Bikes Not Bombs
Building Pathways for Possibility
Youth Apprentice Antonio R. grew up on a bike. He started riding when he was only three years old, and gave up his training wheels when he was four. Before long, he was learning to change tires with his uncle and popping wheelies with a neighborhood friend.
When Antonio was 12, he discovered Bikes Not Bombs (BNB). "My first impression was that it was a welcoming place where everybody wanted to help everybody."
Antonio is now 21 and is working as a Youth Apprentice. "I like being able to now help other people learn. After working as a Bike School instructor, working in our bike recycling operations, and working in the bike shop, I now know how to stay organized and to work efficiently. I also learned what it means to feel comfortable in my own skin."
Today, with the help of BNB's Youth Pathways team, Antonio is charting a course to open his own social enterprise bike shop. "I want to give away free bikes and offer repair classes at no cost so I can give back to youth the way BNB gave to me."
When asked what he wanted to take with him from BNB, Antonio remarked, "Everything. I'd like to take everything I've learned with me."
For 39 years, Bikes Not Bombs has used the bicycle as a vehicle for social change to achieve economic mobility for Black and other marginalized people in Boston and the Global South.
This year, we will engage over 200 young people in our foundational Bike School, doubling opportunities for youth to earn a bike, while learning bike mechanics and safe riding skills. We run programs out of our Jamaica Plain Hub, Children's Services of Roxbury, and the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services.
Over 40 Youth Apprentices will explore a range of career pathways as they:
- Hone their practical skills in a 108-hour Advanced Mechanics course
- Help teach 20 Bike School programs
- Lead over 50 free community bike repair events
- Organize 7 community rides
- Ship 1,500 bicycles to partners in El Salvador, Kenya, and Rwanda
- Provide sales and service in our mission-driven bike shop
- Grow as leaders within BNB and in their own communities
Your support ensures Youth Apprentices have the resources and community they need to discover their passions and pursue their dreams.
Make a gift in support of pathways to professional success today!