Why we ride

“There was a child went forth every day, and the first object he look’d upon, that object he became, and that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day or for many years…” Walt Whitman – Leaves of Grass

I was recently asked to share the UrbanPromise story with a new colleague. As I sat back and began to reflect on my 17 years at UrbanPromise I realized how important it was to know the Camden story where UrbanPromise had planted its flag over 33 years ago.

When I came onboard, I was living in the comfortable suburbs 15 miles and a world apart from Camden. Like many of us living in the surrounding communities Camden was only a place I passed through while going somewhere else. I will admit in those days I often felt overwhelmed by the physical harshness I would sometimes see in the neighborhoods where some of my students lived. I would think about what they saw when they walked out their door and I felt powerless to change it. 

I now know UrbanPromise can change the experiences students have through our schools and after school programs. Programs like UrbanTrekkers, StreetLeaders, Boat Building and Butterfly gardens are transforming lives by creating opportunity and safe spaces for children and youth to discover who they are and the possibilities for their lives…to become the very person God created them to be. 

I also know that as influential and powerful environment can be in our lives our lived experiences can overcome those influences. This is Why We Ride and we invite you to join us once again in the in our annual Pedal for Promise on October 2, 2021. Sign up today. www.urbanpromiseusa.org/pedal  


Jim Cummings