BOISE -- Derrick Boles is a born leader. He's the founder and CEO of Leadership 1st and the guy behind Stand Up America. Traveling across the country on an elliptical bicycle, the Nampa resident made stops along the way to inspire school kids and community leaders alike to be proactive in making a difference in their communities.
Our message is our community is divided, and until we stand together, we will continue to fall, said Boles in a promotional video taken in late November 2012, right before his life changing journey. There are so many people standing on the sideline. We need you to get in the game, we need you to get in and play, we need you to stand up and be a part of the solution.
The original plan was to use celebrities and athletes to make the journey, but that fell apart, and Boles decided to take it on himself.
The message is simple. It goes from school bullying, to community empowerment, social activism, just people getting involved.
Boles rode 1892 miles, averaging 50 to 80 miles per day during his cross country trek from San Diego to New Orleans.
The adventure was life changing. What I've seen, what I've experienced, said Boles. I spoke to a number of schools, middle schools kids, high school kids, universities.
Recent headlines, including mass shootings in Portland and Newtown have served to re-enforce the need for Boles' message.
So I'm riding, and these major events that are shifting and shaping our culture are happening, said Boles. How many people saw those individuals, saw that they were hurting, saw that they were lost. How many opportunities are we missing, how many people are we passing by?
Bole says there's a helpless mentality in our society.
Part of standing up is empowerment, we can actually do something. We don't have to passively sit on the sideline.
The reaction he got from people along the way was incredible. People would stop on (Highway) 110 in traffic, pull over and just start talking to me and say what are you doing? So I built a ton of relationships just in random people that were like, 'wow,' we need this.
People followed the journey on Facebook and got a lot of support from the people of Idaho.
Idaho is unbelievable, I don't think people understand how blessed we are to live here, said Boles.
He finally reached New Orleans on Superbowl weekend.
Now he's bringing that inspiration back to his home state of Idaho, working on local programs to encourage kids and adults to stand up.
Our country is in such confusion and disarray, we need people to stand up. It's just that time. You can't do it unless you stand up, you can't lead unless you go first.
To go to the Stand Up America Facebook page, click HERE.
To go to Derrick Boles' Leadership 1st website, click HERE.
To see Maggie O'Mara's story, click on the play button above. On mobile go to the video tab.