Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW) is an incredible nonprofit located in and primarily serving West Philly, which is an area full of amazing kids who are chronically underserved and deserve better. NBW inspires youth and strengthens Philadelphia communities by providing equitable access to bicycling and bike repair through education, recreation, leadership and career-building opportunities.
Since 2002 one portion of NBW’s work has been to offer three two-week summer camp experiences for young people ages 8-14 years where they earn a bike, lock, and helmet. Campers not only earn a bike—which includes refurbishing it—and become expert riders, but in the process go on field trips, learn about good nutrition and healthy living, and see their city in a whole new way as they explore confidently with NBW’s staff, which includes youth that previously completed the same program.
To attend NBW’s summer camp many young people rely on scholarships. The majority of kids served by NBW are eligible for free or reduced price school lunch and come from communities that are considered distressed, meaning zip codes where there is high unemployment, low economic growth, high poverty, and low high school graduation rates. It is especially important for these kids to have access to a learning opportunity combined with a fun and safe environment during the summer months.
Once kids have completed the Earn-A-Bike curriculum (part of summer camp) they are poised to participate in NBW’s continuum of programming: Youth Bike Education & Empowerment Program (YBEEP). YBEEP is unique in Philadelphia, because it engages under-resourced youth through bicycle mechanics, advocacy, and riding skills to encourage long-term healthy development. In addition to the summer camp, YBEEP offers riding clubs, advanced mechanics classes, leadership training, and job opportunities. A grant from the Awesome Foundation of Philadelphia could be the beginning of years of enrichment for great kids.
Funded by Philadelphia, PA (May 2018)