SASKATOON – Getting to school is about to get a lot easier for seven students from Bedford Road Collegiate thanks to Grade 12 student Caitlyn Kirkpatrick whose donation initiative is putting bicycles into the hands of her deserving classmates.
“I’m an avid bike rider, I try to bike to school everyday,” said Kirkpatrick.
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“When I saw a lot of the students weren’t able to make it to school because transportation and other methods can be expensive.”
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Caitlyn reached out to the community and within a month bicycles, helmets, locks and repairs were donated from Care and Share, Help One and Sport Chek.
In order to get the bikes, students had to apply to the program and describe why they felt they need one and how they would ‘pay it forward’ to the community in return.
For many of the students who applied, needing quicker transportation to school and work were top priorities. But for Grade 12 student Kineesha Johnson, the bike is more than just a mode of transportation, it’s a key to her independence.
“My parents they are moving to a different city. Right now I just need a job as soon as I can get one and then hopefully make some money because I don’t want to leave,” said Johnson.
The bikes are also empowering: sisters Christine and Joelle Romeah recently came to Saskatoon from Syria where they weren’t allowed to ride bikes in public.
“In Syria, woman don’t ride the bike, just men,” said Christine Romeah.
The two have been in Canada for a month and say they’ll use the bikes to help their parents get groceries and travel to school.
Although Kirkpatrick is graduating this year she hopes the program will continue and expand across the city. Already three more bicycles have been donated and are expected to be handed out any day now.