SPRINGFIELD, Virginia — Overcoming obstacles on the trail can help you overcome obstacles in life. That's the philosophy Trails for Youth has stood by for years. Trails for Youth.Org is a health organization that teaches kids the importance of physical wellness. Through activities like mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, and fishing young adults are taught how they can thrive from outdoor experiences.
Trails for Youth was founded by avid cyclists and spouses Julie and Pat Childers. "We recognized there were so many kids that didn't know the trails existed or didn't have access to the trails," says Julie. Their mission is to mentor at-risk youths and provide opportunities for healthy, active experiences. "It's stress relief. When you're out mountain biking, you can't be thinking about your everyday problems; you have to focus." The Childers started the program in 2002 and have since helped over 50,000 kids.
"I wasn't able to speak to anyone; I was so intimidated by everything. With mountain biking I got to overcome obstacles in life," says Kat Sajas. The senior high school student credits the program for giving her a confidence boost. She along with dozens of other kids explore the Accotink trails twice a week.
This kind of activity can cause a lot of wear and tear on bikes, so quality equipment is imperative. Apple Federal Credit Union was pleased to donate two state of the art bikes to Trails for Youth.Org.
"Being on a bicycle is the only time I'm totally in the present," says Apple FCU Community Engagement Officer Katie Knight. The cycling enthusiast knows what this program means to the kids and was eager to help through Apple FCU's Kindness Rocks program.
"One of our key messages is 'look to where you want to go; look to your future,'" says Julie Childers. Trails for Youth.Org is striving to significantly improve the health of every youth they serve. More equipment will undoubtedly help them reach this goal. "One bike will provide opportunities for years to come."
This article is sponsored by Apple Federal Credit Union.