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Momentum Bike Clubs

The underlying philosophy of Momentum Bike Clubs is anchored in Positive Youth Development, an intentional approach that engages youth within their communities in a manner that is constructive and affirming of their assets and strengths. It also promotes positive outcomes for youth by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and offering consistent support to build on their leadership potential.

Momentum Bike Clubs works with youth, ages 11-17, who are open to vigorous exercise and healthy peer and mentor relationships. With the assistance of local community-based partners, we recruit eligible youth and connect them with volunteer adult mentors. There are currently four bike clubs in the Greenville, SC region: Sterling, Nicholtown, Berea, and Lakeview. In addition, they also organize the Momentum Challenge for to provide additional opportunities and challenges beyond the local partner clubs.

Momentum Bike Clubs is a community initiative of the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life at Clemson University. Building on IFNL’s core mission of strengthening ties between families and communities, Momentum is premised on the belief that children with multiple risk factors, including persistent poverty, parental incarceration, and/or instability in home life, are more likely to thrive when they live in communities that are inclusive and supportive of them and their caregivers. Unfortunately, too often the opposite is true. When families struggle with multiple challenges, they often become increasingly isolated within community settings. Children may have academic difficulties or other behavioral problems. Often they carry tremendous burdens as they cope with their families’ struggles.

In Momentum Bike Clubs, we strive to increase support within primary institutions (e.g., religious communities, schools, community resource centers) of children with multiple challenges. When these children and their caregivers are connected to others within the community, we believe that it is more likely that they will succeed academically and socially. We also believe that their caregivers will feel more confident in their parenting responsibilities.

Fundamental to creating a sense of community is establishing connections to caring, responsible and committed adults. To accomplish our goal of matching adult volunteers with eligible young people, Building Dreams uses the AMACHI model of mentoring where secular and faith-based organizations work together to provide mentoring services.

For more information about Momentum Bike Clubs, please see the Momentum Bike Club website.

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