18 episodes

The Ability Experience is a nonprofit organization with a simple mission: create shared experiences with people with disabilities and members of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. We do so through a variety of volunteer events, bringing students together from across the country to bike, build, and create lasting memories with the disability community. Our hosts, Zorth Pilonieta and Gary Sugg, interview members of our Ability Experience community and give them the platform to tell their shared experiences. Join us as we explore the many unique stories that make up The Ability Experience.

The Shared Experience The Ability Experience

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 9 Ratings

The Ability Experience is a nonprofit organization with a simple mission: create shared experiences with people with disabilities and members of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. We do so through a variety of volunteer events, bringing students together from across the country to bike, build, and create lasting memories with the disability community. Our hosts, Zorth Pilonieta and Gary Sugg, interview members of our Ability Experience community and give them the platform to tell their shared experiences. Join us as we explore the many unique stories that make up The Ability Experience.

    Patrick Carlson, Iota Kappa (Greeley)

    Patrick Carlson, Iota Kappa (Greeley)

    On the newest episode of “The Shared Experience Podcast,” hosts Zorth and Gary interview four-time Pi Alpha and current Ability Experience staff member, Patrick Carlson, Iota Kappa (Greeley). Carlson completed Journey of Hope in 2017 and 2018 as crew member and project manager and then Gear Up Florida in 2019 and 2022 as project manager and cyclist. Patrick is the first Pi Alpha from the Iota Kappa chapter, previously worked on Pi Kappa Phi's communication team and is currently working as Program Director for The Ability Experience. His day-to-day responsibilities are connecting with sponsors and volunteers to set up the North Route and Gear Up Florida route and helping Journey of Hope and Gear Up Florida team members prepare for their summer.

     

    In this episode, you'll learn why Patrick joined the Iota Kappa Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, why he signed up for his first summer event and about his current role as program director.



    Connect with Patrick professionally here -⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/pjc27/

    Connect with Patrick socially here -⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.instagram.com/patjcarl/

    • 42 min
    Ruben Talavera, Eta Omega (New Mexico State University)

    Ruben Talavera, Eta Omega (New Mexico State University)

    On the newest episode of “The Shared Experience Podcast,” hosts Zorth and Gary interview 7-time Pi Alpha and Nu Phi Society member, Ruben Talavera, Eta Omega (New Mexico State University), who completed Journey of Hope in 2006 as a crew member and then cycled Gear Up Florida in 2007, 2009, 2019, 2020 and 2022. Since his retirement of summer events (unless his fellow Glo Bros ask him to run it back for another summer), Ruben has been serving the Lowe's associate disability community as a founding member and leader of the A.B.L.E. (A Better Life For Everyone) Business Resource Group, which works to create an inclusive and inspiring culture that empowers and enables people of all abilities.

     

    In this episode, you'll learn how Ruben was introduced to the Journey of Hope while living in New Mexico, how The Ability Experience needed to pivot to host a virtual Gear Up Florida and Journey of Hope during the COVID pandemic in 2020 and what he considers "3 A.M. friends".



    Connect with Ruben professionally here -https://www.linkedin.com/in/ncrubent/

    Connect with Ruben socially here -⁠https://www.instagram.com/ncrubent/

    • 54 min
    Andre Arman, Zeta Epsilon (George Mason University)

    Andre Arman, Zeta Epsilon (George Mason University)

    On the newest episode of “The Shared Experience Podcast,” hosts Zorth and Gary interview 7-time Pi Alpha and 3-time Bruce Rodgers Award winner, Andre Arman (Zeta Epsilon, George Mason University), who completed his first Pi Alpha event at the age of 35. Within a 10 year span, Andre completed 7 summer events including Journey of Hope in 2002, Gear Up Florida in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022, Virtual Gear Up Florida in 2020 and Virtual Journey of Hope in 2020. This past year, Andre celebrated 22 years as a brother of Pi Kapp, while residing in Stafford, VA with his wife Elena and two kids, Ariana and Ryan.
     
    In this episode, you'll learn how Andre kept his summer event promise to his late fraternity big brother, Jason Tirado, and how the "Glo Bros" dream team came to be.
    Connect with Andre professionally here -https://www.linkedin.com/in/andre-arman-73bb3543/
    Connect with Andre socially here -https://www.instagram.com/7xpialpha/
    Learn about Jason Tirado here
    -https://fb.watch/qOYbohwhc2/

    • 58 min
    Austin Gothard, Iota Nu (Mississippi State University)

    Austin Gothard, Iota Nu (Mississippi State University)

    On the newest episode of “The Shared Experience Podcast,” hosts Zorth and Gary interview Pi Alpha Austin Gothard (Iota Nu, Mississippi State University), who completed Gear Up Florida as a cyclist in 2022, led the TransAmerica team as Project Manager in 2023 and will be cycling Gear Up Florida a second time in 2024. Austin will also be a Leadership Consultant for Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity in 2024.

     

    In this episode, you'll learn how Austin experienced both sides of a summer event: as a crew member and as a cyclist!



    Connect with Austin professionally here - https://www.linkedin.com/in/austin-gothard-816439240/

    Connect with Austin socially here - https://www.instagram.com/gothard.aj

    • 31 min
    Jeremy Jones, Alpha Gamma (University of Oklahoma)

    Jeremy Jones, Alpha Gamma (University of Oklahoma)

    Welcome to episode 14! On the newest episode of “The Shared Experience Podcast,” hosts Zorth and Gary interview Pi Alpha and Team AbEx Ambassador, Jeremy Jones (Alpha Gamma, University of Oklahoma), who completed Journey of Hope as a cyclist in 1998, 2001 and as project manager in 2009. 

     

    Jeremy has walked across Spain, biked around New Zealand, was a semi-finalist for the show "Survivor," completed an Ironman triathlon, worked for the Today Show, traveled to 6 continents, qualified for the Boston Marathon, served a mission in the Amazon, and won a male pageant since completing Journey of Hope.

     

    Connect with Jeremy professionally here - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremymoorjones/

    Interested in being a Team AbEx Ambassador? Apply here - https://abilityexperience.org/team-abex-ambassadors/

    • 46 min
    Michael Davis, Psi (Cornell University)

    Michael Davis, Psi (Cornell University)

    Welcome to episode 13! On this episode of “The Shared Experience Podcast,” hosts Zorth and Gary interview 1997 Journey of Hope North Route cyclist, managing director at Merrill Lynch and current AbEx board member, Michael Davis. 

    Learn how Michael’s Journey of Hope experience led to him hosting the Inaugural Empire State Ride in New York, and saying YES to more adventures like hiking Mount Kilimanjaro in 2024.

    Connect with Michael professionally here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nymikedavis/

    Connect with Michael socially here: https://www.instagram.com/maddog_davis7/

    Interested in doing the 2024 Empire State Ride October 10-14? Email Diego at dferradas@abilityexperience.org.

    • 31 min

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