blog & social media updates

CSUF Guardian Scholars Build Bikes for Foster Youth

Author: Christina Shoesmith & Gianna Dahlia
Date: March 17, 2014

bikes for foster youth with former foster youth - together we rise

On Saturday, March 8th, 2014, volunteers from Cal State University Fullerton came alongside Together We Rise and participated in a Build-A-Bike event.  The event took place at the Specialized Foster Care Family Agency corporate office in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.  During this event 20 new bikes were built for local foster youth!

The volunteers present from CSUF are members of an exciting organization called Guardian Scholars.  This program is committed to supporting ambitious, college-bound students exiting the foster care system.  These Guardian Scholars help foster youth who enter the university system by giving them support through extensive resources and assistance.  The goal of the program is to help foster youth develop both educationally and interpersonally so they can become successful professionals. 

Our location host, Specialized Foster Care Family Agency, is a private non-profit home-finding agency licensed by the State of California Department of Social Services. This agency currently serves San Bernardino and Orange counties. 

With both of these local partners, TWR was able to put on a Build-A-Bike event where 20 new bikes were assembled for foster kids.  Former foster youth and current foster youth came together at this event to build the bikes.  It was great to see former foster youth who have gone through the system and understand the struggles, take part in encouraging kids who are still in the system.  

Our Build-A-Bike program is aimed to provide youth who are preparing to transition out of the foster care system with a bicycle.  Two out of three foster teens lack personal transportation. Without transportation it is more difficult for foster youth to make a successful transition into society.  The Build-A-Bike events normally take place with the help of sponsors and partnerships with group homes.  During these events foster youth and local volunteers have the chance to build the bikes together.  In the case of the March 8th event, TWR was able to partner with a foster agency instead of a group home. 

TWR was able to provide tools and t-shirts for the kids.  With the help of Hubert’s Lemonade and Guardian Scholars we were able to also order pizza for the volunteers and participants!

Thanks so much to our partners the Guardian Scholars, Specialized Foster Care, and Hubert’s Lemonade for making the build event possible!  We could not continue to hosts events like these without our partnerships and sponsors. 

Does a Build-A-Bike event sound like something your company would be interested in?  We are always looking for new partnerships!  To get involved, or to receive more information, email gianna@togtherwerise.org