Dear Friends of Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee,
we hope this holiday season finds you feeling as grateful for the past year and as excited for the next as we are! Venture North programming continues to develop and to make a difference in North Minneapolis youth's lives. We have several developments to report to you:
Our important work does not exist in a vacuum. We are so grateful for your persistent support and can’t wait to see what 2013 holds for Venture North. With your support, we look forward to continuing to help shape the positive futures of our talented and deserving youth. Thank you for walking with us this year—from the bottom of our hearts.
we hope you and yours had a chance to partake in our action-packed summer programs! We’ve had a really busy summer here at Venture North, and we are pleased to report that thanks to your generous and unwavering support, we engaged neighbors on the Northside and beyond in fun and educational activities appropriate for various age groups!
Some of the highlights of this summer included:
We are so thankful for all of your support as we continue to create programming that is impactful not only in underserved youth's lives, but also for our society as we encourage and enable youth to share their skills, talents, and gifts and to grow into tomorrow’s leaders. Thank you for partnering with Venture North in this very worthy goal.
On Wednesday, February 29, staff joined 5 bike mechanic interns from the Northside, ages 14-23, as they celebrated their successful completion of the very first All About Bikes training course. Over 16 weeks, the young mechanics involved in the program studied bicycle history; bicycle vocabulary, parts, and materials; and proper bicycle adjustment, eventually progressing to bicycle repair and bike building. Students also learned how to share their personal strengths to arrive at a common goal and gained customer service and relationship building skills.
With your help, we were previously able to purchase tools for individual work stations, where students worked on their final projects, which consisted of assessing used bikes, deciding what parts could be re-used, dismantling the bikes down to the frame, and rebuilding them from the ground up! These "First Class" red bikes will be used for various Venture North events. We are also thankful to the youth for leaving a legacy at Venture North.
Several of our graduates are currently participating in 12-week paid apprenticeships at The Hub Bicycle Co-op in South Minneapolis; they began their apprenticeships in mid-March. Congratulations to the students!
What's next for Venture North? In addition to running various summer programs educating youth and community about biking, we are preparing for the next round of young mechanic interns beginning in mid-June. You can find out more about our community events, programs, and services on our new website, http://venturenorthbwc.org/ , or on our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/venturenorthbwc.
Thank you for young ongoing support and enthusiasm as we continue to help young leaders develop their strengths and their neighborhood!
Thanks to your generous support, VNBWC's All About Bikes is charging full speed ahead! With your help, we purchased tools to support our young mechanics's learning, expanding our state of the art bicycle mechanics classroom. The classroom is now equipped with 8 work benches stocked with all tools necessary to perform a tune-up on nearly any bike, allowing students to work using their own tools during class. The tools are professional bike shop quality Park Tools, which are the industry standard and what our young mechanics will encounter once job hunting. Park Tools is a Minnesota company.
Thanks to these improvements to our classroom, we will have the capacity to teach 16 students at once. Your contributions also helped us purchase a Master Mechanic tool set. Many tools require special training for safe and effective use; once trained to use these tools, students will be able to check them out from this Master Mechanic toolkit during class.
Venture North helps youth in the community find their strengths and capitalize on them. By empowering local youth with job skills and mentoring support, we are working to shift the perception of this community from a need-based one to an asset-based one, recognizing and celebrating gifts, beginning at the individual level. Venture North is supporting youth as they become tomorrow's community leaders and as they learn science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) applications through mechanics training.
Thank you for continuing to partner with us in this very important work!
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