What We Do
What we do…
Do you remember your first bike? Imagine earning a bike, lock and helmet of your own alongside a group of new friends that felt like you’ve known them forever. Our 10-week Earn-a-Bike (Bike Club) program creates a place where youth feel like they belong and environment that fosters teamwork and leadership. Youth, grades 7-12, make positive peer and adult connections, explore topics such as empathy, identity and responsibility while learning how to repair and maintain bicycles. This program is proudly supported by Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).
Connection is key to our human experience. Building strong connections with others take time, particularly if your upbringing lacked trust, support and consistency. The youth in our Beltline Bike Club program, who meet weekly throughout the school year at our shop in Sunalta, get the time to build enduring and supportive connections with their peers. They learn to build upon each other’s strengths, listen compassionately to each other’s struggles and be present to the needs of their community. Meeting at TWV connects them with more members of our team and community through our regular events. The Beltline Bike Club is an extension of our Bike Club program and generously supported by Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) and other generous donors in our community.
Youth who have the opportunity to participate in a high impact outdoor experience that takes them beyond their comfort zone are capable of high-level problem-solving, gaining a sense of accomplishment and adventure that helps them navigate through life. In our Bike Trip Programs, participants learn that, like most things in life, if you push the pedals enough times, you are going to get where you want to go. Primarily in Alberta and Quebec, we explore a wide variety of routes and ecosystems in this program. For our youth participants, whether they’ve lived here for generations or are newcomers, this results in the opportunity to deeply explore their home and gain a greater appreciation for the communities which they live and those they visit. Huge thanks to donors like Going the Distance (Justin Chadwick) and our Raise-a-Ride and individual donors who give their support to this program.
Young people are powerful beyond measure. They may just not be aware of it – yet. Our Full Cycle Program engages southern Alberta First Nations by aiming to reduce risk factors facing Indigenous youth, while increasing protective factors through a program that combines our Bike Club and Bike Trip experiences. In partnership with the communities and local schools, TWV delivers experiences that help youth uncover their innate strengths and resilience and demonstrate that they capable of anything they set their minds to. Thank you to an anonymous donation for your support of Full Cycle at Morley Community School in 2019. We are currently looking for support for this program. Please contact us to discuss the opportunity to get involved.
Transitioning from life as student to a career can be an overwhelming path to navigate. Mentorship and real-world work experience support young adults as they enter their working life. Our GAP Employability Program, offered for the first time in 2019, engages young adults ages 18-24 in employment and life skills training, using bike mechanics as our focus. Participants receive ongoing mentorship through the program from members of our TWV team and gain practical experience with local businesses. Our GAP curriculum includes educational partnerships with Momentum and Youth Employment Centre, recruitment partnerships with CBE Discovering Choices and The Alex and is supported by the City of Calgary Crime Prevention Investments Program.
At the end of the day, we all want to feel like our contributions are meaningful and making a difference in the lives of others. Our growing volunteer program is creating these opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life. We are so grateful to have this team of amazing volunteers help us keep the rubber on the road. TWV is honoured to welcome so many talented individuals through our doors that work together to weave the fabric of our community and give their time, energy and wisdom to those who can really use it – our youth. Thank you to the Frischkorn Family Foundation for their support of our volunteers.