HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 19, 2019 – New High Point University students didn’t know they’d be building 150 bikes and presenting them to local children today. But thanks to a surprise Welcome Week activity, that’s exactly what they did.
“You’ve only been on this campus for one day and you’ve already built a bike for someone,” said HPU President Nido Qubein. “Last night you were in this gym together signing the University Honor Code, which says you will take care of this university, be the finest person you can be, take care of humanity and reach out to help others to make a difference in this world. And today, you’ve done that.”
Treyson Hood was excited when he walked into HPU’s Millis Center to find a bicycle waiting for him.
“I plan to ride it and teach others to ride the bike,” said 10-year-old Hood. “I’m thankful for what you all did today and letting us have these bikes.”
Earlier today, students gathered in the Millis Center and worked together to assemble the bikes. Later in the day, 150 children were surprised with a new bike.
Lisbeth Ramirez, a High Point native and biology major with a pre-med concentration, was her team’s captain and had big responsibilities with leading her classmates.
“Donating the bike was like giving a gift to your closest family member,” said Ramirez. “When we saw their faces light up, it made all of our work pay off. We knew this would impact a local child, so we gave it our all.”
HPU freshmen Anna Atkins, from New Jersey, and Abigail Peterson, from Minnesota, presented a bike to 10-year-old Kaira Miller. For Miller, receiving the bike meant replacing one she previously lost.
“I love the color because blue is my favorite,” said Miller. “My brother is here today, too, so when we get home, we’re going to tell everyone we got bikes today.”
Many children also enjoyed the experience of coming to HPU’s campus and being surprised by HPU’s newest students.
“Today was fun and awesome because I got to meet all the HPU kids and get this great purple shirt,” said 8-year-old Xaniyah Lyles.
For Kenny Mack, vice president of operations at the Boys and Girls Club, today was about more than getting a bike for the children. It was about planting the seed of attending college in their mind, too.
“It’s exciting because the kids are getting ready to go back to school, so to give them this experience on a college campus when they may not have thought about going to college before is important for their growth,” said Mack. “All the kids love their bikes, so it’s just an exciting surprise for them before a new school year.”