Improving Lives Building Futures
Because many of its causes are intimately tied with the youth, Break The Cycle, with the assistance of vital community partners which include: the Center for Black Innovation, Miami Urban Contemporary Experience, Dibia Dream, and Junior Achievement, sought out to help mold the future of Miami-Dade County by pioneering a summer program, Break The Cycle: Improving Lives Building Futures, which is centered around a holistic view and approach to the introduction of the sport of cycling to at-risk youth, while providing a framework for vital life skills and mindfulness techniques, with the goal of “breaking” the catastrophic cycles of gun violence, low graduation rates, high unemployment, and teen pregnancy in the Black community.
Predicated on 5 pillars: 1) Life Skills & Mindfulness; 2) Cycling Maintenance & Repair; 3) Construction of Bicycle Components & Accessories; 4) Financial Literacy & Entrepreneurship; and 5) Mentorship & Guest Speakers, participants in the Break The Cycle: Improving Lives Building Futures Summer Program engaged in mindfulness exercises to promote positive self awareness as well as physical and mental health; gained money management skills as well as an awareness of how to develop and operate businesses and applied and exhibited their breadth of financial knowledge and business skill set in an end of summer Shark Tank styled competition; engaged with a diverse cohort of professionals ranging from politicians to entrepreneurs through the weekly mentorship component of the program, Seeing Is Believing; honed viable tools for personal and professional success through real world simulations, including but not limited to, delivering an elevator pitch and dressing for success; delved into transferable construction and STEM-based activities ranging from carpentry to motor assembly; benefitted from expert hands-on tutorials of bicycle construction and tire repair provided by reputable experienced professional cyclists; and trained 4 days a week for a 50 mile end of summer bike ride.
The Break the Cycle: Improving Lives Building Futures Summer Program was an astounding success by any standard. It truly proved that when families are enriched “mind, body, and spirit,” lives can and will be positively impacted.