About Me

parsons

Profile

  • Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2017
  • Hometown: Garland, TX

About: Hi! Thank you for visiting my rider profile. I am a senior at The University of Texas at Austin studying Electrical Engineering and working on a STEM teaching certificate. My hometown is Garland, TX.

I care a lot about education and serving my community through volunteering and mentoring/tutoring students at Eastside Memorial High School in Austin, TX.

Why I Ride

I ride for Melanie Parsons, the student activities director at my high school in Garland, TX who passed away from Breast Cancer in November 2015.

I was extremely anxious walking into Garland High School as a freshman for the first time. A shadow followed me around the cramped hallways of my 100 year old school: the shadow of my sister and her accomplishments during her tenure at the school. Teachers, staff members, and even upperclassmen would refer to me as "Phoebe's brother." I felt an immense pressure to ride her coattails yet have my accomplishments eclipsed by her own: class officer, key club, International Baccalaureate, and more. I took my first step to fulfilling the prophecy when I ran for class president and won.

Mrs. Parsons took me under her wing from the very start. I was naïve, inexperienced, and scared. I had no idea what it meant to be a leader and to have so much responsibility. In our innumerable meetings together, she taught me many things: how to approach businesses for sponsorships, how to organize large events, and how to lead meetings. She gave me the tools, encouragement, and sometimes even reprimand I needed to step out of the shadows, find my own identity, and let my light to shine bright. But most importantly, she taught me how to serve, and how to be a servant leader.

Mrs. Parsons was probably the busiest and most stressed person at school. Her office was a hurricane of newspaper clippings, post it notes, calendars, and visiting students. Only someone with her brilliant mind would be able to process the flurry of events swirling around her and organize it into a neat school calendar. She coordinated all the student activities but had a few causes close to her heart, namely breast cancer awareness, Friends of Rachel, and March of Dimes. She was always able to inspire students to stand up and make a difference by helping her fundraising efforts. If a student cared about a cause and wanted to plan an event, she would offer all the advice and facilitation she could to make that person's plans come to fruition. She gave everything she had to the school and its students and the impact of her actions is unfathomable.

Mrs. Parsons was more than a school employee; she was a force of nature for GHS and built unity and school spirit throughout our diverse student body. I am so fortunate to have worked so closely with her. I am riding so that I may carry on her legacy and spread hope, knowledge, and charity from Austin to Alaska and beyond.

If any part of my story resonates with you and you'd like to support my efforts to spread hope, knowledge, and charity every mile during my 70-day journey to Alaska, please consider donating. Every dollar matters and I will send you a handwritten thank you letter for helping a great cause. Because we are a 501(c)(3) organization, every donation is tax deductible. Read more about the organization itself and the impact we have on the world using the links at the top of the page.

If there is someone you would like me to ride for, please feel free to send me an email.

Thank you so much for stopping by and hook'em horns!