(WATERLOO, WI) – DreamBikes—a non-profit organization that provides hands-on, paid job training to teens in underserved communities at its used bike shops—has expanded with four new locations. New storefronts in Madison, WI North; Calumet City, IL; Knoxville, TN; and Rochester, NY join the existing DreamBikes stores in Madison and Milwaukee for six locations nationwide. The new locations have already opened their doors and begun hiring teens from local neighborhoods. DreamBikes expects this expansion to drastically increase both opportunities for teens and the number of bikes they refurbish, recycle, and return to the community at low cost.
Teens employed with DreamBikes learn a variety of marketable skills to help them achieve personal and professional success. In addition to the valuable mechanical skills needed to refurbish/repair bicycles, employees learn skills that are easily transferable to other industries, such as great customer service and experience using point-of-sale software. Increasing employee’s self-confidence is at the core of DreamBikes’ approach.
In addition to these professional opportunities, DreamBikes assists employees who wish to continue their education with scholarships for college or further mechanical training. The scholarship program began in 2013 as a memorial to Andrew Meyers, an engineer at Trek Bicycle who tragically passed away that year. The generosity of his family and others has allowed 20 DreamBikes employees to continue their education ever since.
Helping teens shift gears towards a brighter future is DreamBike’s raison d’être, and the organization is thrilled to continue inspiring and providing new opportunities with these four new locations.
DreamBikes also provides access to bicycles to those who may not otherwise have the means to obtain one. The idea is simple: refurbish used bikes that would otherwise go to the landfill, provide opportunities for teens in the process, and make them available to the community at low-cost for those who need them most for transportation or a new perspective on their surroundings. This formula has been massively successful in the past, and DreamBikes has had a huge impact since the first stores opened in 2008. Here are some of the numbers:
Jobs provided: 194
Bikes returned to the community: 15,000
Bikes repaired via mobile repair: 1,200
Scholarships awarded: Mechanical – 7, Educational – 13
DreamBikes relies on the generosity of those who believe in their mission to continue inspiring communities through the power of the bicycle. Donations are crucial to the organization’s continued success, and 100% of DreamBikes’ inventory is donated by individuals and organizations. Monetary donations, along with used bikes and components, are always welcomed and highly appreciated. Hosting a bike drive is an excellent way to make a major impact. Those who wish to contribute are encouraged to contact the DreamBikes location nearest them.
DreamBikes and its partners at Trek Bicycle are thrilled to announce the opening of these four new locations, and are excited to see the organization’s continued growth in the years to come.