Former Bicycle Coalition Deputy Director Megan Rosenbach recently left our organization to become the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Springboard Collaborative, an organization dedicated to closing the literacy gap in schools.
A Teach for America Corp alum, this move actually marks Megan stepping back into the education world after eight years at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
We spoke with Megan before she left, to hear what she thought about her time here, and what she hoped to accomplish in her new line of work.
You were at the Bicycle Coalition for eight years. What’s changed the most about the organization in that time? And how do you think those changes have affected our work in the city and the suburbs?
The largest thing that has changed is that we now run a youth development program: Bicycle Coalition Youth Cycling. The youth have infused the Bicycle Coalition with so much energy, love, and joy. We have all learned so much about introducing cycling to young people, and supporting them through their middle and high school years and beyond. It is one thing to advocate for a regional trail network, but it is quite another to see the impact that trail network has on a young person’s ability to explore and move around Greater Philadelphia.
Related to our hands-on commitment to supporting Philadelphia youth through the sport of cycling is BCGP’s increased fervor and dedication to ensuring that our work is infused with a lens of racial and socioeconomic equity.
We had the opportunity and honor of being on collaborating with the City on the ground floor of the *Better Bike Share Partnership as Indego bike share launched three years ago. Moreover, we have started to apply a racial equity lens to the City’s Vision Zero action plan, and will continue to build partnerships in communities of color to harness local power to inform future street Vision Zero initiatives.
What are you most proud of in your time here?
I am totally going to reveal my inner geek here.
In order to grow sources of funding for Bicycle Coalition Youth Cycling, we had to prove that the program has an impact on the youth we engage. Being new the world of sports-based youth development, I did not initially know how to do this.
I sought additional education through Penn’s Center for Social Impact Strategy and created a measurement and evaluation system for BCYC. Today, that system not only includes obvious metrics like attendance and retention, but also in depth analysis of surveys that measure high impact attributes like social confidence, future thinking, and discipline.
When it came to “impact management,” I was not willing to stop with one of our programs. Through the Social Impact Collaborative, our team was able to dig into how we can measure incremental advocacy successes. We know have a sophisticated system for tracking our most important actions, as well as scoring them for their effectiveness.
Lastly, I am proud of giving the BCGP tools to succeed. I introduced staff to a variety of things that I hope have improved morale and increased our overall effectiveness. Everyone on staff now uses a project and task management system linked to our CRM; each BCGP staffer took the Clifton Strengthsfinder, and most now proudly display their top five strengths near their desk. Finally, I was staff lead our last strategic plan, and have created a new system for tracking progress toward our goals.
What do you look forward to in your next endeavor?
I have always known that education, and specifically education equity, is my passion. Ever since teaching 7th grade literacy in Philly, I have not been able to shake my desire to help find solutions to some of our public schools’ most pressing challenges. My civic and volunteer work has been focused on supporting Philly’s neighborhood schools, and now my day-to-day work will focus on ensuring that kids and their families have the tools they need to become strong readers at an early age!
*The Better Bike Share Partnership is a collaboration funded by The JPB Foundation to build equitable and replicable bike share systems. The partners include The City of Philadelphia, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the National Association of Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the People for Bikes Foundation.