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SoulMentorship Spotlight: Tori + Leane

n honor of National Mentoring Month, we're looking back on some of our favorite stories. Learn how SoulScholarship mentor Tori Johnston and her mentee, Leane, share the lessons they learned from each other on and off the bike…

How did you get involved in the SoulScholarship program?
Tori: I had the chance to ride in the same class as the SoulScholars last summer at West 77th Street and loved their energy. When I learned that the next step would be a mentorship program, I couldn't wait to apply.

Leane: Through my contact at the Children's Aid Society, Carrera Program.

What were you hoping to get out of the SoulScholarship program when you signed up for it?
Tori: I wanted the opportunity to give back to my community and share my love of SoulCycle with youth.

Leane: I expected to get fit and have fun!

What were your first impressions of your buddy?
Tori: Leane was outgoing, friendly and smart. I knew right away that we would have no trouble talking right off the bat.

Leane: I didn't know what to think. I didn't know if I should be my weird, goofy self yet, so I thought to myself, let's keep it nice and smooth until you get to know Tori.

Describe your first ride at SOUL.
Tori: I was excited, nervous and thought it would be tough. I had no idea how to clip in or get on or off my bike, but I knew I loved it right when the lights dimmed and the music turned on.

Leane: I was so excited about it! I had no idea what to expect. I had on makeup — lipstick and mascara — and I was surprised by how out of breath I was. Once we finished and went upstairs to eat, I had a burst of energy and it was amazing. Now, I am so passionate about SOUL that people think I am crazy!

How often do you meet and what do you talk about when you get together?
Tori: We meet twice a month in the Brooklyn Heights studio. We both love riding at SoulCycle, but after class, we spend time talking about school, homework, AP classes and the college application process. College applications are much more complex that I remember! Leane is all over it: Personal essays, scholarships, financial aid, which classes she’s taking for college credit… she is doing it all!

If you could describe your buddy in one word, what would it be?
Tori: Smart!

Leane: Kind.

What is the biggest thing you've learned while participating in the SoulScholarship program?
Tori: Leane has such a bright future in front of her! I learned that although we are at different stages in our lives, we have a lot to talk about and can share our experiences with one another.

Leane: How to find my SOUL! SoulCycle has showed me what it is like to find my own soul and my own way inside the class and outside of the studio.

WATCH: Meet the SoulScholar: Ramona

This article was originally published on May 31st, 2016.

Learn more about the SoulScholarship program HERE. Questions or comments? Email! Want to ride? Grab a series HERE and book a bike!
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