Showing up, they say, is an integral part of success. Millions of Americans who rely on dependable transportation to bring them to work and school each day know it can be difficult to find consistent success when you're simply unable to show up. But reliable and trustworthy bikes can make a difference.
Schwinn ambassador Alli Lewis teaches in a third-grade classroom at Sanborn Elementary, a Title I school in Chandler, AZ. Title I schools are designed to provide students with extra instructional support beyond the regular classroom. Alli's school offers after-school tutoring, filling the gap for students who missed instruction from the last two years as COVID extracted a massive emotional toll on students and educators alike.
"With school closures lasting for what felt like years, our students' educational needs took a hard hit," Alli said.
That was true for third-grader Harmony and her twin sister Heaven. Harmony is in Alli's class. She's a great artist, a hard worker, and extremely kind to everyone she meets. Her twin sister Heaven also attends third grade at Sanborn – the two girls are nearly identical, with just a freckle on Heaven's nose to help tell them apart.
Harmony and Heaven were offered an opportunity to take part in after-school tutoring, a program their teachers knew the twins could benefit greatly from. But they were unable to attend the tutoring sessions because they simply couldn't get there. An on-going bus driver shortage means the school district on the outskirts of Phoenix is unable to provide bussing for students after school hours.
"Unfortunately," said Alli, "the lack of transportation negatively impacts countless students at our school."
The bus was the girl’s only option. Or so it seemed.
Alli, who's been a Schwinn ambassador for about a year, reached out to her contacts at Schwinn. She asked if there was a way the girls could get a pair of kids bikes that they could use to get themselves to and from school.
Schwinn said yes.
"It feels so good to know my partnership with Schwinn extends beyond my family and reaches into our community, even more specifically, into my classroom," Alli said. The day Harmony and Heaven received their bikes, Alli said they kept telling people how badly their cheeks hurt because they had been smiling so much.
Other teachers at Sanborn smiled, too, appreciating what Schwinn and Alli were able to do for the twins.
"These bikes could not have gone to more deserving girls. They work so hard each day at school. This reliable transportation will provide them with countless opportunities both in their education and in life," said Samantha Solien, Heaven's third-grade teacher.
For Alli, this moment captured why she became a teacher – to impact the lives of our future.
"For some people," said Alli, "a bike is for entertainment and exercise. But for these girls, their new bikes are a pathway to bettering their education."
Alli Lewis and her family became brand ambassadors for Schwinn in July of 2021 after Schwinn noticed the amazing content she created for personal photography business Agave and Pine Photography.
“Thank you Schwinn for helping us create a pathway for these incredible young ladies to participate in academic and extracurricular activities after school. They are so excited and are dedicated students who will make the most of these opportunities!” - Caryn Cole, Principal of Sanborn Elementary School