by Andrej Ciho, Director of the South Atlanta Bike Shop
Youth at the South Atlanta Bike Shop earn points for their work, which they can use to purchase a bike. It’s been quite a successful and empowering setup, and over the years, we’ve watched teens proudly purchase their own set of wheels.
It didn’t take long for youth to realize they can use their points for acquiring bicycles not just for themselves. One fun outcome to watch has been how they started to purchase bikes for family members and friends.
Below is a photo of Kiwadi, whose work in the Bike Shop allowed him to purchase a bike for his mother, so they could ride together. What a gift!
When you invest in youth, you are automatically connected into their network of family and friends. And this is a really good thing. Of course we work hard for our youth development program to create meaningful, mentoring relationships. But programs or staff will not and should not replace parents. Our desire is to support parents in their role in their children’s lives.
This moment - watching a young man purchase a bike so he and his mom can be active together - is a beautiful picture. We hope the South Atlanta Bike Shop can support deeper relationships and active lifestyles for families in our community. In this case, the empowerment to earn and purchase a bicycle helped to do just that.