Personality: Dr. Kate Hoof | Richmond Free Press

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Dr. Kate Hoof helps Richmond kids put the pedal to the metal.

As Chairman of the Richmond Cycling Corps Board of Directors, Dr. Hoof is a key part of the nonprofit’s efforts to educate and empower middle and high school youth in East East public housing communities. End using the bike to develop character and physical and mental health and lessons. that go beyond the streets and bike paths of the city.

“Cycling is just the hook we use to bring in students,” says Dr. Hoof. “Once they’re in the program, we tailor our approach to each student individually. The aim is to work with schools and parents to provide support to students where and when needed.

Dr. Hoof’s belief in the positives of cycling is evident from his experience. She has had a deep connection with several cycling programs over the years. She has created videos for World TEAM Sports and traveled to Southeast Asia to document grant programs for Cultural Vistas.

She touts the benefits of what she calls the “great reset” that happens when you use a bike for exercise and stress relief.

“Study after study has shown the positive effects of endurance exercise on mental and physical health,” says Dr. Hoof. “It helps provide anyone of any age with some clarity and focus. It also helps our participants to set, work and achieve goals. »

RCC aims to support the young people in the program beyond the simple cycling experience. During students’ middle and high school years, the RCC builds support in a variety of outlets, from establishing structure and stability for young people to providing career opportunities. employment through local businesses and The Kickstand, a local bike rental company run by RCC youth and alumni.

As Chairman of the Board, Dr. Hoof seeks to guide RCC towards long-term sustainability. A major principle behind this strategy is to “always pivot to relevant outreach,” according to Dr. Hoof.

At 7 p.m. on Monday, May 16, RCC premieres a short film about the program’s Legacy Cycling team which was filmed last year as the youngsters trained in Richmond and raced in the Blue Ridge Mountains. . The event, which will be held at the Byrd Theater in Carytown, is a fundraiser for the Richmond Cycling Corps and will include a silent auction, raffle items and food and drink. Tickets are $20 and are available at rccxshimano. eventbrite.com.

With a small staff of three, the RCC is unable to bring as many children into the programs as it wishes. Yet they work to maintain a high quality of service rather than a large amount of attendees. However, volunteer opportunities are available for those who want to help the group expand its reach to more young people in the East End.

And for young people who cannot afford bikes and related equipment, Dr Hoof says the RCC is trying to accommodate those who may not be able to afford to ride a bike. .

“Richmond Cycling Corps provides everything,” says Dr. Hoof. “Cycling as a sport can be inherently exclusive. Bikes, helmets, bike clothes, running costs, etc., it all adds up!

“We offer students in our program an open door to a sport that has a high barrier to entry.”

It’s just one aspect of an organization that regularly works to help improve the lives of young people by putting rubber on the road.

Meet a leader helping young people through biking and this week’s personality, Dr. Kate Hoof:

Volunteer position #1: Chairman of the Board, Richmond Cycling Corps.

Occupation: Instructional designer for Instructure, an educational technology company.

Date and place of birth: September 16 in Richmond.

Where I live now: Richmond.

Education: BA in English, MA in Education and PhD in Leadership, all from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Mission of Richmond Cycling Corps: Educating and empowering the lives of young people in Richmond living in the heart of the East End by constantly moving towards relevant outreach.

Founder: Craig Dodson.

When and why founded: The Richmond Cycling Corps was founded in early 2010 as an extension of Richmond Pro Cycling, a grassroots professional cycling team here in Richmond. After starting an after-school cycling program, Craig Dodson, our founder, quickly realized that the students he worked with could use more help than an after-school program could offer. He turned to a more holistic approach to outreach and met each student where they were in order to help them with their individual needs.

Where is Richmond Cycling Corps: The Richmond Cycling Corps operates out of Armstrong Bike Park in east Richmond. It is located between Fairfield Court and Creighton Court, right next to Armstrong High School. For eight years now, the Armstrong Bike Park has been a feature of the community and a convenient base for our program serving young people throughout the East End.

Who Richmond Cycling Corps serves: The Richmond Cycling Corps serves the youth of the East End. Our approach goes through the prism of “quality, not quantity”. When the RCC team meets new students – usually through a teacher/school administration recommendation or word of mouth in the neighborhood – we stick with them. We try to work with middle schoolers and mentor them through their middle school and high school careers. Students in the program remain in the program.

Goal or project #1 as Chairman of the Board: Guide the organization towards a sustainable future.

Strategy to achieve the objectives: One of our guiding principles is to always pivot to relevant outreach. If we find that any policy or program we have is stagnating or not keeping up with the dynamic environment that is Richmond East, we will absolutely change to meet those needs. This principle has helped us stay relevant for over a decade, and we always end up where we want to be.

The biggest challenge facing the Richmond Cycling Corps: There are always more children who could use our programs. Not being able to help all the children in the East End is a challenge with our small team of three who have always valued quality of service over quantity of service. Matt Kuhn, Ryan Hamlet and Brad Kaplan are great with kids. If we could only have 50 Matts, Ryans and Brads, we could bring more kids into the program.

Richmond Cycling Corps partners with: The Richmond Cycling Corps is proud to partner with Shimano and Endura, two great companies in the cycling industry who provide material and financial support. Locally, we partner with Anna Julia Cooper School to provide the bike for their middle school students. We also partner with local bike shops such as Outpost, Carytown Bikes and Pedal Power.

How to get involved as a cyclist: The best way to get involved as a cyclist would be to join one of our college practices. We are always looking for volunteers to join these practices. They are a great way to help students and hone your cycling skills.

How to get involved as a volunteer: Email [email protected] org or message via Instagram or Facebook.

Future event: On Monday, May 16 at 7 p.m., RCC will premiere a short film about the program at the Byrd Theater in Carytown. Shimano, one of our industry partners, sent a world-class film crew to town to highlight the program. The evening is also a fundraiser for RCC and will include food, drinks, raffle items and a silent auction. Proceeds from the $20 ticket price will go directly to RCC. Tickets can be purchased at rccxshimano.eventbrite.com.

A perfect day for me: It would involve mountain biking, friends and pizza, preferably abroad.

The bike for me is: A workout, a social outing, and a good time.

What I’m learning about myself during the pandemic: That I’m a real introvert.

Something I love to do that most people would never imagine: Traveling internationally alone.

My friends describe me as: Adventurous.

At the top of my to-do list is: I don’t make lists.

Best late night snack: I also don’t do late night snacks. Not on my list!

Best thing my parents ever taught me: The value of education and the opportunities it brings.

Person who influenced me the most: My mother.

Book that influenced me the most: As a former English teacher, there are too many to list, but I learned important lessons about humanity from Chinua Achebe in ‘Things Fall Apart’, Rory Stewart in ‘The Places in Between “, Jhumpa Lahiri in “The Namesake” and “Calypso” by David Sedaris.

What I’m currently reading: “Here are the dreamers” by Imbolo Mbue.

Next goal: Learn to play the drums.

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