The State Race
The State Race was a project created by Hunter Reynolds, Brendon Ferguson, and Blake Harrell. The mission: To visit and volunteer in all 50 states of America in the year 2018, while sharing their adventures as an ongoing travel-series.
Being a college student is a lot of work. In-fact, you might consider it to be a full-time job if you're determined to get good grades. As a group of creatives, most days in class are spent daydreaming of foreign places and spontaneous adventures. One evening, while sitting in the living room of our friend, Brendon Ferguson's house, we asked ourselves the question: "How many US states do you think the average person has been to?". Well, the number is lower than you think. A LOT LOWER. After all, we're always so eager to run around the world, on mission-trips or simply for leisure, visiting exotic locations and providing international aid/relief without any regard to the numerous adventures and needs in our own. This got us thinking. Why were we so determined to travel the world when we had barely even seen our own backyard? I mean, people travel from literally all over the world to experience our national parks, modern cities, and thriving business opportunities.
"This is America" - Donald Glover
We had fantasized about the idea of visiting all 50 states, but our friend truly brought the idea to fruition when he stated, "Anyone can travel to all 50 states. You should make it a challenge and do it all in 1 year". We jokingly laughed-off his proposition, but he had made a good point. That would be the ULTIMATE adventure. Further to the point, we were gifted with flight benefits due to our parent's careers on the conditions of us being full-time students. The more we considered it, the less improbable this idea seemed. And what's life without a little adventure? But this didn't seem like enough. Something was missing. I mean, if we were going to be traveling all-around the country, we might as well find a way to make some good out of it, right? Finding a way to connect with our audience on a level much deeper than simply sharing our travels in an on-going video series. This was an opportunity to bring REAL CHANGE and inspire others to get involved in their local communities. It was at this moment, January 21st, 2018, that we decided to embrace this idea in full form, and begin TheStateRace - a mission to visit and volunteer in all 50 states in 2018, while documenting our adventures in an on-going travel-series.
As part of our mission, we committed ourselves to identifying a need in every single state and serving that local community in some way. This was an incredibly fulfilling and eye-opening experience that there is truly a need in every single local community. You do not need to travel around the world just to do good. Now granted, we're not saying that other countries are not in need of service and aid. They are. It's just that so many people feel like they must leave America in order to volunteer, when in reality there are numerous opportunities, probably minutes from your house, that are being ignored and desperately need your help.
As we continued our journey, we noticed that our mission was becoming increasingly popular. More and more people began recognizing us as TheStateRace, and supporting our mission by offering us meals, shelter, and transportation. This was a true testament to the kindness found in strangers. However, we were shocked when we started to see our name in local newspapers, articles, radio, and even news stations.
TheStateRace was presented as an an-going travel series with 60-second episodes from each state we visited, highlighting the service projects, local favorites, our adventures, and tourism.