August 5, 2017 – Charlotte, NC – 0 miles 

Seeing the Charlotte skyline was such a strange feeling for me personally. I haven’t been home in nearly 90 days, since the beginning of Gear Up Florida, and driving along the roads I grew up on felt – familiar. It truly gave me chills because each day up until now has been a brand new experience, meeting amazing new people along the way and traveling completely unknown corners of the country. We started our day with Chic-Fil-A chicken buiscuits provided by the Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church! During our day off, we got the chance to join the Charlotte Miracle League in their annual All-Star game. I credit Journey of Hope for introducing me to this organization, and since have found a new passion for their mission. The Miracle League provides children and adults with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball, no matter their level of ability. My buddy for the day, LJ, was an absolute joy to play ball with. He was an offensive-minded guy, who really just wanted to hit the ball hard. So while the rest of his teammates played defense, me and LJ were in the outfield working on his swing. The rest of our time was spent running around the bases when the other team was batting, and chasing bugs along the outfield fence. I couldn’t have asked for a better buddy, who always had a big smile on his face. To top it all off, this game was held right down the road from where I spent many Saturday afternoons playing baseball as a Little Leaguer. I couldn’t help but think that my 13 years of playing baseball led to this moment, and I know I was meant to meet LJ that day. That night, the CEO of Pi Kappa Phi Mark E. Timmes hosted the South Route at the National Headquarters for a delicious meal, as well as giving the team a tour of the office. It was so interesting to see how much the Fraternity has accomplished over the past 113 years, as well as how much The Ability Experience has grown in a matter of 40 years. This was certainly a day I’ll never forget, and I’m proud to say it happened right here at home.

Nick Roberson 

Appalachian State University (Delta Zeta)