“hard work is key to everything'.” -Allanna, 8th grader
This is not the ordinary quote you would hear from a middle schooler, but if you have met this young lady you know she is anything but ordinary.
Allanna has been coming to Bearings Bike Shop for many years and is there nearly every day that the shop is open. Extremely outgoing and friendly, Allanna is quick to share her love of music, writing, reading, and bike building. She is currently preparing for a youth choir audition, practicing the clarinet and saxophone, writing her own fantasy novel, and dabbling in graphic design apps. She has big plans for her future with hopes of deepening her skills of writing, entrepreneurship, business, and languages.
As Allanna got familiar with Bearing’s bike build leveling up system, she knew she wanted to go all the way to the top.
Since being in our Skills for Life Program, Allanna moved through all of the levels, beginning with the first one called Starting Point. Starting Point requires students to work ten hours learning the basics of a bike. By the end of Starting Point, students can test out and move to the next level by exhibiting they can assemble handlebars, bike stems, seats, tires, tubes, and chains. Allanna completed Starting Point, and the motivation really took off as she moved on to Level 1 which requires the ability to build a bike without assistance. Levels 2 and 3 become much more complex and involve brake systems and shifting.
It takes well over a hundred hours to make it through Levels 2 and 3, to test out and show independence and proficiency. Many students, including Allanna, had to work extra hours to perfect the craft. As one can imagine, rarely do students go all the way to Level 4 which involves advanced repair skills. However, the Skills for Life (perseverance, communication, self-control, responsibility, and critical thinking) that Bearings is instilling and evaluating students on during the program, were not lost on Allanna. In fact, after over two hundred hours, Allanna is officially Bearing’s first female to achieve Level 4, the highest level!
Allanna has shown leadership abilities in the shop as well. She is a student coach for younger participants in the program. Recently, twin girls in the neighborhood signed up for the program as soon as they turned six years old. Allanna became their student coach and quickly took on the responsibility of seeing the twins through Starting Point. She is really proud of their progress and was excited to give back.
Allanna describes herself as an auditory learner, but in her role as a student coach for the younger students, she explains that she likes to see how others learn and tries to communicate accordingly. She determined the twins were visual learners and began to demonstrate the steps for them. Allanna said herself, “I am a good teacher. I work really well with little kids, and I love little kids.”
Bearing’s staff and volunteers would say that to know Allanna is to love her. She has a huge smile and an even bigger heart. Her accomplishments and perseverance prove her mantra true: “Hard work is key to everything.”