With only a backpack and a pair of roller skates, a 23-year-old woman from Hong Kong is completely relying on the kindness and generosity of strangers to feed and lodge her as she rollerblades across the United States. Her mission for the trip is two-fold: to highlight just how much goodness there is in the world and to advocate for young girls in developing countries.
Yanise Ho began her journey from Miami, Florida, to New York to Portland, Oregon, on March 14, 2018, and since her journey began, she hasn’t spent one night sleeping on the street or even experienced hunger.
The endeavor began as a way to challenge the idea that women shouldn’t do things on their own to avoid becoming victims of dangerous situations.
“I want to bring out the message that if you dream, it doesn’t matter what gender you are. You can do anything you believe yourself to be,” Ho told Inside Edition. “I’m sometimes criticized. (They say,) ‘You’re asking to be a victim… You’re going to get kidnapped because you’re a girl.’”
As she has continued her journey, however, she has only experienced the opposite. She refuses to accept money; she only accepts offers of food and shelter and kind strangers have always stepped up and offered a helping hand just when she needed it.
“I was just Rollerblading on the country road and these two men pulled over and they were curious what I was doing,” she said. “We talked a little bit and they were like, ‘Well, we’re about to have lunch do you want to come? We’re going to cook.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m hungry. Let’s go.’ I went home with them, we had lunch, and I just ended up staying.”
In fact, people are not only helping Ho with food and shelter, but they are also helping her repair her skates as problems, helping her get back on the road as quickly as possible.
“Some people went as far as offering to drive eight hours to drop off some small little parts for my skates,” she said. “So I feel like there’s always people watching out for me.”
Her trip is also serving as a platform to supports young girls in developing countries succeed through an organization called One Girl Can.
They do so by raising money to build schools and support girls through secondary school.
Ho is raising money specifically for a scholarship called the Bladress Scholarship that will help fund education for these young women and equip them with the powerful tool of education. Every penny raised, she said, will go directly to One Girl Can.
“One of the most common causes of death for girls aged between 15 and 19 in developing nations is pregnancy and child birth. Girls are seen as a reproductive tool, a money tree, and a laborer,” she wrote on her fundraising page.
“Being able to voice their opinions, let alone believing in their untapped potential, is an elusive dream. But education is proven to be the single most powerful method to change the old concept from Girls Can’t to Girls Can.”
Ho’s journey will end in Oregon in October 2018.
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