Pictured above, back row, from left: Joshua Hilsinger, Eric McGee, McLoughlin Middle School teacher/Bike Clark County volunteer Preston Antisdel, Constance Solinger and Uziel Perez Ortiz (on bike). Front row, from left: Olivia Wallace; Bike Clark County President Eric Giacchino; and David Mertvyy, far right.
Students from Hudson’s Bay High School recently completed a pilot program that positions them as leaders in the cycling community. Gabe B., Shawn Gibson, Joshua Hilsinger, Elijah Johnson, Eric McGee, David Mertvyy, Uziel Perez Ortiz, Olivia Wallace, Akiva Wells and Constance Solinger spent eight weeks in a program called Bike 2 Leadership. They participated in bike-maintenance workshops; riding lessons; marijuana-prevention classes; resume-building and interviewing workshops; first aid and CPR-certification training; and sessions on healthy nutrition, coping with stress and emotional trauma, respecting diversity and giving and receiving feedback. In addition, they learned how to overhaul bikes that they got to keep as a reward for their participation.
As part of the program, the students also planned an advocacy project. The teens decided to focus on bicycle safety after a classmate was hit while bicycling near the school.
Bike 2 Leadership is partnership between Clark County Public Health and Bike Clark County that was funded by a grant from Kaiser Permanente. The students worked with Preston Antisdel, a McLoughlin Middle School teacher and Bike Clark County volunteer. Volunteers from the city of Vancouver, Clark County, Partners in Careers, Vancouver Public Schools and other organizations also assisted with the program.
Next spring, the program may return to Hudson’s Bay and begin at Fort Vancouver High School.