Activities & Organizations

Students’ cross-country journey comes to a close

Supply chain management senior Matthew Docimo and construction management junior Michael Brooks cycled a total of 3,800 miles across 15 states, finishing in Washington, D.C. | Courtesy of Michael Brooks

Two UH students cycled across the country this summer in support of people with disabilities — of which about 37 to 56 million reside in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Senior supply chain management major Matthew Docimo and construction management junior Michael Brooks said their journey was meant to teach others to empathize with people living with disabilities. Their goal was to cover 15 states in 68 days, cycling 3,800 miles in total. On average, the two pedaled 80 miles per day.

“We learned empathy as we struggled and made our way through our journey,” Brooks said. “People living with disabilities cannot turn off their disabilities, so we rode every mile we could and faced the weather and harsh climates and spread awareness to people and children.”

Both students are members of the Beta Nu chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, which organized the ride through its national philanthropy program, “Push America.”

Docimo, who joined the fraternity in 2009 and knew that he would volunteer for Push America, is not the only member of his family to work and help those with disabilities.

“My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all worked with children with autism,” Docimo said.

The ride was organized by the Beta Nu chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity in support of people with disabilities. | Courtesy of Michael Brooks

Docimo and Brooks rode as part of a 26-member team of cyclists and were supported by a 10-member crew. During their cross-country journey, they also stopped at high schools, spoke to students about some of the challenges that people with disabilities face and even held a puppet show for children. Their goal was to raise more than $650,000 for Push America’s efforts to help support people living with disabilities.

Brooks and Docimo plan on continuing to cycle in the future and will be participating in the Summer 2014 Gear Up Florida event and are encouraging other students to help and volunteer.

Brooks said that we can all help others out and will continue to raise money for Push America.

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude,” he said.

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