Trips for Kids Santa Cruz Board of Directors
Roxanne Harrison, President, is currently working as Project Coordinator on the Healthy Corner Markets Project for the United Way of SC County. By providing healthy food options to all communities we can better our overall health and happiness. She was introduced to bicycling in 1993 while living in Minneapolis, MN. “My friend was able to get us a couple Trek road bikes pretty cheap. After a week of riding my bike across Iowa and 500 plus miles under my belt, I was hooked!” Roxanne believes biking can be used in a number of positive ways. It can help reduce obesity, increase happiness, reduce an individual’s carbon footprint and help us stay connected with our inner kid. She hopes to be able to ride into “old” age. Roxanne describes the Death Ride she completed in 2010 and 2012 as “…the hardest ride I have ever done. It was incredibly exhausting but also one of the most empowering experiences I’ve had. Helping kids get that same sense of freedom, joy and accomplishment is what inspired me to get involved with Trips for Kids. It’s those brief exhilarating moments that can change their lives. When I learned that Allison had started a chapter locally, I jumped at the chance to become involved in such a wonderful organization.”
John Fuchs, Vice President and Volunteer Coordinator, is a General Contractor and Real Estate Broker in Rio Del Mar. He fell in love with guiding kids as a result of coaching his daughter’s teams in volleyball and basketball. He also coached the Aptos High School golf team for four years. Besides his family and his business, John’s other passion is mountain biking. John took up the sport just 5 years ago, and continues to be amazed at the difference it has made in his life. He is happier, healthier, having more fun, and learning more about himself than he would ever have guessed from “just riding a bicycle”. “For me, Trips for Kids combines my interest in working with kids with the satisfaction, sense of accomplishment and self-fulfillment that comes with mountain biking. Trips for Kids has provided me an incredible opportunity to make a difference in young people’s lives who may be in search of healthier lifestyle choices. I look forward to helping kids… one ride at a time. Happy trails!”
Allison Cruz, Founder, has represented youth for 20 years as an attorney. From juvenile dependency clients who have seen abuse and neglect, to juvenile delinquent clients who are involved in the justice system, Allison has seen it all. “I thought I would do what I can to hopefully have a positive effect. I decided it might help if these often underprivileged kids could get their adrenaline rushes from mountain biking instead of through gang activities.” Allison’s husband, Jason, is the sales manager at Family Cycling Center. He was able to lead her to Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and numerous other riders and organizations. Allison realized a profound opportunity, and started the process of beginning a local chapter of Trips for Kids. She feels fortunate to have partnered with so many talented, enthusiastic board members and volunteers, who have taken that original idea into a real adventure. Allison loves mountain biking and being in nature. She wishes she wasn’t quite so timid on the mountain bike and would enjoy crashing less often?
Melissa Cline, Treasurer, is a genomics scientist at U.C. Santa Cruz, and has been an avid cyclist since she was a child. As a young woman, she valued cycling as an independent mode of transportation, and as a way to get out of the house and explore her world a little bit more. Now as an adult, she values mountain biking as something that gets her away from the computer. Trips for Kids Santa Cruz combines her love of cycling with her motivation to make a difference in the lives of young people. “Mountain biking offers kids tangible experience at learning to overcome challenges, while having fun outside in a beautiful setting. Overcoming an obstacle on a trail is more than a thrill, it’s empowering. It changes you to realize that you’ve done something that wasn’t easy, that you couldn’t do the day before. That sort of experience carries over to all areas of life”.
Kymberly Lacrosse, Kids Coordinator, has been a Community Organizer at the United Way of Santa Cruz County for over five years and is currently the Program Director of Jovenes SANOS. Kymberly has a BA from UCSC and MA from SJSU, both in Sociology. In addition, Kymberly is engaged in ongoing Transformative Leadership for Sustainable Change which strives to design community change that makes a real difference. Over twenty five years of partnering with youth in many capacities give her the front line experience that intertwines with her academic and intellectual knowledge. Her commitment to justice, access and health drive her to work diligently to change the systems in place for more equitable, thriving and healthy communities. Kym’s love for mountain biking started many years ago after experiencing the adventure, nature, thrill, technical and endurance aspects of the sport all in one package! “My love for mountain biking, inner determination/strength and nature are an experience I am thankful to share with as many young people as possible,” says Kym.
Mark Davidson is a Silicon Valley software engineer and lives in Santa Cruz County. He is a life long cyclist and passionate about riding in the forests. Mark is also the President of Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) – a volunteer non-profit organization which promotes and advocates mountain biking in Santa Cruz County. Mark was introduced to Trips for Kids when he went to Washington DC to advocate for cycling programs. He stayed with Pat and Julie Childers -the Principals of Trips for Kids Metro DC – and saw how effective the program could make a difference in kids lives. Since then he has been looking for the opportunity to create a local chapter and is very excited to be part of the board. He believes that cycling is a solution to a lot of worlds problems: mitigating climate change, increasing public health and happiness, reducing childhood obesity, reducing reducing transportation gridlock. Mountain biking in particular has the ability to reconnect people with nature and will help to foster a sense of environmental stewardship in its participants. He wants to share his passion for riding in the woods with kids who normally can’t get these types of experiences.