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National Bike Summit to Bring Leadership Skills to Valley Youth | WDIY Local News

Community Bike Works

Allentown’s Community Bike Works strives to provide young people throughout the Lehigh Valley with bicycles while teaching them valuable life lessons. They provide support year-round through their mentoring programs that connect youth with adult mentors and teach them STEAM skills, healthy living habits, and community engagement.

Now the organization has been chosen as the host of the 2024 National Youth Bike Summit, according to a press release, between July 14 and 16.

This year’s summit follows the theme “Youth Lead the Way” and will include workshops, bike rides, receptions, and more opportunities for young people to connect at locations like Muhlenberg College, the Valley Preferred Cycling Center, and SteelStacks.

Further encouraging young input is the involvement of the Community Bike Works’ Youth Leaders in planning the summit. The group of teenagers completed CBW’s “Earn a Bike” program, which teaches kids the mechanics of a bike while fostering communication, teamwork, and perseverance.

Avery Daniels, a former teen leader and present staff member at CBW, highlighted the importance of involving youth in the decision making process. After co-presenting a workshop at the 2019 summit and attending in 2022, he says no group could better prepare this year’s summit than the diverse youth who make up the Youth Leaders team.

One fifteen-year-old Youth Leader named Hector who attends William Allen High School says they’re working to plan the workshops and the big group bike ride. They’re also planning fun ice breakers that will help attendees make new friends.

Hector says that while the work has been difficult, the support of Community Bike Works has made him and the other young leaders more confident in themselves. Kim Shaffer, the Executive Director of CBW, says this year’s summit will provide a “magical, life-changing experience for students who attend.”

James is the News and Public Affairs Director for WDIY. He reports on stories in the Lehigh Valley and across the state which impact the region, along with managing WDIY's volunteers who help create the station's diverse line-up of public affairs programs.
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