From the Gazette:
Aetna awarded the [$40,000] grant to GapBuster Inc. to support work being done in the East Riverdale/Bladensburg Transforming Neighborhood Initiative, or TNI, area, said Prince George’s County officials. The neighborhood is among six designated areas in the county that face economic, educational, safety and health challenges and are eligible for additional resources.
The goal of the bicycle repair program, where middle school and high school-aged children learn to repair old bicycles, is to teach leadership skills while promoting a healthy lifestyle, said Yvette Butler, executive director of GapBuster Inc.
Butler said the program, which began in 2006, closed due to lack of funding and reopened in 2011, will use the money to invest in better repair tools, safety equipment and training.
The program — which is coordinated by two Parkdale High School seniors with help from volunteers from Proteus Bicycles in College Park — receives most of its bicycle donations from the University of Maryland, College Park, where bikes are frequently found abandoned on campus, said Ben Bassett, vice president at the bicycle shop. He said the grant will help many students who would not otherwise be able to afford a bicycle.
The starting cost for a new adult-size bicycle is about $400, said Paul Lemieux, a sales associate at Proteus.