Letter from Executive Director, Elijah Evans
When I think back on 2022, there are so many moments that speak to ways the BNB community worked together to transform lives, inside and outside the walls of our Hub. I think of Eddie Depina standing up to accept his Distinguished Alumni Award at our Building Momentum Breakfast. In his speech, he recounted his years-long BNB journey — from signing up for his first Earn–A-Bike program, to learning mechanics and leadership skills as a Youth Apprentice, to eventually landing a job at Boeing, where he currently works as a field inspector in Seattle, Washington.
I think of our presence at 2022 summer Open Streets events in JP, Roxbury, and Dorchester — an experiment that demonstrated our city’s commitment to building a better Boston centered around people. I am proud that BNB’s mobile bike repair team could be part of that experiment, supporting people of all ages and backgrounds in feeling safe, comfortable, and confident on a bike.
I think of the day that BNB opened the doors of a new Bike School Hub at Children’s Services of Roxbury. This expansion enabled us to both double our Bike School enrollment and further our goal of engaging youth and families from our target communities of Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. This is a huge achievement in reaching our strategic goals.
In 2022, we increased the number of Youth Apprentices we hire annually from 28 to 45. Through our formalized Youth Pathways model, each Apprentice had the opportunity to work across a range of programmatic and operational areas to build a wide-range of skills under the mentorship of skills and caring staff. For the first time we were able to offer case management and career coaching to each Youth Apprentice, further reducing barriers to long-term professional success. In addition, we were able to:
- Enroll a total of 117 people in Bike School programs during the spring, summer, and fall of 2022 — a 64 percent increase from 2021.
- Employ 45 youth Apprentices in seasonal positions in our bicycle-based vocational training program; a 63 percent increase from 2021.
- Organize 13 Bicyclists Organizing Community Action (BOCA) Youth Apprentices engaged the greater community around issues of healthy living and transportation justice.
- Reclaim and ship 481 bikes to our partner Learn, Work, Develop (LWD) in Rwanda, who provides bicycle-based educational and vocational training programs, primarily to young girls and women; and much more!
- Reclaim and overhaul over 330 bikes for sale at our bike shop; matched over 150 bikes to children and adults experiencing economic hardship; allocated 250 bikes for our learn-and-earn Bike School programs; and recycled tons and tons of bikes, diverting them from the global wastestream.
I want to end by offering my deepest thanks to everyone who was a part of making this work possible - staff, youth, volunteers, donors, funders, board members, and the rest of the Bikes Not Bombs team. In 2022, there was so much work to do and so much we accomplished. Let's be proud of what we have done thus far even as we enter the next chapter of Bikes Not Bombs!