Bike Works: At the Intersection of a Just Society and a Sustainable Environment

What do you want to be when you grow up? . . . Every kid has thought about what they want to be — but until the advanced camp I had never thought much about the question of who I wanted to be. It was during one of our dinner conversations about clean energy that I started thinking about how I could make my life meaningful and make a positive impact on the world and the people around me, as opposed to using the world to benefit me and only me.

Madi, Bike Works 2015 Advanced Summer Touring Camp Participant

Based in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, Bike Works builds sustainable communities by educating youth and promoting bicycling. Since 1996 they’ve worked to educate and empower youth, and make bicycling accessible and affordable to the Seattle community.

As demand has increased for Bike Works’ programming, a Satterberg Foundation Open Grant has helped to expand opportunities for interested youth and build on the organization’s momentum.

One significant accomplishment in the fall of 2014 was the success of the pilot Bicycle Mechanic Job Skills Training (JST) program. Due to the positive results and feedback, Bike Works moved forward with integrating JST more deeply into its ongoing programming schedule. Not only did Bike Works serve three cohorts of JST students through our partnership with Seattle’s Interagency Academy in 2015, but they also entered into a collaboration with the new Summit Sierra High School’s vocationally-oriented Expeditions program for the 2015-16 academic year. In all, during the current academic year Bike Works anticipates serving up to 50 at-risk teens through this innovative training program.

An additional highlight of 2015 to-date took place last February when Bike Works’ youth stepped up in a big way. The leaders on the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) took the lead in planning the three-day 2015 Youth Bike Summit taking place in Seattle for the first time. The YAC team led the youth work, volunteering their time, presenting workshops and leading tours of Bike Works for over 400 Summit participants from around the U.S. Highlighting youth ‘voice’ within the broader cycling industry, this was an exciting way for Bike Works youth to build their leadership skills and shine.

At the Satterberg Foundation, we count ourselves incredibly fortunate to be able to support all Bike Works is doing to make our community a better place to live, grow, and thrive.

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