NASHVILLE, Tenn. Nov. 2, 2015 /Discipleship Ministries/ – Cyclists around the world are invited to join Mike Ratliff of Young People’s Ministries (YPM) on the first ever Global Scholarship Century Ride to raise money to help United Methodist young people pursue their educational goals.
Ratliff, the Associate General Secretary of Young People’s Ministries (YPM), will celebrate his 60th birthday by riding 100 miles through Florida on Friday, Nov. 6, and urged others to commit to riding from 100 minutes to 100 miles to raise at least $100 to support the YPM Global Scholarship Fund. YPM is part of Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church.
“These scholarships give young people a chance to experience a sustainable lifestyle,” Ratliff said. “It’s an opportunity to help young people who are active in the church make a difference in their own lives, the lives of their families and the lives of their communities.”
The scholarships provide assistance for United Methodist students, ages 18-35, to pursue higher education in their home country/region outside the United States. Over the last five years, $55,250 has been awarded to 51 students from 11 countries in Africa and the Philippines. However, funds were not available for an additional 300 students who applied.
“This fundraising is important because we just simply don’t have the resources to meet the need that is there,” Ratliff said.
A donation of $100 will cover one semester hour for a Global Scholarship recipient. Anyone – whether committing to participate in the Century Ride or not – can donate by going tohttps://UMCyoungpeople.org/centuryride.
Ratliff will start his ride at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, one of the church’s historically Black colleges. The ride will end in Orlando at the site of EXPLORATION, a weekend event for young adults to explore their gifts for service and respond to God’s call to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church.
Other supporters, including YPM staff members, throughout the United States and the Philippines have committed to join the Century Ride.
“We’re also going to have a group of scholarship recipients at Africa University participating by walking because they don’t have bikes”, Ratliff added.
Initially, the two scholarship funds administered through YPM, were not available to people outside the United States, Ratliff said. “We are a global church, yet a significant number of our young people could not access the available scholarships,” he said. “Since students can attend a local college for less than a quarter of what it costs in the U.S. or Europe, it made sense to expand in this way.”
The Global Scholarship Fund was established in 2008 with money from the YPM budget placed into an investment account with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
“We realized fairly quickly that the need greatly outstrips the funds that are available. So each of the last three years, we’ve added additional budgeted money to the income from the investment account, so we’re able to provide more scholarships,” Ratliff said. Proceeds from the Century Ride will increase the investment funds, making more scholarship awards available in the future.
For more information about the Global Scholarship Fund, go to https://umcyoungpeople.org/grants-scholarships.