Wednesday, March 19, 2014

DreamBikes Creates Opportunies for Milwaukee's Inner City Youth

By Kristina Byas
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With everyone having a dream, but not always being given the opportunity to live it out, one Milwaukee nonprofit has opened a new world of possibilities for neighborhood children.

From tricycles to road bikes, DreamBikes has been working to provide the central city with repair services, affordable prices and employ Milwaukee’s youth since 2010.

This unique nonprofit recruits inner city youth, from ages 15 to their early 20s, from the Boys and Girls Club of Milwaukee to work on bikes donated from the public.

As employees of DreamBikes, they build their resumes, as well as better their interpersonal and customer service skills, while working a part time position at the store repairing bikes and working on the sales floor.

“The main focus is the interpersonal skills they learn from working with customers,” said manager Russell Jobs.

“We teach them the skills, attitude and demeanor that will help them succeed in the future,” he said.

As youth learn valuable skills and gain life experiences, they are also able to earn college scholarships. In 2013, DreamBikes awarded $10,000 in scholarships to employees of the shop. Jennifer Wise, biology major at Alverno College was one of the recipients.

“I wouldn’t be going to school this year if it wasn’t for the scholarship. I’m really grateful for the opportunity and the job flexibility DreamBikes has given me,” said Wise.

Along with bikes, the store also houses new and used clothing, shoes, and other bicycle related items. Customers are able to purchase bikes ranging from $30 to $1000 and up for more high-end bikes.

DreamBikes will be hosting a bike drive April 25 through 26 and May 2 through 3.

DreamBikes is located at 2021A. N. Martin Luther King Drive. 
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