Students earn GED's while building bicycles -

Students earn GED's while building bicycles

"Built to last" is a phrase which gets tossed around a lot these days, but that's how they're building 'em at HERO Bikes in Greensboro, Ala.    

"Our organization tries to use natural resources or tries to find ways to empower the community through using resources in the community," says Ramell Ross.

Take one small town, some simple tools, a little ingenuity and use whatever comes to hand and you've got the makings of a bicycle. 

"Bamboo is something that grows all throughout Alabama," he explains. "There's tons of bamboo patches and someone took a model that was in Brooklyn, brought it here and next thing you know, we're developing ways to build bikes out of the bamboo."  

Eighteen students work at HERO Bikes throughout the entire year, equipped with part GED Training and part Work Force Development Training.

But bicycles aren't the only thing they're building here at HERO Bikes.

"You have the opportunity to do something before you enter a job, so it makes you more valuable," says Ross. "We work with at-risk youth that are out of school. They have a very limited amount of educational experience and job experience, so we prepare them for it."  

And building a bike is only the beginning.

"Breaking down the process of building a bike may inspire someone to break down the process of building a computer or break down the process of a car and then contribute to the larger goals of society -- to have people really invested in technologies and that whole thing we need to do to compete with China," adds Ross.       

The story of HRO Bikes is a simple one: They like bikes. They like building bikes. 

And they like helping others learn to do the same. The result is a HERO bike built to last forever. 

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