I Challenge Myself provides opportunities for public school students to strengthen their bodies, minds and spirits through our school-based fitness programs. We partner with New York City public schools to offer programs that introduce youth to non-competitive endurance sports, currently cycling and cross fitness, that help students develop, socially, academically and physically. Since our launch in February 2005, we have directly served over 2,500 public middle school and high school students ages 11–19 in the Bronx and Manhattan. I Challenge Myself is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Our Impact

Increased student participation in PE classes at five NYC public high schools through the addition of circuits, exercises and fitness equipment

Increases in students’ fitness scores and level of physical activity

Improved PE teachers’ capacity to organize and lead PE classes that more actively engage students

98% of Cycling Smarts students learned to ride a bike safely

73% of students reported that being in Cycling Smarts improved their self-esteem

Over 80% of students reported that our resistance training workouts helped make them stronger

100% of College Bike Tour seniors graduated high school: 83% enrolled in college and 13% joined the military

Kids’ participation in sports has been shown to develop positive relationships with peers and adults and develop specific life skills that help them to make safe choices and maintain healthy lifestyles.

Emerging research that finds that perseverance and resiliency are critical 21st Century skills that must be taught in our schools and are equally as important as content knowledge.

To participate in the bike ride, we had to train through a triathlon. I couldn’t swim. I didn’t know how to ride a bike. I found it really hard. Teachers pushed me. I pushed myself. I realized that the more I did, the more I could do. I got really confident. It taught me that if I work hard enough I can do things that seem impossible.”

— Stephanie Rodriguez

When I started the program, I was really really shy. I found it hard to talk to people.
I’m more confident now. I sometimes surprise myself how comfortable I am with new people. I was helped by others in the group to be where I am. Now, I really try to help newcomers to fit in. I want to return the favor. ”

— Carmel Ray Enriquez – Myles

I came to a point that I was doing no exercise. I had no energy. One day, I said this is it, I was fed up. I will join the cycling program. I joined for fitness but I met so many interesting people in the class. My dad bought a bike and started teaching me about gear. We now have biking in common. I think it has improved our relationship.”

— Joshua Manigault