At West Town Bikes, we use bicycles as a tool to teach young people professionalism, self-reliance, confidence, resourcefulness, financial independence, problem solving, community involvement, health and wellness, advocacy and sustainability. Focusing on those that are least served, our programs offer violence prevention and positive community development by offering opportunity and rewarding commitment.
Most of the elementary school age programs we do are at schools like Orozco, Moos and McAuliffe. Others have taken place at Northerly Island and Humboldt Park with the Chicago Park District. Chicago's parks are an amazing place to ride. This year we had our first big youth program that took place in Humboldt Park.
Apprenticeships are an advanced opportunity for young adults between the age of 19 and 23 that out of high school and available during the day. This program is ten weeks long and meets twice a week. The 3-5 apprentices we train every season receive a stipend and some move into positions at CIclo Urbano.. Many of our apprentices have gone on to work for local shops and organizations like Divvy, Johnny Sprockets and the Chicago Department of Transportation as Bicycling Ambassadors.
WTB has partnered with After School Matters to provide youth programs in Chicago Public Schools since 2005. We currently have 70 participants between the programs among 3 sites. Our advanced program is on site with Lebster Pabon and there are Bike Clubs at Roosevelt High School and Kelvyn Park High School.
This program provides sponsorship, mentorship and coaching to juniors and young adults that would otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in cyclocross events. Racing cyclocross requires fitness and teaches commitment and perseverance. The skills, knowledge and friendships gained through participation can help form a socially intelligent and responsible, physically fit, person. Contact Michael Young at 312-656-1953 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
GBC meets every Wednesday afternoon and offers a fun, relaxed environment for young women and girls to explore the many advantages of cycling for transportation, independence and sport. Weekly activities include: basic bicycle mechanics, bike crafts, community gardening, group rides and volunteering. Many of the girls are involved in organizing GBC's annual fashion show fundraiser, Heels on Wheels. This is an open program for any school-age girl. Contact Danni Limonez at email@example.com for more info.
Weekly after school open-shop program where youth repair their bicycles with the help of an instructor and adult volunteers. Youth have full use of WTB’s facilities and tools, under the guidance of adult instructors. Contact instructor Lebster Pabon at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.