Youth Apprenticeship Program

About the Youth Apprenticeship Program

Cycles for Change’s youth apprenticeship program engages high school-aged young people from low-income households and communities of color in a positive out-of-school time job training and leadership development program. The youth apprenticeship program improves youths’ academic success and college readiness through mentoring and peer support, trains them in accessing jobs in the growing bicycling industry, and helps them to engage their peers and families to use bicycles as a tool for affordable, reliable transportation. When youth have access to transportation, they have access to school and employment.


Over the course of a full year, youth are trained in bicycle mechanics and basic workplace professionalism, and given the opportunity to learn about possible pathways to careers in the growing bicycle industry, government, and other hands-on trades such as construction or auto mechanics. C4C’s apprenticeship program offers young people a first job that invests in their development and success and supports them in advancing toward a future that excites them.

Beyond providing basic job training, the youth apprenticeship trains the next generation of bicycle and community leaders. By demonstrating our investment in the potential of these youth as leaders, we help them believe in their own capacity to live healthy, productive, economically-vibrant lives that build material wealth and social capital in their diverse communities.

Our current youth apprenticeship will serve a total of 20 youth for at least 250 hours during the June 1, 2016-May 31, 2017 program year. Our youth apprentices will reach at least 150 youth and adults, teaching them to use bicycles as a tool for expanded mobility and economic advancement. By providing our youth with the expertise they need in bicycle mechanics, advocacy, health equity, and transportation, they are equipped to pass along that knowledge to others so they may also have access to healthy transportation that gets them to school and work.


C4C hires youth apprentices in St. Paul through Right Track and in Minneapolis through STEP UP. We are not currently accepting applications.

If you have questions about our youth apprenticeship program, please contact Youth Programs Manager, Magdalena, at [email protected].

Youth apprentices in the news

7/18/16, F.R. Bigelow Foundation Blog: Building Bikes, Building Careers

6/9/16, KSTP: Local Bike Shop Helping Kids Fix Bikes and Improve Job Skills

5/26/16, WCCO: Looking Ahead to the Youth Bike Summit

Youth Bike Summit 2016

Cycles for Change hosted the 2016 Youth Bike Summit in St. Paul at Macalester College the weekend of May 27-29!

This annual, 3-day conference brought together over 300 youth and adults from across the country and internationally to discuss how the bicycle is a vehicle for social change.

Friday night events included sign-making, open mic performances, and a performance from local musician Maria Isa. Saturday keynote speakers included 8-80 Cities founder Gil Penalosa, C4C’s own youth apprentices Jaquelin Palestino and Robert Skipper, KidWorks Santa Ana youth Maribel Mateo and Tony Gatica, and NAACP-Minneapolis president Nekima Levy-Pounds. We had 25 workshops covering topics of youth leadership councils, fundraising strategies, starting bike clubs, and even mural and video making!

On Saturday afternoon, we had an all-YBS Slow Roll bike ride through the streets of St. Paul!

This is event was made possible through generous sponsorship from our Title Sponsor the Center for Prevention Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, as well as Minnesota Department of Transportation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Planet Bike,, Bicycle Habitat, JBI Bike, The Hub Bike Co-op, QBP (Quality Bicycle Products), Patagonia, Merrill Corporation, Dero Bike Racks, Adventure Cycling Association, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, Three Rivers Park District, Pro Gold Lubricants, REI, Visit Saint Paul, Momentum Magazine, and of course Macalester College!