My name is Bella Wiener, I’m 18 years old and I am a senior in high school. I was born and raised in Bend, Oregon, so I naturally love the outdoors. Outside of school, I am a swimmer and pianist. I also love skiing, hiking, camping, and paddle boarding. I came across SHE and fell in love with their work and ideas. I would tell the girls in Rwanda and around the world who have similar aspirations:
You are more powerful than you know. You have the power to speak out, create, fight for your dreams, and transform the world. If you have a passion, pursue it. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. And if you are waiting for a sign to take action, this is it. Now is your time to change the world and achieve your goals.
I am a senior at Lincoln High School and am planning on majoring in neuroscience next year at either University of Vermont or Baylor University. It is my dream to become an orthopedic surgeon. I love to ski and I raced until last year, which was my 12th year. I also love to run.
Climbing Kilimanjaro has always been something I wanted to do; I love a challenge. #climbforSHE was enticing because this climb matters for someone other than myself. It might seem daunting but the reward is worth the difficulties you may face along the way.
My name is Ashley LaLonde and I am a high school junior at the Dalton School in NYC. I am extremely excited to be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro this June to support SHE! I am a performer at heart and I am currently a member of the student-run acapella group, the Improv Club, and will be playing a leading role in this year’s school musical. I also love Rwanda – I went there two summers ago on a mission trip with my church. SHE is on such an amazing mission and I am glad to do whatever I can to show support.
I’ve always loved this quote by Thomas Edison. “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” If we all come together, working ardently toward a common goal, nothing is impossible.
My name is Chloe Raymond, I am 23 years old, and I live in Bend, OR. There are a few reasons that I was inspired to take on Mt. Kilimanjaro and #climbforSHE. 2014 was a huge year for me, because I had the opportunity to exhibit my artwork at three different locations and also train for the Portland Marathon. Throughout the entire process I received so much love and support from my friends and family and I knew I wanted to give back in some way. I knew I wanted to support a cause greater than myself. I love that my fellow climbers and I get to raise awareness for a worthy cause and also take on a physical challenge. It is a rare opportunity that allows for personal growth, while benefitting others.
I am currently seventeen years old and living in New York City. I am a student at Horace Mann, and I wanted to do something that would make a difference for women and girls this summer. I am part of the Women’s Issues Club at my school. The advisor to the club sent out an email about climbing for SHE. Once I read the email, I knew I wanted to participate. I am most excited to reach the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro; however, I am also excited to have the opportunity to go to Africa. I am looking forward to raising money for women and girls who need a necessity they are not provided with.
Bella is the reason that I joined #climbforSHE. She’s been an inspiration ever since I’ve known her as a little kid! Her parents are pretty special too. Anything these three were up to (no pun intended), was a no brainer! Plus anything I can do to help women around the world to achieve their goals is worth doing! When I learned about SHE, I got it right away and knew I wanted to be a part of this effort to assist them! One pad at a time, one step at a time!
I’m Gayle Baker, 71 years old and live on a ranch in Sisters, Oregon. Being active outdoors is my favorite activity—I’m now learning to ski downhill. I retired from Merrill Lynch in Anchorage, Alaska as a stock broker and moved to the ranch. I am a widow, no children. And that sums up Gayle Baker!
Eva Johnston, and her son, Connor, age 16
From the first moment I glimpsed the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, peeking out above the dense cloud deck below, my heart raced, palms sweat and I felt a surge of adrenaline as I KNEW I was going to return to climb that majestic mountain!
After I learned about Bella and her #climbforSHE campaign, I was in! How could I not seize this opportunity to support Bella’s “Action Plan”, the incredible opportunities that SHE is creating for young girls across sub-Saharan Africa, while pursuing a personal and philanthropic goal with my children! My son Connor will be joining me for the full climb, while my daughter Sydney will be a part of our adventure too!
You don’t have to climb a mountain to help others…support us, share our story, or find your own passion for helping others!
I love my wife, Joanne Richter of 24 years and our daughter Bella, age 18. We have a rescue dog from the Lacota Sioux reservation named Sunka and an orange cat named Oscar.
I have climbed Mt Kilimanjaro twice before. Once when I was traveling alone in 1986 and then again 8 years ago when I organized a climb to raise $85,000 to build an orphanage in Kenya.
I’m most excited to share this climb with Bella and the rest of the climbers. I’m thrilled to think of all the money that will be raised to support the work SHE is doing.
Simon Peter Mtuy, born and raised on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, is the founder and owner of Summit Expeditions & Nomadic Experience. Simon was one of the youngest persons to earn his Kilimanjaro guide license and is also an accomplished ultra-distance runner and holds the record for the fastest unsupported round-trip ascent and descent of Kilimanjaro. He is a leader in local community development efforts through his NGO Hope Through Opportunity – Tanzania (HTO-TZ). Simon lives in the foothills of Kilimanjaro with his wife Tara and sons Aiden and Khari.