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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee