Bikes Not Bombs
Building Pathways for Change
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Robin joined the Bikes Not Bombs Youth Apprentice team in early 2022. He was not new to bikes. Since the age of 12, he had been reclaiming discarded bicycles in his East Boston neighborhood and, bike-by-bike, taught himself the mechanics needed to bring them back to life. At age 18, Robin discovered that he could earn wages to build upon these skills within a diverse community of people at Bikes Not Bombs who shared his passion.
At Bikes Not Bombs, Robin Discovered Pathways For...
“When I first arrived, I noticed how friendly everyone was, and I knew that this was where I wanted to be. At Bikes Not Bombs, there is space for conversations about racial inequities and other challenges our communities face. I had never experienced such an open, inclusive workplace.”
“In Advanced Mechanics, I learned how to use specialized tools that I had never been able to access before, even though I had been working on bikes for six years. On top of that, I learned about Bike Shop operations and had a chance to practice my communications skills.”
“I love working with my hands and my mind. This spring, I’ll be helping to teach Bike School at our new Roxbury Hub, and I’m hoping to eventually pursue a career that involves technology."
For 38 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.
In 2022, Bikes Not Bombs is expanding our Youth Pathways program, growing opportunities for Boston youth to work alongside professional mentors to discover their potential through bicycle-based training.
This year over 200 young people will enroll in Bike School, doubling opportunities for youth to learn bike mechanics and safe riding skills, while earning a bike. We will run programs in Jamaica Plain and at Boston Public Schools, while establishing a new Bikes Not Bombs hub at Children’s Services of Roxbury.
We will employ over 30 Youth Apprentices, who will build confidence and competencies in an intensive 108-hour Advanced Bicycle Mechanics class, staff our Bike Shop, teach Bike School, prepare international shipments, and organize for transportation equity.
"Each bike I work on presents a unique challenge, and I love being able to creatively solve every new problem."
- Robin, Youth Apprentice