DreamBikes is “a non-profit organization that strategically places used bicycle stores in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods to provide hands-on, paid job training to teens. Working in conjunction with local youth organizations, DreamBikes employs teens from the area to work in the store; teaching them how to refurbish bikes, use various computer softwares, and to deliver great customer service.”
During a working day at DreamBikes, the youth run the whole shop. They have staff who solely work on refurbishing and fixing bikes as well as staff who work solely on the sales side, but more often than not they are doing both. The youth, as well as working on bikes, interact with all the customers and are the face of the organization.
By the time the children are finished working at DreamBikes, the goal is to have them feeling confident and ready to take on the next phase of their life, whatever that may be. As program coordinator Ashley Parker noted, the youth have very diverse and varying dreams, which makes the mentorship program very case by case. In the end, DreamBikes’ hope is that the youth feel they were part of making a difference in the world and continue to feel as such.
“DreamBikes” is set to open at the end of January 2017 (Brent Rillie, Jan. 20, 2017).
A sign in Calumet City tells customers that DreamBikes will be opening soon (Brent Rillie, Jan. 20, 2017).
Pictured are just a few of the hundreds of bikes that are brought into Calumet City’s DreamBikes location (Brent Rillie, Jan. 20, 2017).
Whenever a bike is donated/dropped off at DreamBikes, it’s hung up in the storage area at the back of the store where it will be processed for future work (Brent Rillie, Jan. 20, 2017).
After a bike is processed, the “holding area” is its next stop (Brent Rillie, Jan. 20, 2017).
This is the actual area where the bikes are worked on, where things like changing chains, oiling the bikes, putting air in tires, cleaning the frames, and testing brakes will all occur (Brent Rillie, Jan. 20, 2017).
Any piece of equipment needed to work on the bikes is oftentimes kept on these shelving units located right next to the bike repair area (Brent Rillie, Jan. 20, 2017).
Once a bike is completely finished and ready to go out on the floor for sale, they are placed on racks or mounts for display (Brent Rillie, Jan. 20, 2017).