In 2012, 467 young people participated in Bike Works programs. In 2013, it is expected that 600 will participate, about half of those in the Earn-a-Bike and Drop-In programs. Subaru of America Foundation supports these initiatives with a grant that will help the programs run and fund scholarships.
The first step in this program begins with participants logging 18 community hours over eight weeks repairing and rebuilding recycled bikes for others. The program is open to youths ages 9 to 18, with scholarships available to those who need assistance.
This begins the process of empowering the participants, which helps them become more invested in the process and knowledgeable when they receive their own bikes. There are three tiers in the program, each of them teaching different skills of bike repair on six different types of bikes.
“Our philosophy is really about empowering young people, because a bike is a vehicle for recreation and transportation and definitely education with bike repair, but also one of transformation,” explained Deb Salls, executive director of Bike Works.