Written by EDCOE Leadership and Communications Intern Tyler Marchini
This July, four students and three staff members tackled the infamous 129-mile Death Ride and represented their school – the EDCOE Rite of Passage (R.O.P.) Charter High School located in Minden, Nevada. Rite of Passage didn’t leave their contributions on the race track, as student volunteers encouraged riders and filled water bottles at a water station.
Sponsored by the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce, the Death Ride attracts 3,500 riders annually. The breathtaking views and 15,000 feet of climbing have made it one of the premier cycling races in California. The Death Ride is 36 years old and attracts cyclists from several different countries and age groups. Nearly half of the riders completed all five mountain passes this year, including one determined R.O.P. student who completed the entire 129 miles!
Rite of Passage, a residential education facility for “at-risk” teens, combines EDCOE-supported curriculum with character-building athletic and community service programs that provide students with positive opportunities for growth. Rite of Passage is defined by its emphasis on building personal discipline and responsibility in youth, whether through their academic rigor or their focus on life-long athletics. Jennifer Munyan, classroom specialist who represented R.O.P. in the Death Ride, affirmed the continued success of this mission, “When students complete these challenges, they walk away changed. There is a glint of aspiration in their eyes. Their stride carries confidence. They begin to speak of their future optimistically. I hear it each time a student confides, ‘If I can do this, I can do anything.’”
R.O.P.’s Qualifying House facility fields teams for a variety of sports to promote a commitment to healthy living after formal education ends. These sports include cycling, tennis, and skiing. This Death Ride is not the first for R.O.P. but a continuation of a decades-long commitment to disciplinary excellence.