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!
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