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Local People We L♥ve & Admire
"Back in 2012, we envisioned an avenue to giveback to our local community of Baton Rouge, but we weren't quite sure what that would look like. As creatives and musicians by trade, our natural inclination was to lean more towards serving our community in those respective fields. Literally, out of no where, "swimming lessons" just kind of popped up. At the time, we knew how to swim well enough for ourselves, but facilitating swimming lessons was a whole other thing!
Once swimming lessons piqued our interest, we then began to do research and stumbled upon some stats that floored us. According to a study conducted by USA Swimming, 70% of minority children do not know how to swim. This issue even extends beyond race with the startling statistic that about 10 people drown daily with at least two of those victims being children. Upon becoming aware of these hard truths, we were left with two options: either do nothing or figure out a way to bring change in this area. We chose the latter and the rest you can say is history!"
-Torrence & Thurman Thomas
The Futures Fund is a STEM workforce development program designed with the mission to create digital, literary, visual, and music arts-entrepreneurial opportunities for youth 14-21 years old. It provides students with training in STEM and creative industries under the guidance of paid professionals and volunteers. Our Saturday training programs are research-driven, and based on best practices to prepare creative-minded youth for revenue-generating opportunities in their selected discipline.
The program is open to all students in middle and high school at no cost for low-moderate income households. Youth who enroll in the program attend every class for the eight-week program each semester to prepare for the year-end student showcase to the business community.
In addition to learning the hard skills in the digital and visual arts, such as coding and photography, Futures Fund students are exposed to critical 21st-century skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, and money management. These are the competencies needed for one to succeed; these are also the skills employers say are now severely lacking among graduates.
We're funding our future by funding yours!
Front Yard Bikes is a 501(c)3 Non-profit corporation designed to be a community bike shop that focuses on teaching all participants of all ages how to fix and maintain bikes. Skills that are taught and developed include mathematics, physics, and mechanics. We also promote inclusivity, mentorship, recreation, and academic achievement with all participants.
Besides the educational efforts of Front Yard Bikes, we want to provide all participants with reliable transportation in the city of Baton Rouge. FYB also appreciates the fun aspects of riding a bike that provides youth with extracurricular activities like racing, riding to community gardens, riding to pools, fishing holes, and more.
The heart of our program is motivated by compassion for kids from low-income families that are willing to work for what they get. The founder’s spiritual beliefs that God will provide has been his primary motivation for meeting weekly with the kids in South Baton Rouge Subdivision since July of 2010. These kids deserve the opportunity to learn, to grow, and to ride in a safe place. God willing, we can make that a reality.
Visit frontyardbikes.com for more info.
Earn-a-Bike: (Ages 6-18)
Learn to use tools as you build or repair a bike that you can keep.
Earn $5 hour credit and then use you credit to pay for the bike you build.
Gain great career experience by learning basic mechanics and using simple engineering.
After completing your bike, give back. You can help run the shop by gardening, scraping bikes, or sorting parts. You can also earn community service hours.
Build-a-Bike (Ages 19 & Up)
Pay a onetime fee of $50 and build the bike of your choosing.
A full time mechanic will be present to help at all times.
You will be able to get a great bike at FYB for less than half the cost.
Friday Bike Rides:(Ages 8 & Up)
Every Friday enjoy a bike ride with FYB as we show you paths to take your bike.
We will go to parks, libraries, Museums, and more.
We also visit different job sites so you can learn what other careers are available in your area.