High School has been a pillar of empowerment for the community for over 30 years. Unwavering in its efforts to evolve and expand opportunity for young adults, EGHS provides students with a competency-based curriculum pathway to a diploma or GED, as well as successful engagement in post-secondary learning and career ventures.
The REAL Ride also is partnering with schools in Seattle and Cincinnati, to help deepen their connection, and raise awareness about a needle-moving response to the national dropout crisis.
So, on August 1st, 2017, the ride commences from Seattle and will finish up in Boston by way of Denver, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia.
In the spirit of the 5,000 mile trek, Dermatology and Skin Health have pitched in and contributed $5,000 towards the efforts.
You too can help out: www.therealride.org/support-us
Pictured Above: Michelle Roy (left) and Cris Rothfuss (right).
We sat down with REAL Ride designer/founder Cris Rothfuss to get a solid idea of just what this whole thing is about, and what Michelle Roy was able to add (when she’s not here taking care of our patients!):
“Michelle's involvement in the REAL Ride is a matter of pure serendipity. We met by chance as a consequence of parking next to each other at a gravel cycling event last Fall -- the Dirty Pizza ride in Alstead, New Hampshire. Michelle and I got to conversing a bit and she started to learn about the REAL Ride. At some point she finally said to me (in so many words) -- "you need help!" She actually was more polite than that and probably started with "how can I help?" That was in late October of last year and since that point, Michelle has been an indispensable, fully committed, fully involved partner in organizing the REAL Ride. In particular, she has been instrumental in several key areas focused on the team and ride itself -- logistics of the ride (oh, right, we *should* bring a first aid kit!), securing gear donations for the team, taking the lead on organizing our May 6th team fundraising party and associated auction.
She's also helped us secure some coverage of the ride (recent article in Gravel Cyclist was a consequence of her introduction) and has helped with fundraising for the school (the primary mission of the whole thing). I lay awake nights worrying about how we will ever repay the staggering and selfless effort and generosity that Michelle has brought to the REAL Ride. I'm sure she lays awake at night wondering whether we'll eat enough, wear sunscreen, have cell phone coverage in critical places, have a cooler in the van, be able to provide our blood types in an emergency, and the 3,123 other details that have occurred to her on our behalves. It is impossible for me to overstate what she has added to the initiative. And on top of all that, I have a wonderful new friend, to boot.”
How can you get involved?
Visit www.therealride.org to learn how to join the growing list of companies and individual donors who are contributing to the cause. Also, follow along and help spread the word about the team’s progress on the REAL Ride’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. You can also help support the team itself, which is partnering with in-kind gear sponsors and gratefully accepting donations to help offset the expense of this immense undertaking.