A young woman on a solo cross-country skating trek rolled through Madison last week. Nearly 800 miles into her journey, Yanise Ho, 23, is traveling with nothing more than a pair of rollerblades, a big backpack, and even bigger dreams as she skates from town to town across America spreading a message of “trust and love” while raising money for underprivileged girls in Uganda and Kenya to receive an education.
Her latest adventure is entitled “The Wondrous Voyage of Yanise,” a 6,000-mile journey from Miami to California and back to the East Coast. So far, she has completed more than 35 days on the road, traveling from Miami up through Florida and Georgia, now reaching Atlanta. Next, she is heading to “the wild west.” She has raised $1,200, enough for two girls to go to school for one year through The Bladress Scholarship.
“One Girl Can, One Mile at a Time,” is the motto of this brave rollerblader who founded her own charity to aid at-risk girls in Africa. Yanise is aiming to help “end child marriage through education” by sponsoring young girls to go to school.
“Money raised for The Bladress Scholarship will support and mentor each scholarship recipient from secondary school until she gains meaningful employment,” explained Yanise. “Together we can reach our target and change the lives of bright and deserving girls living in Kenya and Uganda forever.”
With empty pockets and a smile ear to ear, Yanise is traveling without money, relying on the kindness of family, friends and strangers along the way.
“This journey is a mission to prove that through love, everyone, regardless of their background, is deeply connected with one another,” said Yanise. “The world is encircled by natural masterpieces, vibrant cultures, and most of all, incredible people. However, these wonderful stories of love are often shrouded by the gloom-ridden news on crimes and disasters. I believe the best of humanity also deserves to be told, shared and preserved. We must have faith because when we act on faith, a world brimming with love, care, and trust is just not a fantasy, but a reality!”
While this is Yanise’s first trip across America and back again, Yanise is no stranger to travel. She has lived and travelled all over the world, yearning the chance to see as much of the world as possible since childhood.
“At 9, I started pondering the meaning of life,” said Yanise. “I dreamt about total freedom, imagining myself running through a wild meadow alongside scampering horses. At 15, a two-week trip to New Zealand with my best friend changed the course of my life. It magically healed my insomnia, and I learnt that the world was more than just the concrete jungle of Hong Kong, in which I’d spent my whole life bustling around.”
Yanise was born in Hong Kong and live there until she studied abroad in Rome, Italy, at the age of 16. She then moved to America to attend college in Washington at 17-years-old before moving to California at age 18. When Yanise turned 20, she backpacked across Central America and Europe for six months. She then lived in New York and Cananda before beginning the Bladress Project at age 21.
In 2016, Yanise rollerbladed from Savannah to Miami, her first experiment with long-distance rollerblading for a cause.
“I rollerbladed from Savannah to Miami (600 miles) for 19 days without money,” said Yanise. “At first, I knew nobody, but soon everyone became my family on the road!”
Now Yanise wants to prove the kindness and connection between people all across America.
“This time, I am undertaking a more challenging distance,” said Yanise of her ambitious coast-to-coast journey. “Not only do I yearn to prove the kindness of people, but I also founded The Bladress Scholarship, through the charity One Girl Can, to raise funds for girls’ education in Kenya and Uganda. If you see me on the road, don’t be a stranger! Say hello.”
To donate follow Yanise’s journey or to The Bladress Scholarship, visit: www.yaniseho.com.