Who We Are
The Baltimore Youth Kinetic Energy Collective (BYKE) is a youth empowerment after-school program dedicated to personal and professional development through learning bicycle mechanics, safe ridership, community values, and respect.
With the recent closure of over 20 recreation centers in Baltimore, young people are lacking a safe after-school environment that fosters creativity and interactive learning. BYKE will not only offer a healthy environment away from street lingering, but it will provide marketable skills and encourage leadership.
In a small city like Baltimore, bicycles represent a fun, affordable, efficient, and healthy means of transportation. For youth, they also offer independence and a way to achieve their goals. Bikes can help young people get to school. In Baltimore, nearly 20% of middle schoolers and over 40% of high schoolers on average miss one day a week of school each year.
As a youth-run collective, BYKE offers more than just technical skills. Our program has three main components:
1. BYKE Club: A small group of 12-17 year olds that will attend 8 weekly mechanics classes. The club will also facilitate meetings to discuss their goals for the collective, reflect on what they’ve learned, and participate in communication workshops. Graduates from this program will be eligible for a paid internship with the collective over the summer.
2. BYKE Open Shop: Anyone under 18 (with signed permission) can come work on their own bicycles with guidance from our Chief Mechanic and expert volunteers.
3. BYKE Rides: Adventures around the city for BYKE Club members, friends and family to new points of interest all over the city. The rides will focus on safe navigation techniques while on the streets of Baltimore.
How You Can Help
To start off, BYKE will be based in the Velocipede Bike Project, a local community bicycle shop where adults can volunteer or work on their own bicycles. Thanks to Velocipede’s support, we can use their space when they’re not open. Therefore, we don’t need to purchase a lot of the expensive tools and bike stands! Most of your contributions go directly toward the daily operations that get young people excited about bicycles! As start-up funds, this proposed budget is for the opening and the first session of BYKE.
- Learning materials
- Bike parts & supplies
- Engaging activities
- Healthy snacks
- Promotion and recruitment
- Liability insurance
- Rent & Utilities
- Fiscal sponsorship with Fusion Partnerships, Inc.
As a fiscally sponsored organization, all donations are tax deductible.
Your support will bring a young person into a creative and respectful environment where they can learn and grow. As a perk, your donation will guarantee you a personalized invitation from the participants to join us on BYKE rides!
Progressive cities across the US have youth bicycle programming and have seen the benefits it offers to individuals and communities. It’s time for Baltimore to join them!
Other Ways You Can Help
Supporting our fundraising campaign is just one of the many ways you can help get BYKE started. If you have any interest in alternative donations or ways of helping, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on facebook.
Share our campaign: In a world of social networking, reaching as many people as possible can only help the success of our campaign. Know someone who might be interested in BYKE? Connecting us would be a great contribution to our cause.
Volunteer! If you know about fixing bikes, come help out at the Open Shop. If you know about trust building and communication games, contact us and help us to maximize our impact.
In-kind donations: Although BYKE does not have an earn-a-bike program (YET), we still want to make sure every young person can access an affordable bicycle, helmet and bike lock.
We’d like to thank you in advance for helping to get BYKE funded so we can open this spring!
Jeremy Sheeler and Awarehouse Productions
Baltimore Bike Party