Lots of teachers want to inspire their students, but not many do it by riding nearly 1000 kilometres.
But that’s exactly what Glenfield Park School teacher Louise Stiller has planned.
The 54-year-old is using her long service leave from the small behavioural school to take part in the Sydney to Surfers Robbo’s Ride, raising money and awareness for Youth Off the Streets.
“I want to show my students that they can do anything,” she said.
“I’ve always wanted to be a voice for these kids and help them take pathways to success.”
I want to show my students that they can do anything.Louise Stiller
The bike ride, which leaves on April 29, takes the group of 200 riders from Hornsby all the way up to Seaworld, stopping at places like Bulahdelah, Grafton and Ballina along the way.
Ms Stiller, a Sutherland resident, said she would have the opportunity to address schools about youth homelessness on her journey.
Her Glenfield Park students have all shared their excitement at their teacher’s upcoming trek.
“For the past two weeks they keep asking me if I’ve done it yet, if it’s time,” she said. “I’ve been talking to them about it a lot and we’ve had presentations.”
Ms Stiller wants her students to see that there are plenty of people out there who are willing to go the extra mile to help people just like them.
“Our school has many students with emotional disturbances,” she said.
“This ride is also raising awareness for them that there is support out there and so many people who can help them reach their potential.
“If we can help them with their life skills then they’re on their way to success.”
Ms Stiller has previously completed several long-distance rides, but none as long as Sydney to Surfers.
She will be riding approximately 120-160 kilometres each day and camping each night on the week-long journey.
Her fellow riders come from all walks of life and include youths who have done it tough.
She hopes her students will feel like they can do anything once she returns.
“I hope they are inspired,” she said. “That’s always been my goal. I hope they take every opportunity in life. I’m proud to help them along the way.”
Ms Stiller is already more than $1200 into her $2000 fundraising goal.