FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/21/15
Media Contact: Jamiah Tappin, jtappin@hria.org

“FOR THE COMMUNITY, BY THE COMMUNITY”: Bowdoin Bike School Receives $10,000 in Funding to Support Employment Opportunities and Community Engagement

North Dorchester, Boston, MA: Bowdoin Bike School (BBS) has been awarded $10,000 in funding to support three seasonal employees through a Community Health Improvement Project (CHIP) Grant made available to the Bowdoin Geneva community by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. BBS was selected by a Community Advisory Board (CAB) of Bowdoin Geneva residents supported by the Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH).

Nancy Kasen, Director of Community Benefits at BIDMC, is pleased and proud to support a local, community-based, community-driven initiative such as BBS. She states, “We are impressed with the thoughtful process undertaken by the committed members of the CAB and recognize the value that the Bowdoin Bike School will provide to youth and young adults in the community – fostering community cohesion, job-skills, responsibility, economic opportunity/self-sufficiency, etc., through hands-on experience. This initiative, by the community, for the community, will allow neighbors to have bicycles and encourage families/kids to be more active.”

The BBS initiative aligns with three of BACH’s strategic issues: 1) to achieve racial and ethnic healthy equity, 2) to improve health outcomes by focusing on employment and 3) increasing the number of immigrants and people of color into meaningful leadership roles. BBS has made cycling accessible for residents of Bowdoin Geneva by offering free, hands-on mechanic training and bicycle safety clinics to residents of the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood. The soon-to-be-hired employees will receive vocational training and transferable mechanics, customer service, and event planning: job skills to bring continued success to their households and community.

Director of BBS and veteran youth worker, Noah Hicks, is enthusiastic about this opportunity: “Thanks to the CHIP Grant, we will be able to employ three Bowdoin-Geneva residents who are passionate about this industry….Being able to compensate them for their hard work not only sends the message that their time and skills are valuable, but gives them even more incentive to stay involved.”

Jamiah Tappin, Community Organizing and Communications Manager for BACH, who supported the CAB, voiced her excitement with the grantee selection. She states, “The CAB members wrote the RFP and reviewed the proposals. It was important for me that they understood the process from beginning to end, and now they are even more invested in supporting the efforts of Noah and the Bowdoin Bike School this summer.”

This funding was made possible through Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Determination of Need Community Health Initiatives, which are required and overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. BACH is responsible for overseeing the administrative aspects of the grant.

About BACH: Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH) is a diverse city-wide partnership of neighborhood coalitions and over 50 community-based partners working to make Boston a healthier and a more equitable place to live, work, pray and play. With a strong emphasis on social determinants of health and racial justice, BACH uses data-driven, health planning to influence policymaking, program development and service delivery.

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