RLS Student, Kat Power, Succeeding in an International Internship in Cape Town, South Africa

The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies (RLS) provides a multitude of learning opportunities for students to grow and develop necessary professional and other functional skills to carry over to their internships. One inspiring example is an Outdoor Adventure Leadership (OAL) major, Kat Power, interning in Cape Town, South Africa with the Bicycle Empowerment Network. In a recent email, she expressed the following:

I'm interning with the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) which is an NGO that advocates for more cyclists on the roads and also works to alleviate poverty in the townships outside of Cape Town by distributing recycled bicycles from overseas at an affordable price. My role with the organization is more on the advocacy side...I'm currently working on creating a Bicycle Master Plan for Cape Town that proposes policies, bicycling infrastructure, educational programs, and awareness initiatives that can be implemented throughout Cape Town to increase safe cycling and promote the bicycle as an affordable utilitarian form of transportation. I've also been visiting the Bicycling Empowerment Centre's (BEC's) which are shipping containers that are set up as bicycle repair shops in the townships and managed by individuals as a way for them to earn income. The BEC owners purchase used bicycles from BEN, repair them, and then sell them to people in the townships…

In my free time I've been learning how to make figurines out of wire and beads from some local street vendors… Selling this art is a popular way for many poor South Africans to earn money from tourists. Since I'm an OAL major, I'm always seeking out adventurous opportunities and South Africa has plenty to offer. I recently completed a ‘kloofing’ trip which is the Afrikaans word for canyoneering. The trip consisted of rappelling down waterfalls in a huge canyon and swimming/trekking through the river that runs down the canyon…”

Kat is an inspiration to all RLS students and sets a wonderful example for all of the possibilities for our majors and minors. Way to go!! To keep up with Kat throughout her South African journey and to see some more incredible pictures, feel free to check out her blog at the following website:

This is only one example of an RLS student who is making a difference in the world through a recreation-based education that she received here at Ithaca College. From the wise and inspirational Harriet Tubman, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” So, RLS students, where will you do your internship? The possibilities are endless.


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