Meet RIDETZ Rider, Kaitlin Rogers

3 May

By Kaitlin Rogers

Today I get to introduce myself as one of the RIDETZ riders. Over the past two years I have had the joy of getting to know The Foundation For Tomorrow, and I have RIDETZ to thank for that. It is amazing to think that if it weren’t for that 400 mile bike ride in 2010 I may not even know about this organization that has since become my whole world. I don’t even want to think about that :) You can see my responses to the interview questions below.

Me with my sisters, Caroline (right) and Maggie (left)

Me with some of my cousins in Door County, Wisconsin


1) Where are you from?

I am from Lake Bluff, a northern suburb of Chicago that I lovingly refer to as my favorite place in the world. I do believe that this tiny town where I grew up surrounded by family is an extremely special place.

The center of town


2) What do you do for work?

I work for The Foundation For Tomorrow. A few weeks into my new job, I shared with my family that I couldn’t fall asleep at night because I was so excited to wake up in the morning to get to work. Perturbed, my youngest sister Maggie rolled her eyes and declared that that was just not normal. I may be annoyingly excited about my job, but I cannot imagine waking up in the morning with a more meaningful sense of purpose.


3) What do you like to do on your spare time?

I love being with my family and friends. I also love photography, and I still do some freelance work (I left my job at a photography studio to work for TFFT). Yoga keeps me sane, and I can get lost in a stationary store for hours.





4) Who is your inspiration in life?

I was lucky to grow up with many wonderful role models and mentors. My parents’ unconditional love and support has instilled in me a sense of confidence and the ambition to follow my heart. I’m not sure that one person has been my inspiration, but I know that I am inspired every time I see someone working for something they believe in.

The way my sister Maggie dances inspires me. The way my sister Caroline is working so hard to become a physical therapist inspires me. My friends who wake up every day and teach a classroom full of students through Teach For America inspire me. The way nothing gets in between Marc and some time on the ice to play hockey inspires me. Getting to work beside Meghann every day inspires me. I believe in surrounding myself with people who work hard for their goals. I think that is the best source of inspiration.

Maggie’s dancing feet


5) How did you hear about RIDETZ?

My senior year of college I was working for Tamara Lackey Photography. I had spent two previous summers working in Tanzania through a Duke Engage program called Literacy Through Photography. I was planning to return for a third summer when Meghann contacted Tamara in search of a photographer for RIDETZ 2010. I was already planning to be in Tanzania during the ride, and accepting this unique photography opportunity was a no-brainer.


RIDETZ 2010, Me, Miller Bianucci, Meghann, and Macon Bianucci


6) What inspired you to want to ride this June?

While I was along for the first RIDETZ experience, I never actually got on a bike! I traveled by safari car as I documented the riders’ experience with my camera. I did feel kind of guilty, though, as I jumped around fresh faced and sat relaxed in the van while the riders expended every bit of energy they had and then some. It was the riders’ perseverance that inspired my desire to tackle RIDETZ. Watching them conquer this amazing challenge made me desperately want the same sense of achievement. My boyfriend Marc agreed to join me for the adventure, and that sealed the deal.

Always jumping

Me and Marc


7) Are you celebrating any milestone with RIDETZ?

I’m not celebrating any milestone, but I’m celebrating an incredible cause, a beautiful country, and the fact that I’m able to take on this endeavor.

8) What is your favorite place to ride? (besides Tanzania that is)

Hmm… spin class or anyplace with a bike path… all this street riding in Charlotte gets me nervous. Navigating the Tanzanian terrain should be—err—interesting. Let’s just say that I’m in this for the cause and the experience, biking is not exactly my forte.

9) What kind of bike do you train on? Does it have a name?

So far my white Diamondback has done the trick.

10) What unique ways are you planning on spreading the awareness for what you are doing and fundraising?

I am planning to use my photography as a fundraising tool. I’m going to offer some donation sessions in Charlotte in addition to reaching out to family and friends for support. To support my fundraising efforts, please visit my fundraising page.


6 Responses to “Meet RIDETZ Rider, Kaitlin Rogers”

  1. GInny Wells May 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Kaitlin is en exceptional person in every way. I feel fortunate that my girls and I know her and love her shining example as a role model for a life well-lived.

  2. Moira May 3, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    The above photo of you and Marc is STUNNING! So proud and happy for you, Kaitlin! Keep up the great work :)

  3. Kim Perez May 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Kaitlin – You are so inspiring and passionate about what and who you believe in! Best wishes for a great ride!

    Marc’s Mom

  4. Lexy May 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    YOU inspire me, Kaitlin! I think you have an energy and spirit that invigorates everyone connected to you! You’re so wonderful!

    • Gretchen May 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

      How lucky TFFT is to have you and how lucky we are to get to ride with you!!!


  1. Meet RIDETZ Rider Ben Bourne « TFFT's Blog - May 9, 2012

    […] Kaitlin Rogers, who traveled with Meghann to photograph the first RIDETZ two years ago, published a book entitled 400 miles. I simply could not put it down. Picture after picture, image after breathtaking image. It was something I had to do. My friends who took part in 2010 said it was hands down the experience of a lifetime. I knew I had to do it. I wanted to experience the challenge both mentally and physically and to see this beautiful country while pushing my body to its limits. […]

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