A 16 Year Olds Point of View

Ron & Becca Bien

PIF 2008
Camp Bristol Hills New York
"Investing In The Future"

My first over night motorcycle trip was the week of June 12th for a PIF trip. Before we left my dad tried to explain what PIF was. PIF, I learned, stood for Pay It Forward and that the program started about eight years ago. The intention of the organization is to invest in the future of the recipient of the donation made by Freedom Board members.

On June 14th we arrived at the Sunset pavilion in Rochester, NY. There, seven high school graduates were having a small get together organized by the Freedom Board PIF members. My impression was thinking that we'd get there, dry off from the rain, surprise them with the computers then leave. In a bland description that is what we did, but then some. When a small number of us arrived at the park the students were told that the Freedom Board PIF members were sponsoring their picnic. Then they announced that due to the rest of the bikers running a little late to go ahead and begin to eat. After the few of us who were there ate we crossed the road to see Lake Ontario to take candid pictures of the lake and each other. As we turned around to cross the road again a long stream of Gold Wings and cars poured down the road and into the parking lot.

It was so amazing to see so many people come from so many different places to help these students with their journey into college. Well we talked with them and the students until everyone was finished eating. When everyone was finished it was still a little while before they started the presentation. Finally Greg looked to my dad, Ron, and asked him where Don Ferguson was so that he could get the show on the road. My dad called him over and sure enough Don searched around for Bill, the man in charge and he got it all started. I expected about four or five riders to hold out some computers to the students and tell them that they now have a new computer and to go live life. But I was fortunately wrong. I was pleasantly surprised to see that a nice presentation was prepared and ready to go without last minute additions. Bill gained everyone's attention and went on to say how proud he is of all of the students there. He mentioned how deserving each of these students are and how hard they worked in class. Then he passed the spotlight on to the coach of the boy's and he said some very heartfelt compliments about each of the boys. He took the time to explain the accomplishments of all seven students. Each young man had overcome some struggles and did great in school.

Another expectation I had was that these boy's would act like they didn't care or just wanted to be anywhere else but there. They had me fooled with the large t-shirts and backwards hats. But when their name was called out they all stood up straight and thanked everyone for the laptop they had just received and were very polite. I even think I heard a little excitement in their voices when they were told to pass on the acts of kindness. Those young men touched my heart and I wish I had some more like them at my school. I am very proud to have been part of that trip. It was so much fun!!


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