Mission: El grupo's mission is to empower youth through bicycles.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 110 kids weekly, 1,300 annually
Programs: Team el grupo is a year round after school program serving female and male youth aged 12 - 18 that practices 5x/week, plus weekend events, races, trips and adventures. El grupito is a new age-appropriate version of team el grupo for youth aged 8-12 that meets 2-3x/week. We encourage road and mountain biking and racing, bicycle tours, daily commuting and more. We maintain our clubhouse space serving as a consistent, safe, family environment for youth to spend time (with homework help) before/after practices and to grow up mentally, emotionally and physically healthy. We maintain a growing fleet of donated, refurbished bicycles, equipment and clothing that are used on a "library" system. While on the team and in good standing, youth are free to use the bikes as their own and take responsibility for them. When they grow out of one bike or graduate from high school, they turn the bike back in for a new rider to use within team el grupo. Youth practice as a whole and also within sub-teams a, b and c based on their goals and abilities. Our a team travels throughout the southwest, while our b and c team riders (often younger and newer to the team) work their way up to the a team by participating in more local events, or simply have goals of fitness without aspirations of competing on a regional level team. El grupo welcomes riders of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and interests. All youth riders are expected to set and work towards goals, and coaches work one-on-one with youth to help track their progress.
a primary expectation of all youth riders of team el grupo and el grupito is participating with youth and to empower youth. Our sub-programs include kidical mass, summer bike camps and safety obstacle courses. El grupo partners with others to empower youth to get more youth out riding bikes for fun. With kidical mass--a group ride for families of all sizes, providing safety in numbers, these free events target underserved neighborhoods, providing access to helmets, safety training, and the ability for youth and their families.
additionally, el grupo leads an annual youth summer bike camp program, which provides youth aged 7-13 the skills and confidence to ride a bike for transportation, recreation and fun. The objectives of the sbc are to target low-income, low-resource youth to participate in a week long camp that covers bike maintenance, safe bike riding skills, bike handling drills for each skill level. El grupo youth (aged 14-18) serve as camp leaders and mentors, providing them with hands-on leadership development.
I have had the pleasure of witnessing the incredibly positive impact El Grupo has on the children and young adults of our community for a number of years both as an avid cyclist and a member of it's board of directors. El Grupo provides a shining example of how to empower youth to help them become productive members of society.
El Grupo Youth Cycling provides the avenue for children, and teens to become great citizens of our community. The mentorship that El Grupo provides shows kids that they can be deliberate with their actions and that they can become their best selves. I've seen kids garner great strength and wisdom by being part of a team and grow to be incredible human beings.
El Grupo is the finest youth organization I have ever been associated with. The programs that are offered to the young people are life enhancing and life changing. The kids going through the program routinely end up accomplishing way more than they ever thought possible. Many kids today don't thrive in traditional team sports and El Grupo provides a wonderful home for them. Whether they will never be fast or they are destined for the national team they all gain confidence, self respect, and the ability to function as part of the team with a higher level goal. They are great to watch in action!