Goshen man riding for education reform

NOW: Goshen man riding for education reform

GOSHEN, Ind. -- An Elkhart County man is on a cross-country mission to raise awareness about the nation’s educational system.

Goshen native Adrian De La Vega leaves for Columbus, Ohio on Sunday. From there, De La Vega will bike to 21 state capitals, heading as far south as Tallahassee, Florida and all the way up to Augusta, Maine.

The goal is to raise awareness about the educational system but more specifically the curriculum,” said De La Vega.

During the four month, 3,000 mile journey, De La Vega will meet with education leaders to advocate for reform and speak to students to take control of their education.

“Every year people are going out into the world and they’re not prepared so i feel like i needed to step in,” said De La Vega.

The 2016 Goshen High School graduate believes the current education system doesn’t teach kids practical skills like how to be financially independent or take care of their mental health.

De La Vega also thinks there should be less emphasis on college.

Adrian earned a full ride to IU-Bloomington but decided not to return after his first year because he says he realized college wouldn’t teach him the life skills he wanted.

“I went to college and I said well if I got this opportunity to go to college and get a full ride, what does that mean for the millions of kids or the hundreds of millions of kids around the world who didn’t get the same opportunity?” said De La Vega. “Does that mean they’re not as smart as me? Does that mean they can’t educate themselves? And common sense tells us no, but when you’re a high school student and you get a 2.0…  you start thinking I’m not smart as smart as a 4.0 student. We need to be reaching out to those kids who might not see a path to college or trade school they might want to do something else. There’s the whole internet and technology has created a whole new era of jobs that haven’t even been created because we’re not allowing kids to think think about them.”

This isn’t Adrian’s first bike journey to advocate for education issues. Last summer, he biked through 12 midwest states and did the same thing.

Adrian says he’d like students and teachers to have more control over their learning path.

“Hopefully it will spark in my generation, people who are more interested and involved so when we are 50, 40 years old and we’re making the decisions for how we should teach students, people kind of have a better, have a better way to do it,” said De La Vega. “We don’t keep doing it the same way, we don’t keep repeating that cycle and we can start bringing new ideas.”

To learn more about Adrian’s mission, click here.

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