On Thursday, August 23rd, Bicycle Coalition Youth Cycling (BCYC) closed out its summer season with BCYC Day & Summer Awards Ceremony. The event highlighted the accomplishments of the six summer BCYC teams, youth leadership, and the program’s three alumni headed off to college.
Team NBW was led entirely by program alumni this year, and Coach Taevon Oliver was honored with the Alumni Coach Award. Miles Mack, which was a new team this year out of the Mantua recreation center, came out of a community desire to get young Muslim women riding.
The team was a great addition, and BCYC looks forward to working with Miles Mack again next year!
The Shoemaker team was the largest team with over 40 participants. Krystal Philson, an alumni coach who headed the Shoemaker program, was presented with the Summer MVP award.
Next, the impressively large triathlon team took the stage. Two participants who finished the Atlantic City Triathlon, 14-year-old Gisella “Gigi” Dukes and 16-year-old Junius Jones, were honored, along with Coach Bryan Berman and Parent MVP, Gigi’s mom Cynthia Dukes.
The Junior Coach Award was presented to Mya Miller, who worked with this year’s Tour Team, in addition to planning the team’s sojourn on the GAP trail. Miller said, “Planning the sojourn was a lot of work, but what made it worth it was getting out there and riding, seeing all the new athletes go camping for the first time, and having a new experience.”
After the race and tour teams received their awards, BCYC’s three graduating participants were given their graduation bikes, thanks to the support of Fuji Bikes, USA. Two of the graduates, Mya Miller and Tajae McMillan, are this year’s BCYC Scholarship recipients.
Finally, the program’s youth leaders were highlighted. The Youth Advisory Committee highlighted their upcoming Career Night to get youth participants to start thinking about their futures and career preparedness. The BCYC.le Squad spoke about their upcoming ride with City Council members to bring awareness to bike infrastructure in the city. Like the teams themselves, these projects are youth-sourced and youth-led. The night closed out with a look ahead to the fall season— the cyclocross program is back with more races than ever this year, so look out for recaps in the coming months!
Program Manager Taylor Kuyk-White highlighted how many parents came up to her at the ceremony and shared how as a result of the program they’ve noticed a difference in their kids’ communication skills, time management, and ability to keep on top of homework. “I heard, ‘We’re really seeing this work at home!’ We’re seeing this incredible growth,” said Kuyk-White. “It gives me goosebumps.”
Here’s the full list of award winners:
Alumni Coach Award: Taevon Oliver (NBW)
Summer MVP: Krystal Philson (Shoemaker)
Coach Award: Bryan Berman (Triathlon Team)
Tri Team MVP Male: Josh Bowers
Tri Team Rising Star Male: Junius Jones
Tri Team MVP Female: Gianna Handschin
Tri Team Rising Star Female: Gisella Dukes
Parent Award: Cynthia Dukes
Race Team MVP Male: Marc Darden
Race Team Rising Star Male: Calvin Wallace
Race Team Rising Star Female: Antoinette Ellis
Junior Coach Award: Mya Miller (Tour Team)
Tour Team MVP Male: William Angell
Tour Team Rising Star Male: Gael Campos
Tour Team MVP Female: Nia Pressley
Tour Team Rising Star Female: Sasha Catledge
BCYC.le Squad Outspoken Leader Award: Marc Darden
New All Stars: Lamir Robison, Junius Jones, and TaeJon Jackson