Positively Milwaukee

Local bicycle company gives teens on-the-job skills

CREATED Jan 18, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - When you walk into DreamBikes on Martin Luther King Drive, you may think it's an ordinary bike shop. But think again. It has a lot more than pedal power.

DreamBikes is a nonprofit company that spins the wheels of success by giving teens on the job skills.

Stefhon Hubbard says, "When I first started I knew very little about working on bikes. But now I know enough I actually consider myself an amateur bike mechanic."

DreamBikes buys and repairs used bikes donated by the community and businesses.

Manager Russell Jobs loves the impact he has on youth. "I feel great when I go home from work and the kids have had a chance to come in and work. They not only earn a paycheck but improve their lives. It gets them started on the next step down the road."

Jobs likes to get the kids into the shop between the ages of 14 and 18.

He plays many roles from guidance counselor to teacher to mentor, even a father. He notes, "We always make sure and see how they're doing in school, how they are doing in their home lives. We're not just employing them for the hours they are here, we want to see how they are doing in their whole life."

Student worker Jennifer Wise says she has learned a lot. Wise explains, "This is like a stepping stone for me to learn how to take care of customers."

One trip to DreamBikes you can see the pride. You can also witness young people on a journey that is putting dreams within their reach.

DreamBikes accepts donated bikes. For more information you can go to http://dream-bikes.org/