How far are you willing to go to make a difference? For Ally Tripure, distance is measured both by awareness and by miles. After graduating on May 13, Ally will participate in a 1,700-mile bike ride June 10-July 29 from Seattle, Washington, to San Diego, California, to fundraise and support the mission of Pedal the Pacific (PTP).
“A friend of mine from Oregon did the PTP ride last year. I was so intrigued by the biking aspect, but then I learned there was so much more to it,” Ally said. Pedal the Pacific is an advocacy group that uses bikes as “a platform to raise awareness, educate peers, fundraise for leading nonprofits and develop leaders who believe that no voice is too small to make a difference.”
“Doing work that makes a difference in the world around you is so rewarding and meaningful.”
Ally will join nine other women who are riding 1,700 miles to educate others about sex trafficking.
“A little more than a year ago, I knew virtually nothing about sex trafficking,” she said. “I knew a few of the common myths and really thought that trafficking only happened in other countries. Little did I know, sex trafficking is happening in my very own city.”
Her journey down the coast will allow Ally to help flip the script.
“I was apprehensive about learning more; I was intimidated and uncomfortable. But now, because of what PTP does, I can create a safe and welcoming space for conversation,” she said. “People can stop and ask me why. I want to do this ride because I believe in a world where people are not for sale. I want sex trafficking to end, and I want to show people how they can fight too…I want to ride 1,700+ miles alongside my teammates and with PTP’s support because there are so many people just like me who know nothing about sex trafficking.”
As an Exercise Science major
, Ally is the epitome of the complete student-athlete. In addition to serving as the Student Government Association’s VP of Educational Affairs, the president of the Exercise Science Association and a member of the Bellarmine Society, this cross country and track athlete has worked with Falls City Community Bikeworks, Girls on the Run Kentuckiana and the YMCA Livestrong program. “Bellarmine's Center for Community Engagement
has been a driving force for my passion for helping others and standing with groups that are doing good in this world,” she said.
“Ally truly embodies what it means to be a Knight,” said Dr. Helen-Grace Ryan, vice president for Student Affairs. “Whether she is representing us on the cross-country course, biking down the West Coast raising funds for a national non-profit, or calling a meeting to discuss a student concern, she is thoughtful, mature and puts others’ needs ahead of her own. She goes above and beyond in a thoughtful and supportive way, always looking out for those of us who may need a little help.”
Ally said that while attending Bellarmine, she got a taste of how “doing work that makes a difference in the world around you is so rewarding and meaningful.”
“Now I get to continue working for good with Pedal the Pacific.”
Congratulations, Ally, and thank you for raising awareness for such an important human-rights issue. Follow Ally’s journey on Instagram @pedalthepacific