LORAIN, Ohio — A new bike shop is open in Lorain County and it’s teaching young people the tools to thrive on and off the job.
“It really is about giving the kids an opportunity and a place to go and keeping them engaged in positive activities,” explains Lorain County Community Action Agency (LCCAA) Youth Services Coordinator, Bobby Taylor.
“To have this center here knowing that youth can be here and work hard and have recreation and talk about positive things and be exposed to positive adults, it gives them an alternative than being out here on the streets.”
The shop is located on West 10th Street in Lorain and is part of the new Ronald Nabakowski Youth Center, named after a Lorain County leader who lived a life of service.
Taylor says it’s about helping these young people understand their self-worth and knowing that they too can make a difference.
“A lot of times our youth, because they are impoverished or have difficult times, they’re used to just receiving but knowing that they can give and give to society is a positive thing,” he explains.
Eleven youth are involved with the bike shop, learning how to repair them and a total of 25 young people will be mentored.
They’ll go on college tours, company visits, hear from guests speakers and volunteer in the community, among other things.
Those who are employed with the bike shop are learning transferable skills.
“They’re not only going to be able to work on bikes but also autmotives and even wheelchairs on the off season,” says Taylor.
“It’s a great way to show them they can do something with their hands and their mind and also work together.”
They will also accept bike donations and start to sell bikes in August.
Money raised goes back into the program.
“We’re excited to be a part of these youth’s lives and hopefully we can change the city for the better,” says Taylor.