Recent Champions For Learning graduates will not have to worry about how they will get around their college campus in the fall thanks to Bikes for Tykes. The organization provided over 30 refurbished bikes for recent graduates of Champions For Learning’s scholarship and mentoring program on Friday.
Bikes have become a necessity for most college students in Florida. With college campuses being so wide-spread, having a way of transportation is crucial. Many students will not have a car while in college, making a bike their only form of transportation.
“Being able to transport myself from class to class every morning is extremely important, especially so I’m not late,” said Isabella Viquez, Champions For Learning 2022 graduate. “I currently don’t have a car or anything and I am moving to a different city away from family. So it’s really important to be able to transport myself around the cities and be able to know exactly it is where I am living and the area around me.”
For many soon-to-be college students without a car, their next and only option would be to walk. When asked what his backup plan would be if he did not receive a bike today, Manuel Castro, Champions For Learning 2022 graduate, said, “I probably would’ve walked for my first semester which is pretty far. My business class is almost 20 minutes away from my dorm.”
This is the second year Bikes for Tykes has partnered with Champions For Learning to give away bikes to high school graduates. Bikes for Tykes has been busy collecting used bikes, refurbishing them and then storing those bikes for students.
“We work very closely with Champions For Learning to see how many they need. How many are boys and how many are girls. Then we go back to see what we have in stock. As we get them in, we set them aside,” said John Whipple, director at Bikes for Tykes.
Whipple says on top of giving away bikes today, he was also able to teach some students how to ride a bike.
“It’s one thing to work in the shop and fix the tires and fix the various things that go wrong with a bike, but to be here and provide that bike that you fixed and see that smile on their face. It is just amazing,” Dave Pascale, Vice President, Bikes for Tykes.
Bikes for Tykes also provided helmets for every student who received a bike today. In order to do provide helmets, the Bikes for Tykes staff became certified to fit students for the correct helmet.
Champions works hard to always support the success of our students and knows that these new bikes will be an essential piece of their college success.