FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION: June 19, 2022 Marnie Fernandez (c) 918.381.4505
USA BMX Foundation Launches Unique Mentorship and Education Program for Underserved Youth Partnering with the Terence Crutcher Foundation, the RISE program culminates with three participants chosen to compete in the Grand National Championship with a lifetime of free coaching by BMX staff.
(TULSA, Okla.) – Officials from USA BMX Foundation and the Terence Crutcher Foundation, in conjunction with Juneteenth, announce today the launch of RISE, an innovative mentoring program targeting underserved youth in North Tulsa. RISE stands for Resiliency, Inclusion, Social-Awareness, and Education.
“USA BMX is committed to elevating youth from the Greenwood and North Tulsa community,” said Shane Fernandez, President of USA BMX and Chairman of the USA BMX Foundation. “Designed to align youth in underserved communities with powerful influencers from around the world, RISE will open doors to new perspectives for its participants through BMX and storytelling. We will provide a guided six-month tour of education and self-reflection kicking off with a bike tour of the historical Greenwood District.”
The historic Greenwood District and North Tulsa community is the site of one of the worst incidents of racial violence in US history, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The USA BMX Foundation has been working with the Terence Crutcher Foundation for several months on this collaboration. Dr. Tiffany Crutcher of the Crutcher Foundation will identify 20 youth, ages 9-14, to participate in the program. The RISE program also provides participants with a pathway to becoming a future National, World, or Olympic Champion.
“Our USA BMX coaching staff has a goal of identifying three riders in each class that portray the desire to continue their journey in BMX Racking or Freestyle,” said Fernandez. “USA BMX will award these youth a lifetime membership to USA BMX, unlimited coaching at the National Headquarters (riding, nutrition, fitness), and a personal bike and full racing kit. These three riders will enter the Grand National Championship during Thanksgiving week and represent Team Terence Crutcher on a global stage.”
The class will begin and finish each session on their bicycles at the USA BMX National Headquarters while guided and coached by a two-time Olympian, Brooke Crain, and World Champion, Alec Bob. Participants will compile their takeaways from each session and create a personal artifact of their experience through journaling and goal setting during the program. Through this journey, USA BMX hopes to increase the youth’s interest in STEAM and offer interested participants the opportunity to elevate their skills in BMX and create new circles of influence. “Our overall goal is to continue our strategic and intentional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Fernandez. “This program is one of many that our foundation has in the works to do just that. We plan to take the RISE program and implement it in other cities – we already have requests from around the country for more information.”
The industry benefactor of RISE is Hyper Bicycles, who will provide the bikes for all the participants. The community benefactor is Tulsa-based Schusterman Foundation. Other sponsors and supporters include Fox Racing, Up With Trees, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Oklahoma Center for Community Justice, USA Cycling, and Danny Boy O’Connor.
RISE will launch annually on Juneteenth and include three hours of engagement per session over six months. Sessions will be held after school and include snacks, a bike, and a helmet. For more information, visit www.usabmxfoundation.org.
About USA BMX: Founded as the American Bicycle Association in 1977, and headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA BMX is the largest promoter of action sports in the country. USA BMX organizes BMX racing for boys, girls and adults throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Within the USA BMX family are four companies: BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle, BMX Foundation and ABA Ethos.
About USA BMX Foundation: Created in 2005, the foundation has engaged over 225,000 students nation-wide with STE(A)M education, Read to Ride, and Track Modeling Programming. The foundation also supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through the Race for Life racing series as well as providing scholarship opportunities for higher education through the Bob Warnicke Scholarship. BMX is the only Olympic sport with a fully integrated STEM program, which is now deployed in more than 300 schools nationwide.
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