Monday, August 20 , 2018, 6:28 am | Fair 64º


Santa Barbara Middle School Rides for Rwanda

To help reverse the effects of a brutal cycle of genocide, students turn to bicycles to make a positive change.


More than 100 people turned out Saturday for Santa Barbara Middle School‘s second annual Ride4Rwanda, a nine-mile bicycle ride through Santa Barbara and Goleta.

The fund-raising event, organized Jacob Seigel-Boettner, a Santa Barbara Middle School alumnus who is now a student at UC Berkeley, also is intended to raise awareness of Rwanda’s horrific genocide and the lengths to which Rwandans are going in an attempt to rebuild their lives and restore their communities.

For years, Santa Barbara Middle School, 2300 A Garden St., has used bike riding in its outdoor education programs to explore the environment, build confidence and expand learning outside the classroom. Outreach to Rwanda was a natural extension for the school because of the important role bicycles play there. Coffee farmers depend on bikes to get to work and to transport coffee beans. To Rwandans, a bicycle is a tool that can help revitalize a nation torn apart by a brutal genocide.{mosimage}

“At Santa Barbara Middle School I learned how much bikes can change lives," Seigel-Boettner said. "In Rwanda, a bike is a tool for survival, and we have the power to make a difference in that recovering country.”

The inaugural Ride4 Rwanda raised about $4,000.

“This year I hope to double the turnout and raise $8,000 in order to build a support structure in Rwanda that provides tools, parts and repair services to Rwandan civilians,” said Seigel-Boettner, who added that another objective was to earn funding to buy more than 200 bicycles in Rwanda.

Students, parents, faculty and friends turned out for Saturday’s ride, which included legendary mountain biker Tom Ritchey, who particpated along with former Santa Barbara City Councilman Dan Secord.

"I wish I had gone to a school like Santa Barbara Middle School when I was your age to be so instilled with
passion and purpose so early in life," Ritchey said. "I am very happy to be here and help them help the people of Rwanda."

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >