The Youth Programs Department has welcomed five new staff members this year, including one youth intern, providing an opportunity for an expansion of partnered programming and new and diverse perspectives on youth engagement and program offerings.
We offered several programs this summer, including Earn-A-Bike camps, BIPOC mountain biking camps and long-distance ride training. Additionally, a soft relaunch of community drop-ins (bike-building and maintenance volunteer hours) provided youth with opportunities to build on the skills they learned during camp.
This spring and summer we welcomed new partnerships and collaborations with Friends of Youth, Young Women Empowered (Y-WE), STEM Paths Innovation Network (SPIN), Sweetlines, and Roosevelt Alumni for Racial Equity. Examples include Black Girls/Non-Binary Bike Camp, a multimodal day camp centering Black joy, wellness, and bike mechanics and riding skills, and a week-long riding and mechanics camps with SPIN.
As we enter fall, our department will refocus our attention on outreach, continuing to build capacity for youth engagement at multiple levels of decision making within Bike Works and beyond. During the school year our primary program offerings are off-site, currently at Rainier Beach High School, Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School, and, newly launched: cyclocross at various locations! We continue to prioritize health and safety as the pandemic continues by providing rapid testing for all on-site programming and masking indoors.
We are also working collaboratively across our staff to ideate and improve our existing processes. You can find our drop-in schedule, online Bikes-For-All! application, and more on our website. For questions, you can reach our team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please stay tuned for periodic updates!
Khatsini Simani (she/her), Program Director