The Southeast Youth Corps, a Chattanooga-based conservation corps, is now accepting applications for youth riders and adult Ride Mentors for the second season of its youth mountain bike program that starts in March and runs through July.
There are eight open spots for youth aged 12 to 15 years old who want to learn a new skill and earn a free mountain bike and helmet. The deadline to apply is Feb. 21.
The five-month outing program called Trips for Kids offers local youth the opportunity to explore Chattanooga’s natural areas through weekly mountain bike rides and monthly conservation projects with City of Chattanooga Parks department. Local adult bike riders serve as mentors to the youth throughout the whole program.
“Last season we graduated five Latino youth who all earned a new or gently used mountain bike,” said Brenna Kelly, director of the Southeast Youth Corps, “and we’re looking to continue our success again this year by offering eight new youth the opportunity to earn a mountain bike of their own.”
Officials said, "Each participant will learn fundamental knowledge in bike safety, bike maintenance, technical mountain biking skills, and environmental education. They will also learn how to stay positive through tough challenges and communicate with their peers. Most importantly they will be having a lot of fun."
“For a teen, committing to five months is not a simple task. Through the simple joy of riding a bike, youth develop the self-confidence, determination, and teamwork needed to succeed in life. It’s pretty awesome,” said Ms. Kelly. All mountain bikes and safety equipment are provided by SYC, and staff are trained in first-aid and CPR.
The mission of the Southeast Youth Corps is to train and educate the youth of Chattanooga while conserving and protecting the natural environment.
If you would like to enroll your child or become a ride mentor complete the application available on SYC’s website at http://www.southeastyc.org/trips-for-kids or call SYC at 423 664-2344, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.