A 23-year-old woman has been rollerblading across the United States without money, food, and water for a noble cause.
Yanise Ho, who is originally from Hong Kong, attributes her love of adventure to her family. She has been interested in traveling after her visit to New Zealand when she was 15.
The rest makes history. She studied in Rome at 16, headed to Washington for college at 17, moved to California at 18, and backpacked across Central America and Europe at 20.
In 2016, Ho rollerbladed from Savannah, Georgia to Miami, Florida and founded “The Bladress Scholarship” project through One Girl Can.
Now, she is en route from Miami to Los Angeles — a 6,000-mile journey — to raise funds for girls’ education in Kenya.
“My journey is inspired by a desire to empower girls worldwide. All funds raised will be donated to One Girl Can, to provide bright and deserving girls living in poverty in Kenya with secondary school scholarships,” Ho wrote in her fundraising campaign.
“Education is crucial to ending the vicious cycle of poverty, child marriage, and gender inequality. More importantly, it provides an opportunity for girls to reach their full potential and pursue a life of their choosing.”
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Without basic needs at her disposal, Ho’s journey is far from comfortable for most people. She travels approximately 30 miles a day.
However, Ho said that her rollerblades have become a part of her body.
“Rollerblades become a part of my body, it’s not a bicycle, I have to figure out how to lock it up, it’s a part of me,” she told ABC Action News.
She also makes a bet on people’s kindness, believing that there is more good than bad in today’s world.
“My mission is to show that there are amazing people in the world, every day I have no plans, just faith and the goodness of people. Somehow, I always stumble upon the best people in the world.
“Every day I feel like everyone is my family, and this is how the world should be.”
The fact that Ho is Asian has somehow given her attention, but she believes that it has little to do with the hospitality she receives.
“People would come up and assume that I’m a foreigner. They would just come up and ask if I was from China or Japan without me even speaking,” she told AsAm News. “I just know that they just don’t know. It’s not that they’re trying to be mean.”
“If I were a huge black male, [the strangers who have hosted her] would be frightened to talk to me at first because racial prejudice has been a deep-rooted issue. It might take them a lot longer to win someone’s heart but if they have the sweetest personality, most people would offer a hand.”
She also cited another rollerblader, Mike on Blades, a White man on a similar journey.
“A lot of people think that the only reason why a lot of people are nice to me is because I’m a young Asian female. He’s pretty much doing a similar thing as me. He’s a big bearded guy, 6’2”, 200 pounds. He also has this cheerful, bubbly personality and that’s why he’s been receiving a similar kind of kindness.”
So far, Ho has raised $12,000 for her campaign through Fundrazr. She hopes to raise $60,000.
Donors commended her efforts:
“You are amazing, Yanise. May you reach your goals, and may your journey continue to be safe. Thank you for being you.”
“[May] God bless you and keep you safe during your journey!”
“You are the best!”