The blog this week was written by Dalanna Hoskins, a Community Broker at The Arcadia Institute. Light Defined: 1. Something that makes things visible or affords illumination: All colors depend on light.
As defined above I would like to make visible the story of an individual we will call Lance and Open Roads bike program. Lance is your typical average fifteen year old boy, who loves to work with his hands, eat lots of good food and plays video games in his spare time. Lance and I first met about two months ago over the summer and discussed his likes and dislikes. A light bulb went off instantly when he stated that he really loves to ride and fix bikes. At that very moment, I knew the right program for him would be the program known as Open Roads.
The second week of meeting Lance, I researched the opportunities they had available so that Lance could take a look at the program and see if he would enjoy it. The first program we went to was the Fix-a-palooza. This is where young people and adults in the neighborhood can bring their own bike, or fix a bike that is provided by Open Roads. Lance loved it the very moment we walked through the doors.
So, for about three straight weeks Lance would go to Fix-a-palooza until the summer officially ended. The story does not end here, for we also saw that Open Roads offers the Earn-a-bike program which runs for six weeks. In this program, students get to be involved in social activities as well as learn about tools, different parts of the bike, and how to work with others. At the end of the program, students earn not only a bike, but a helmet, certificate, and other notions to compliment the new bike that students fix themselves.
This opportunity illuminated the skills that Lance wanted to enhance. Seeing Lance work with the other students his age at Open Roads, allowed him to have a new confidence and to make friends with the same interest that he shares. I appreciate the staff of Open Roads and their willingness to work with all students. This was the best program for Lance and has given him the edge he needs to be successful in life.