April 9, 2012
Based on the recommendation of a colleague, I began volunteering with Community Bike Works (CBW) in 2008. At first, I was hesitant, because I do not know the first thing about Bike Mechanics, but, I happen to know quite a bit about inner-city children from my own personal experiences. Being a novice, I was paired with another volunteer who was fluent on the mechanics side of it, and it was shortly into my first session that I realized that bike mechanics, though a great skill to learn, are primarily a vehicle to get the kids in the door, be mentored and guided to make better life choices. I cannot tell you how much working with and getting to know the students in each one of the sessions has meant to me - growing up, I did not see many people that looked like me being successful in legitimate careers, and neither do a lot of these students. As I spoke to them, and they realized how much I had in common with them, I could see them opening up, and listening more, and thinking more. That is the greatest gift I can give, and CBW gave me the opportunity to do that. Stefan and the staff are organized, knowledgeable, and most importantly, passionate about and committed to the organization’s mission, and it comes across in every aspect of the programs. Though my current role, and its accompanying travel schedule do not allow me to participate as an Earn-A-Bike volunteer, I am still committed to the organization by participating as a Transition Committee member to assist in finding an Associate Director, to train under and one day replace, Stefan. As long as I am in the LV, I will look for a way to support this organization. Very few organizations have a mission that is so clearly executed through the programs and impact on the community. Kudos to CBW!
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MY ROLE:Volunteer Review from Guidestar