Venture North Bike Walk Center

The fundamental and critical purpose of Venture North Bike Walk Center and Basset Creek Bike Works is to create the opportunity in North Minneapolis for community economic development through jobs and job training in bike shop retail and mechanics. Venture North Bike Walk Center serves children, families and adults who reside in or visit our community by providing biking and walking retail services together with other activity-based educational offerings that will enhance the health and wellbeing of those who are drawn to our center.
Jun 19, 2014

Entire 5th Grade Class Gets Bikes Through Venture North

Learning how to fix a wheel
Learning how to fix a wheel

Venture North has amped up our outreach by ensuring that every fifth grader at the local Bryn Mawr Elementary School is able to ride around town this summer. Over the course of a couple weeks, students were transported from Bryn Mawr to Venture North where they learned the basics of bike repair and safety. Additionally, they worked with staff members to complete a service project in the Redeemer Urban Farm and craft neighborhood maps of Harrison. Bernadeia Johnson, superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, spoke at the celebration in which the 50 kids were awarded their bikes. She reminisced about how much of her childhood was spent riding around on a bike, and encouraged the students to get out and explore the city on their own two wheels. 

At Venture North, we can't forget that this project is only made possible because people like you have chosen to support our mission to create a healthier, more engaged North Minneapolis. Thank you so much for your continued support of Venture North; together we can get another 50 kids on their first bikes by the end of summer. 

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Dec 6, 2013

Meet Dao from Nov/Dec All About Bikes class

Fall Earn-A-Bike graduate Kieara
Fall Earn-A-Bike graduate Kieara

Dear Friends of Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee, 

On Wednesday, November 13, 2013 eight new bike mechanic apprentices from the Northside, ages 14-17, embarked on their very first All About Bikes training course. Over 9 weeks and 64 hours, the young mechanics involved in the program will study bicycle history; bicycle vocabulary, parts, and materials; and proper bicycle adjustment, eventually progressing to bicycle repair and bike building. Students are also learning how to share their personal strengths to arrive at a common goal and practice customer service and relationship building skills.

One of these new bike mechanic apprentices is 16-year-old Dao. Dao goes to Patrick Henry High School in North Minneapolis, where he learned about All About Bikes from his case manager. Dao "needed a job and this seemed like a good start." So far, he's enjoying meeting kids from other schools while getting his hands greasy at Venture North and learning a bunch of bike vocabulary. Dao said he looks forward to getting a better career thanks to the things he’s learning here and wants to also help other kids get in the shop, "help them learn how to do some of the bike repairs like chains and brakes and show them why this place is cool." 

With your help, we were able to graduate 10 students from the Earn-A-Bike program this fall. Check out this November 5th article in the Star Tribune featuring 13-year-old Kieara, one of the young people who earned their bike this fall. Thanks to great publicity and a fall bike donation drive we've been able to collect over 100 used bikes. Donated bikes are the training ground for the 16 bike mechanic apprentices that will complete the All About Bikes class this winter and will supply 150 Earn-A-Bike students in 2014 with a bike and the experience to begin a lifetime of biking. 

What's next for Venture North? In addition to running All About Bikes and Earn-a-Bike courses educating youth and community about biking, we are preparing to gear up in 2014 for fun events, rides and partnerships with local schools and organizations that develop and showcase the leadership of youth in North Minneapolis. You can find out more about our community events, programs, and services on our website, http://venturenorthbwc.org/, or on our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/venturenorthbwc. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm as we continue to help young leaders develop their strengths and their neighborhood!

 

Fall Earn-A-Bike graduate Jasmine
Fall Earn-A-Bike graduate Jasmine
Fall Earn-A-Bike graduate Victor
Fall Earn-A-Bike graduate Victor

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Sep 4, 2013

Venture North's Young Leaders Going New Places

Final Earn-A-Bike cohort of the summer!
Final Earn-A-Bike cohort of the summer!

Dear Friends of Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee,

We hope you’ve been enjoying an active summer like we’ve been! Here at Venture North, programming continues to grow and make a difference in the lives of our young North Minneapolis neighbors. We were even featured in the Twin Cities Daily Planet!

Here are some of the highlights of our development over the summer:

  • Earn-A-Bike Program: Venture North continued the popular Earn-A-Bike class, graduating seven students last week, and eleven more in two earlier summer sessions. By attending courses, students learn about bike repair and maintenance in addition to earning a free bike in the process. Students in this session also received free locks and helmets. Another notable fact: the course was facilitated again by Lucas, a previous graduate of All About Bikes. We’re thankful that Lucas is strengthening his mechanic skills and providing cascading mentoring to our new students. 

  • Pedal Power Girls Group: Thanks to a generous grant from the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Pedal Power had a successful second summer session. Pedal Power is a program that empowers middle school girls to take leadership in careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Activities included field trips and activities with women in the science field along with activities to work on self esteem and empowerment. The program was five weeks on Saturday mornings.  Some of last summer’s awesome Pedal Power graduates returned to serve as leaders in planning this year's program. We are excited to continue these conversations and opportunities with young women throughout the year.

  • Coffee Bar and Bike Mechanic Apprentices Growing Into Leadership: One of the high school students from the Trade Skills Academy at MTS (Minnesota Transitions Charter School) that we trained in bike repair in a month-long seminar this spring has continued to apprentice at Venture North and mentor young people in the Earn-A-Bike program. A new coffee bar apprentice has graduated high school and will be staying on three days a week this fall to teach new barista apprentices, learn bike mechanics, and be supported to enroll in college through our non-profit sponsor’s Northside Leadership Project. Two bike mechanic apprentices are going back to high school this fall after completing the summer All About Bikes program. All of these apprentices help us bring in and develop new youth leaders in North Minneapolis. 

As fall rolls around and the warm weather bike season comes to a close, join us for delicious warm beverages, friendly neighborhood service and off-season sales that continue to support our youth programs. We’re planning a big bike donation drive on September 29th that will provide the bikes needed to train our newest mechanics in the upcoming winter session of our All About Bikes youth bike mechanic training program. These youth powered bikes will be sold to continue supporting youth empowerment and healthy living in North Minneapolis. Contact Dan Perucco at communications@redeemercenter.org if you’d like to see how your faith community or organization can compete to donate the most bikes this fall! 

We look forward to being able to raise enough funds to offer stipends to young students who need to earn money for their families and education while gaining valuable employment and leadership skills at Venture North. Whether you’ve stopped by for a cup of coffee, donated online, purchased a bike, donated an old bike, or mentioned us to a friend – thank you! All of these things, big and small, help Venture North survive so that we can continue empowering local youth and working towards a healthier, happier neighborhood.

Ride on!

Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee

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