Kindness is Moving Forward at the Riverside County Build-a-Bike for Foster Youth

five women work on a partially assembled bicycle

San Jacinto USD team coming together to assemble bikes at the annual Riverside County Build-a-Bike for Foster Youth.

According to President John F. Kennedy, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.” On Friday, April 12th, RCOE staff, community partners, and students came together to assemble 110 bicycles at the annual Riverside County Build-a-Bike for Foster Youth event hosted by the Division of Student Programs and Services to make this possible for our most needy children and students – – – foster youth.

In Riverside County, there are more 5,700 than foster youth ranging from newborns to young adults served annually. Children in foster care face many challenges. Through RCOE’s Foster Youth Coordinating Services Program, we are able to help foster children and student’s address challenges and overcome obstacles so that they can learn, achieve, and thrive in school and beyond. The Build-a-Bike is one way to support foster youth; there are many other ways to get involved to help. Please reach out to our Foster Youth Coordinator, Melanie Bridges (mbridges@rcoe.us) for additional information or visit our Foster Youth Coordinating Services website.

This year surpassed the previous number of bikes built and sets a new record. In addition 13 school districts and partner agencies participated including: Aspiranet, Transitional-aged Youth, Community Now, CSU, San Bernardino, Riverside County department of Social Services, Hemet USD, Jurupa USD Menifee USD, Moreno Valley USD, Riverside County Department of Probation Riverside Community College District (RCC), Guardian Scholars, Riverside USD, San Bernardino County Mental Health, and San Jacinto USD.

Jurupa USD, San Jacinto USD, and RCC brought foster youth high school and college students to assist with assembling the bicycles. These students were surprised with their very own bike and helmet!

Two assemblers hold up a small girl's bicycle

This year surpassed the previous number of bikes built and sets a new record for the Riverside County Build-A-Bike for Foster Youth event.

Thank you to our amazing Foster Youth Coordinating Services team for their hard work and dedication leading to a very successful event and for the many other RCOE staff who helped with this RCOE success. Not only did this team secure donations to purchase the bikes, they ensured that participants enjoyed refreshments, music, and competitive companionship.

As Albert Einstein reminds us, “Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” We will be moving forward with plans for next year’s event and to surpass this year’s number of bicycles donated to foster youth.