AQ Alum Bike and Build for a Great Cause

Jess Zarik ’17 is the Admissions Operations Specialist at Aquinas College. Jess studied community leadership, Spanish, and women’s studies. As a student, Jess was highly engaged and heavily involved with the service learning department, president of Habitat for Humanity AQ student organization, and served on the sustainability learning committee. She also received the Outstanding Community Impact award from the Michigan Campus Compact which recognizes exemplary civically engaged students.

That passion continued into her professional career as Jess is now a leader with Bike and Build, a nonprofit organization that engages young adults in service-oriented cycling trips to raise awareness for the affordable housing crisis. She joined the Board of Directors in May ’21 and has been an avid biker. This year, Pitt Drift riders spent an amazing week of riding, volunteering, and building community. They rode along the Great Allegany Path (GAP) and the C&O Canal Towpath. They also traveled largely via forested trails, intersecting with the Appalachian Trail, visiting historical sites like Harpers Ferry.

At a Glance

22 Riders

333 Miles Biked

2 States Traversed

18,600 Raised


The funds raised supported the rehabilitation of a Habitat for Humanity home. Recruitment for summer trips are currently underway – check out their website to learn more about the opportunity. Or, stop by the Aquinas College Admissions Office to chat with Jess directly!


By Dana Hebreard
Dana Hebreard Director, Advantage Center and Career Services