Cross-country Trip to Build, Promote Affordable Housing

Cross-country Trip to Build, Promote Affordable Housing

UCF  junior Lauren Brown plans to be on the move a lot next summer – bicycling from coast to coast with others and making scheduled stops on a project to help construct affordable housing for those in need.

Beginning next May in Nags Head, N.C., the 30 riders on her Bike & Build team will set their sights on San Diego, aiming to finish their 3,602-mile cross-country trip about nine weeks later.

Along the way they’ll pedal past mountains, wheat fields and deserts interspersed with stops in several cities for “build days” with Habitat for Humanity, Common Ground and other affordable-housing organizations.

“At the completion … I hope to have an invaluable appreciation for different cultures, the simple beauty of nature, and a bigger desire for community service,” said Brown, who is majoring in event management and sports business management.

The nonprofit Bike & Build organization has set up trips for nine seasons. According to their website, the group has contributed more than $3.3 million to building projects while helping to promote the need for affordable housing. Teams from eight different starting and ending points will head out next summer.

Brown said she hasn’t bicycled long distances before, but she has always been active in sports and has a spinning bicycle in her apartment that she works out on.

Brown is a graduate of Lake Mary High School, a member of UCF’s Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, and works as a student assistant in the dean’s office in the College of Business.

Brown said she’s looking forward to the adventure and challenge of the Bike & Build.

As she pronounces on her website: “I’m open to new things, love the beauty of the outdoors, and try to learn from every experience.”

To help raise funds for her trip, Brown has a sponsor website at http://bikeandbuild.org/rider/6548.