Nick Tucker ’11 has been helping others for years. He’s mentored kids in
Waterville and worked with autistic children in his hometown of
Berwick, Maine. Now, with friend Sam Roleau ’10, Tucker wants to perform
similar acts of kindness on the road.

Tucker and Roleau plan to walk across the country this summer if their fundraising is successful. The inspiration came from Richard Paul Evans’s book The Walk.
“I was like, I don’t just want to walk,” Tucker said. “It would be
really cool and rewarding to try to vol–unteer and do random acts of
kindness in every state we walk through.”

The trip, which Tucker and Roleau plan to document online (makestrides.net), was planned after Tucker’s unsuccessful bid for a Thomas J. Watson Foundation fellowship. He had proposed studying the psychological and social effects of AIDS/HIV on children in Brazil, Mozambique, and South Africa.

It’s a subject with which Tucker has had some experience. As a child he lost both of his parents to AIDS (see story, winter 2011 Colby). If he could not do an AIDS-related project, Tucker thought, he certainly could do one centered on kindness.

The plan is to break the walk up by volunteering in communities
across the country, doing good in every state they cross. Tucker has
been researching volunteering opportunities along the planned route,
leaving time for things that just come along. “I always want to leave a
little serendipity to it.”