This summer, Aim High launched its Reimagine Summer campaign, where the Aim High community raised more than $60K to provide 1,100 students with access to joyful summer learning via Aim High at Home, our new distance learning platform. Instead of raising funds traditionally, Gabe Peixoto, a member of Aim High’s Young Leaders Board and an attorney, took a completely different route, literally. Gabe completed a 600-mile cycling trip from San Diego to San Francisco, all while raising $4,000 for Aim High. “Especially during a time of crisis in our country,” Gabe reflected, “Aim High has pivoted, built out a virtual learning experience for students this summer, and is considering other ways to support students’ learning into the academic school year.” Gabe’s journey also allowed him to “explore California by bike and the trip was a wonderful opportunity to slow down.” His highlights: coastal portions and cuts inland off of Highway 1, Topanga Canyon, the Ventura coastline, and climbing the Santa Ynez Mountains. In a time where the pandemic and civil rights movements have brought great sadness, unrest, and isolation, Gabe’s journey brought him moments of connection and gratitude. “I always try to make eye contact, and when possible to wave or nod at motorists in an effort to foster a human connection that is all too often lost on our impersonal roadways.” These moments were crucial for Gabe to complete his trip. “When I got a smile, wave, or even a tap of the horn or small rev of the engine in response, this gave me encouragement. These actions were a good reminder that small acts of respect and acknowledgment are powerful and can help build community and meaning wherever you are.” Gabe believes in the importance of volunteerism and giving back to his community. He encourages other professionals to get more involved and to research organizations they are interested in supporting. “Don’t hesitate to reach out to organizations whose work you find inspiring or to your personal community for support or recommendations. You may even be presented with opportunities to contribute in ways you hadn’t previously considered. You’ll also likely find confidence knowing that others share your passion and excitement.” Thank you to Gabe for being part of the Aim High community and for using the power of peer-to-peer fundraising to raise significant funds for our students and staff this summer. Moments like this reiterate the importance of commUNITY and locking arms to deliver a strong and successful program. Aim High can’t wait to see your next adventure!