One Ride CAN Change a Life

Can you recall one moment, experience, or person from your childhood that left an imprint on your heart?

Venee McGee can.

Venee McGee, former Trips for Kids Youth Participant

Venee McGee, former Trips for Kids Youth Participant

By the time Venee McGee reached her 10th birthday, her foundation in life had been broken. She could no longer count how many times she had been shuffled between an unstable life with her biological mother to a foster family. "I was lost and uncertain about anyone or anything," Venee shares, "I never knew what was going to happen next and in order to survive inside my head, I became numb."

One day she was offered an opportunity to ride a bike with other kids. The foster care system in her area offered different activities the children could participate in and one of those activities was the Trips for Kids Discovery Trail Rides. “I remember when my social worker picked me up and I also remember being scared. I had so much self doubt. I told my social worker that I did not know how to ride a bike and I was afraid of being teased by the other kids. She told me not to worry and that I would have a partner to help me.”

“When we arrived, I saw all the kids around me. It made me feel good to see there were other kids just like me.” Venee knew that although their stories were different, somehow they were all feeling the same, lost and numb. A defining moment presented itself when Venee was approached by a Trips for Kids volunteer who called her by name. At that moment, Venee felt safe and accepted. The next came when she was on her bicycle. “I felt the grooves of the bike working, the chain turning and all I can hear from behind me is 'faster, pedal faster,' I was riding! I was riding a bicycle for my first time.”

Venee shared that moments like the ones she experienced with her ride, “allows minds the opportunity to create a new picture to hold on to that gives you hope.” Shouldn’t all kids get to have a moment like this?

Venee, now 27, is a Wellness Educator and Event Strategist and mentors women on how to discover their inner strength. Life was not easy for Venee, but what she wants others to know is, “We already have the tools inside us to succeed, sometime you just need someone to tell you not to give up on yourself.”

Amy Carver