7 Days until the Youth Bike Summit 2016

Are you ready to meet the next generation of bike advocates, planners, educators, engineers, teachers, senators and business leaders?

We’ll have a chance next Friday when the sixth annual Youth Bike Summit convenes at Macalester College in Saint Paul. The nation’s third largest bike conference is expected to draw 400 people for the only bike conference created by youth for youth.

While everyone is welcome at #YBS16, the conference focuses on empowering and developing youth. We don’t know yet what these youth will grow up to do, but we do know they’ve got ideas. That’s why we’re so excited to hear from them.

If you haven’t heard about the Youth Bike Summit, here’s what you should know.

  1. Bikes are viewed as tools for building healthier, more sustainable, more equitable communities, and that’s why we’ll be talking about bike clubs, watersheds, entrepreneurship and so much more during the 25 hands-on workshops.
  2. Minnesota’s youth bike superstars will be telling their stories. We’ll hear from C4C youth apprentices Jaquelin Palestino and Robert Skipper, Frogtown youth educators, and students from metro area school-based bike clubs Pillsbury Pedal Power and Brookyln Center Secondary Bike Club.
  3. Inspiring leaders will present, like nationally-recognized civil rights and social justice expert, Nekima Levy-Pounds, President of NAACP Minneapolis and a Professor at University of St. Thomas School of Law, and internationally-recognized urbanist Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa, MBA, PhDhc, Founder and Chair of the Board at 8-80 Cities and Chair of the Board at World Urban Parks.
  4. #YBS16 isn’t only about sitting and listening. Some of us think with our hands through doing and making, and we’re setting up to accommodate creative expression through painting, printing, and more.
  5. On Saturday morning, we’re having a parade across Macalester’s campus, and on Sunday morning, we’ll be painting a mural – no previous painting experience required. Can you think of anything better to do next weekend?
  6. We’re helping to launch the 2016 Slow Roll Twin Cities season with a six-mile, all-inclusive ride through Saint Paul on Saturday evening. The ride and barbeque are open to the public. Find all the details on Facebook.
  7. By bringing together people from different disciplines and of different ages, we’re hoping to build a shared vision. We’d like to leave the conference with actionable goals that support everyone’s efforts to build momentum for youth bicycling.

Registration is $35 for youth and $75 for adults. Don’t delay, register today!

Meet #YBS16 Keynote Speaker Robert Skipper

Robert Skipper

Cycles for Change youth apprentices will be telling their own stories at the Youth Bike Summit, 27-29 May 2016. Yesterday, we introduced Jaquelin Palestino.  Today, we’d like to introduce keynote speaker Robert Skipper.

Robert is a 15-year-old sophomore at Community of Peace Academy in Saint Paul. He said the first time he went to Cycles for Change was because a friend “dragged him along” but he ultimately found the space welcoming.

As a youth apprentice at C4C, Robert first learned to fix his own bike; then, he started fixing other people’s bikes. He’s also fixed  up bikes donated to Cycles for Change, and currently helps teach others at open shop nights. “It’s not the same feel as if you worked at McDonalds,” he said.  Robert said that  at Cycles for Change, the environment is supportive. He knows the people, and he can talk to them and work out problems.

What he enjoys most about working at C4C is the opportunity he gets to take the lead. “You can learn from someone old or from someone young,” he said. “Youth may need guidance but they have their own ideas.”

Robert wants to help more people feel safe on bikes. It’s a wish he might be able to fulfill through a future career, as he’s a math whiz who would like to study civil engineering.

At the Youth Bike Summit, he wants to share the message that youth need to be encouraged and pushed to do better.

Come hear Robert tell his own story at the Youth Bike Summit 27-29 May 2016. Register today. 

Meet #YBS16 Keynote Speaker Jaquelin Palestino

Jaquelin Palestino

Cycles for Change is very proud that two of our youth apprentices will be taking the stage to present keynote addresses during the sixth annual Youth Bike Summit, 27-29 May 2016. Today, we’d like to introduce Jaquelin Palestino.

Jaquelin is a 15-year-old sophomore at Community of Peace Academy in Saint Paul. She was inspired to get involved at Cycles for Change after a staff member gave a presentation at her school.

Currently, Jaquelin is finishing her second year in  the youth apprentice program. She helps staff our free weekly open shop nights, including Grease Rag, which is an open shop for women-, transgender-, and femme-identifying people.

“I used to be really shy and quiet but now I see myself going to meetings and speaking up,” she said. Jaquelin has built confidence by getting out of her comfort zone and getting involved in the community.

Jaquelin said she wants to help other people bike because it’s good for the environment and because of the sense of pride one can gain from working on their own bike. “You don’t have to depend on others,” she said. “With cars, you need gas and insurance.”

At the Youth Bike Summit, Jaquelin wants to share her experience building confidence in herself.

Jaquelin is planning to go to college after she finishes high school. She doesn’t know yet what she’d like to study, but we’re sure she’ll do well wherever she goes next.

Come hear Jaquelin tell her story at the Youth Bike Summit. Registration is $35 for youth and $75 for adults. Register here.