In the Summer of 2021, Genesis Munoz joined the Park City High School Mountain Bike Team. She did not have riding experience, and had limited access to equipment and gear, but had seen an outreach post via Park City Community Foundation’s Solomon Fund Facebook page and took an interest in trying something new.
Genesis persevered with the equipment and resources she had until she had the good fortune of receiving a Trek Pathfinder Scholarship. This national program provided students with a brand new fitted bike and all the gear they needed to ride. Sarah MacCarthy, Community Impact Director, applied for multiple scholarships via RISE Fund, a Park City Community Foundation Initiative that facilitates equitable access for local students to participate in sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities. Genesis was one of two students to receive a scholarship.
Not every student had the opportunity to receive Trek’s funding, so RISE Fund stepped in to help take care of other costs. RISE Fund supported four students, including those who received a scholarship, in joining the PCHS Mountain Bike Team. They covered team fees, accommodations for races, and cycling kits, as well bikes and NICA fees for students not under scholarship.
“When my mom found out we had won a Trek scholarship, she was speechless because she never thought something like this would ever be given to me,” she wrote in a blog post about her experience joining a NICA race team. “When I got the new bike and gear, it just encouraged me more to continue pushing myself beyond my comfort zone.”
“Genesis threw everything she had into it,” said Park City High School Mountain Biking Team Coach Heather Sims. “She fully embraced the sport and fully became a part of the team, despite being the only Latina. I still remember when she placed fifth in her first race, her smile was immaculate. You can just tell the sport brings her joy.”
Genesis’ story is yet another excellent example of the power of community convening. When organizations and businesses work together, we can make Summit County a more equitable landscape for all.
“Being a girl in such a male-dominated sport can be a challenge,” wrote Genesis. “Girls live up to a standard of where we have to be “pretty in pink,” we have to stay safe, we can’t do little things that will get dirt on our face. Yet I love going to those practices where I can get a little dirty and messy… I hope that I can show girls that it’s okay to get dirty and to try something that is challenging. I hope I can be a role model for any girl hoping to join the team. I want to show them a girl can do it just as well.”