Alexander Calafiura (he/him)
10th grader at East Side Community High School
Congratulations to our first Person of the Month, Alexander Calafiura! Alexander was nominated by his coaches East Side coach, Momo Ullah. He has demonstrated incredible growth during his participation in the Cycling Smarts program.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Why did Alexander join the Cycling Smarts program? Alexander says:
“I joined the Cycling Smarts program because I love cycling! It’s so much fun taking bike rides around the city. I’m also glad to have such amazing peers and team members to cycle with.”
Why did Coach Momo nominate Alexander? Coach Momo explains:
Alex has been present since day one and has almost perfect attendance and every time they arrive they are ready to go with whatever the day calls for. They have shown willingness to learn and even step up to take lead in activities. They continue to show dedication to utilizing the Cycling Smarts program to the fullest. I’m looking forward to seeing them growing into the youth leader he has the potential to become.
Alexander showed the dedication and growth that Coach Momo explained. Alexander says, “My biggest achievement in Cycling Smarts was the completion of Pride Ride! Last year, me and the team went on the 65 mile ride. Hopefully this year, we can do 100 miles!” He not only wishes to relive his challenge, but increase the difficulty and challenge his potential to go further.
LEARN, GROW, ACHIEVE
What kind of participant is Alexander? Coach Momo explains:
Some of Alex’s unique traits I have seen are:
- hardworking and dedicated
- excited and passionate about learning cycling and cycling skills
- a leader and team player that leads by example and steps up when needed while encouraging peers to do the same
- self-motivated and knowledge driven individual that always asks questions when they are unsure or don’t know something
As a returning student of the program, he is more advanced than some of his peers that are joining the program for the first time. That didn’t keep them from treating each session as a learning opportunity, whether it’s something new or an improvement to what they already know. Along the way they stepped up as a youth leader and helping out in getting bikes ready, leading activities and helping his peers.
Although Alexander is more experienced, this doesn’t slow down the motivation and growth. Alexander says, “The Cycling Smarts program has helped me learn more about the importance of persistence. On long rides, it was easy to give up, but pushing through all the way was super worth it! I also learned about the importance of teamwork and community.”
What are some significant moments you experienced with Alexander?
The first time I took the bikes out of the shipping container and asked for help moving the bikes, I unloaded to another spot to clear the pathway, they immediately volunteered with no hesitation. Made me really happy when he stepped up, especially when no other participant did the same. Then for the rest of the session, he helped me to fit people to bikes and go over helmets. They continue to bring the same energy, positive attitude and willingness to give a hundred percent to a session regardless if it’s a lesson they completed and know, or completed and need a reminder of/improve on, or it’s completely new to them and work hard to learn it.
Alexander continues to be an exceptional young cyclist and we can’t wait to see what Alexander’s journey looks like in this new year!