Over the next few days we’ll be posting reflections on our blog from our 2016 summer interns regarding their experience working with us and a few things they learned. Up first we have Michael Chettleburgh, who interned with us this summer from Indiana University:

This summer with Nine13sports has flown by and it’s crazy to think that this is my last week with them. I’ve learned a ton about nonprofits, the technical aspects of Nine13, and how to work with kids (just to name a few things). I’ve had a lot of awesome moments interning here as well. I’ve had the opportunities of going to the Special Olympics and get hundreds of athletes on our bikes, to ride bikes around Indy with dozens of kids, and to get hundreds more kids riding at Boys and Girls Clubs every week. After all this it has been hard to pick one thing to write my last blog about. One of the best things I’ve learned though is how to work with kids, and here are a few of my favorite age groups to work with.

Kindergarten: One of the most fun age groups to work with because of how rewarding it is. Some of the kids are not able to reach the pedals and some don’t know how to ride a bike, but being able to get these kids riding is an awesome experience. A lot of time is spent sitting next to bikes helping the kids pedal, but no matter how little experience they have riding we will always get them to the finish line.

Michael Blog

3rd/4th Grade: This is my favorite age group to work with on the bikes. They get really excited when they first see the bikes, are capable of riding the bikes without help, and are old enough to follow directions. Even though I enjoy this age group the most largely because of how easily it is to work with them, they are always the group to cheer us up after a long day on site.

Middle School: Definitely one of the hardest age groups to work with because many of them are “too cool for riding bikes.” With that being said, it’s another rewarding group to work with. Once you’re able to get one or two kids on the bikes the rest of their friends give into riding and end up being really excited about riding.

High School: With this group most of the kids are willing to try the bikes to be social with their friends and often times get pretty competitive with one another. This is always fun for me, because although it isn’t a race, it’s great to see the kids trying their hardest and throwing down some pretty impressive times.

It’s been great getting kids on the bikes here this summer. I’ve met some awesome people from Nine13 as well as instructors, teachers, and leaders in Indianapolis. Although I’m a bit sad to be finishing my internship here, I’m very excited for my senior year of college and to watch how Nine13 continues to impact kids all over Indy and beyond.