Local Bike Shop Helping Kids Fix Bikes and Improve Job Skills

June 09, 2016 10:16 PM

Cycles for Change isn’t your ordinary bike shop. If you have a problem with your bike of course you can walk in and buy something but they will even loan you the tools to fix it.

Inside this eclectic bike shop in St. Paul they even offer their very own "Youth Apprenticeship Program." It's designed to teach kids how to work on bikes and give them basic workplace experience.

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"It's a 700 x 25cc," Aaron Allen said as he fixes a flat tire on his bike.

He says, his first attempt at fixing a bike was a disaster. But over time his skills improved.

"I kind of just jumped into it and was like yeah I got this. But as soon as I had someone hold my hand and walk me through every step it was really simple," he said.

Allen got so good at working on bikes he was given a job at Cycles for Change.

"This is actually my first job ever," he said.

Magdalena Kaluza says, a total of 20 kids are involved in the program currently.

"Of course it's a lot of leadership too, seeing how we can plug the youth into different programs at cycles for change. How can we help them express their voice where it's with their family, school," she said.

Just like Allen, Lilianna Martinez knew how to ride a bike but had no idea how to repair one. She says the program is a blessing. And now if she was to go on a bike ride and something were to happen to her bike she would be able to work on it and get home.

"I feel totally confident, yes," she said.

Allen says, this program has helped him stay on the straight and narrow.

"I guess staying out of trouble is always just learning more," he said.

You can find out more about Cycles for Change here.


Todd Wilson

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