Probably one of the most collaborative and community driven projects IDEAS at the University of Central Florida has even taken on was the 2011 bio-diesel bus ride to Washington, D.C. to attend Power Shift, a bi-yearly convergence of youth from all across the country to tell our representatives that we want a sustainable representation for our uncertain future and build essential organizing skills that will take us there!


The journey took a pain-staking 24hrs to arrive at our nation’s capital from Orlando, Florida. Two of our biggest challenges were getting the RUNbus up and running in time for our departure date, and organizing a safe trip for 32 passionate university students.


The bus was donated by Chance Gabehart a musician and philanthropist. Terry Hershner an engineering guru and electric motorcycle innovator helped repair the bus for it’s long journey ahead and Graham Penniman, Green Waves creator, was our bus driver.


I think the best part about the Powershift conference was just getting there. 32 students crammed into a “double wide trailer” for 24hrs allowed each and everyone of us to become better friends and a better team. We shared responsibilities, maintained communication with one another, and created chants that kept moral high!


All of this type of comradery was necessary for the conference. In fact, the conference focus was to grow effective leadership skills and group models that formed goals, strategies, and tactics to build various grass-root movements across the country and globe.


Over the course of the conference each of us learned how to be effective organizers, which has helped IDEAS For Us grow into the aspiring non-profit it is today. We have even used these tools to build our flagship community program, the Hive.


– Hank Harding