In 2017, Bike Anchorage's Education Program is excited to support the Anchorage GRIT (Girls Riding Into Tomorrow) project, a middle school bicycle mentorship program for 7th grade girls in Anchorage. Bike Anchorage volunteers Cait Rodriguez and Lael Wilcox had the vision and have moved the program forward in April-May 2017. This spring, while riding together on the Baja Divide in Baja, Mexico, they hatched a plan to organize bike mentorship program for middle school girls.
GRIT aims to empower young women to safely and confidently ride bicycles in Anchorage and prepares them for a self-supported overnight bike adventure. The program features both vertical and horizontal support networks via a mentorship and bike-buddy pairing. The capstone project is a three day ride on bike paths and gravel roads from Anchorage to the Serenity Falls Cabin at the end of Eklutna Lake.
Five women from the community will mentor students from Begich Middle School and Steller Secondary School. Each school has selected five 7th grade students to achieve a 2-1 student-mentor ratio, and each mentor will partner with one student from each school. These students were nominated by their teachers and counselors to participate in this fun and challenging program.
For more on GRIT check out the project website here: anchoragegrit.wordpress.com