New Skills and New Wheels

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Pedaling down the sidewalk, wind in your hair, racing off to a friend’s house on a hot summer day. It’s a memory that so many people have of a carefree childhood.

Wyandotte HS bikes (1)But many inner-city kids may not have this experience. The expense of a bike, and the time it might take for a parent to teach them how to ride it, might keep them from knowing the freedom of having their own set of wheels.

This spring, a group of youth volunteering with YVC of Greater Kansas City (YVCKC) worked repairing bikes through Revolve KC, a nonprofit bike shop that gives away free bikes while educating community members on bike safety. Thanks to the Youth Volunteers’ hard work, a few more kids in Kansas City, KS, are racing the streets of their neighborhoods this summer on their new sets of wheels.

The youth weren’t experienced bike repairers, but they learned the skills thanks to YVCKC and Revolve KC.

Not only did they help give bikes to needy kids. They also earned a bike themselves after volunteering 10 hours at the shop. Six students from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, KS, earned a bike through this program.

Wyandotte High School is one of the many schools where YVCKC hosts In-School programs. YVCKC brings service-learning directly to the students who may have trouble finding rides to their traditional volunteer projects. YVCKC works directly with the school to recruit youth for either an elective class or after-school club, and together with the students they create a curriculum based on the students’ passions.

Wyandotte HS bikes (3)Because of this program with Wyandotte High School and Revolve KC, the six youth who completed the program each now have their own bike that not only was a fun reward for their service but also provides transportation for them to get to other YVCKC volunteer projects.

With the Kansas City, KS, community’s obesity rate higher than the national average, this program also encourages a healthier lifestyle with a fun new hobby of biking.

As they rode away from their final volunteer project at Revolve KC on their brand new bikes, the youth left knowing they made a difference in others’ lives, and they also learned new skills that will help them take care of their own bikes and more.

Thanks to the Youth Volunteers who helped give these kids their very first bikes!

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