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Bike education program for incarcerated boys of Monterey County rolls past 7th Anniversary

April 15, 2019 began the 8th year of the Monterey County Probation Department Youth Center bike education program.

How was it possible to complete seven years of instruction with only volunteer help and no funding source? Here’s how:

On Oct 26, 2011, simply due to caring about the well-being of youth—including incarcerated boys ages 14-17 who come from all over Monterey County—Bicycling Monterey’s founder attended a community meeting [click for Monterey Herald related story] in the county seat and its largest city, Salinas, where the Youth Center is located. A brochure distributed at the meeting listed dozens of education and treatment programs offered at the Youth Center, plus three they wished for.

Among those three was bicycling instruction. When asked why no bicycling instruction, the Youth Center director said “I’ve tried for a couple years, but just can’t get any volunteers.” Bicycling Monterey’s founder thought to herself: if I can’t make that happen, I’m resigning all my volunteer bike advocacy projects in protest!

Thanks to others who pitched in, Bicycling Monterey launched the Youth Center’s bicycling education program on April 15, 2012. In October 2015, a new component—Bike Nights—was added to the program. For Youth Center bike ed program history and details, see “Youth Center – first high school bike tech class in Monterey County!”

One of the two faithful bike repair instruction volunteers since 2012 went on leave in November 2018. This means that reaching the April 15, 2019 anniversary date for that class was only possible because of…

Frank Henderson!

Above and below, Frank Henderson—the sole volunteer who has volunteered with the Monterey County Probation Department Youth Center’s bicycling education program from its launch in April 2012 through its 7th anniversary in April 2019.

We also send much gratitude to Luciano Rodriguez, a faithful Youth Center bike ed volunteer from July 2012 until taking a leave of absence in November 2018. He’ll be back!

Thanks to all individuals or businesses who have contributed supplies or volunteered with the Youth Center bike ed program since Bicycling Monterey launched the program in April 2012. To see who they are, scroll to section 11, items #1, 2, 4, 7, 9 of “Youth Center – first high school bike tech class in Monterey County!”
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To learn about upcoming dates for Bicycling Monterey’s Bike Nights at the Youth Center, to contribute project supplies, or if you’d like to know more about the Youth Center bike ed program—or any Bicycling Monterey projects—please phone Bicycling Monterey.

Archived note

Can you contribute jigsaw puzzles, yarn, toiletries, or other little holiday gifts for the boys who’ll attend the December 13, 2019 Bike Night?
  • Great! It is helpful to receive the items by December 6th. However, if you’re seeing this post later, items delivered to us by December 12th will still be welcome.
  • Please first phone Bicycling Monterey to make arrangements, and to be sure you understand what is allowable—e.g., no red or blue items, no sports team insignia.
  • The boys will appreciate the following items that they can use immediately: Jigsaw puzzles, yarn for knitting, and toiletries (must be in clear container) are still needed. Also welcome are comic books or other paperback books (nonviolent, positive content), pens, and pencils. Any such items are welcome (they need not be bicycle-related designs or bike-related comics or paperbacks).
  • Helpful bike-related items that they can only use after their release from the Youth Center include: bike locks, helmets, pumps, stainless steel water bottles, all-in-one tools.
  • Your name will be added to the Bicycling Monterey website’s list of contributors of project supplies (unless you ask to be listed as Anonymous).
  • Thank you! Questions? Phone Bicycling Monterey.

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The post below was previously published on April 15, 2019.

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This post was published on 7 November 2019. One or more changes last made to this post on 23 January 2020.

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