CORNWALL, Ontario – On Sunday, Aug. 23, Zach Stabb, a 16-year-old student at Howard S Billings Regional High School in Chateauguay, QC, left St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal on his bike with the goal of reaching Toronto by Aug. 29. He embarked on this journey to help raise awareness and funds to help resolve clean water issues in First Nations communities. Cornwall was his first stop on Sunday night.
Students at Zach’s high school are tasked in their senior year to complete a project that has a positive impact. After conducting some research, Zach learned that despite Canada controlling six per cent of the world’s fresh water, 20 per cent of First Nations communities face challenges related to consistent access to clean water.
“My goal for this trip is to bring exposure to this problem,” Zach said in an interview with Seaway News.
Zach’s first leg of his journey, from Montreal to Cornwall was the longest bike ride of his life, but he explained that this was something he felt he needed to do.
His high school, Howard S Billings Regional High School is just eight kilometres south of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawá:ke.
In addition to raising awareness, Zach was also raising money for the non-profit organization Water First. Zach had the goal of raising $1,500 for the organization, but as of Monday, Aug. 24, he had already doubled his goal.
“I’m very excited and have been receiving great support from back home,” he said.
Zach aims to complete his 603 kilometre journey by the end of the day on Friday, Aug. 29.