Front Yard Bikes, Locally Investing in our Youth.

Denham Springs: Meet Front Yard Bikes.

From the FYB website:

“Front Yard Bikes is a community bike shop that focuses on teaching participants of all ages how to fix and maintain bikes. We teach and develop skills in mathematics, physics, and mechanics while promoting inclusivity, mentorship, recreation, and academic achievement.

We offer youth in the community a safe, free after-school program. They are taught responsibility and become peer leaders as they are faced with ethical and moral questions in their day-to-day lives. The heart of our program is motivated by compassion for kids from low-income families that are willing to work for what they get. We hope to impact the youth of Baton Rouge, one bike at a time, one heart at a time because the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.”

Jim Chapman sits down with the founder of Front Yard Bikes (Dustin Lafont and supporter Jenny Seivers) and discovers so much more about the inception of the program as well as future plans.

Transcript (Beta)

hi this is crystal hardison from southeastern livingston center i’m the director and you are listening to local leaders the podcast

hi it’s tricia johnston residential realtor with ladder and bloom with your real estate tip of the week something that buyers and sellers don’t typically think about is how the age of the roof can affect the sale sellers assume that if their roof isn’t leaking and there’s no missing shingles then everything is fine they assume that because they have a homeowner’s insurance policy on the house that the buyer is not going to have any problem getting insurance especially if a roofer told them that they have a 15 to 18 year shingle or a 25 to 30 year shingle they assume that there will be no issue if their roof is within that age range but that’s not necessarily the case some insurance carriers are hesitant to issue a new policy if there’s a three tap roof that’s 10 years or older architectural shingle roof that’s 15 years or older or a metal roof that’s 25 years or older and an appraiser may mention it as a condition on the appraisal report which could cause an issue with the lender now this will vary depending on the type of loan that a buyer is getting and of course from insurance carrier to insurance carrier it’ll be different but just be aware that this could be an issue one thing that buyers can do to help is very early on during their inspection period start getting insurance quotes then if an issue comes up with the roof there’s plenty of time to get it resolved if you have any questions at all speak with your insurance agent or give me a call and i’ll be happy to help i’m trisha johnston with ladder and bloom and i’ll be back here next week with another real estate tip for you so from a guy with three kids at home i like many of you know the value of keeping children busy when i say that i don’t mean playing with their iphone busy or meaningless work busy i’m a big believer in educational business having fun while they are learning something front yard bikes is a non-profit located in baton rouge that does just that teaching children and young adults ages 6 to 18 skills ranging from bike mechanics to gardening to cooking to welding my guest for today dustin lafont is founder of front yard bikes receivers who brought this non-profit to my attention so welcome both of you to local leaders of the podcast thanks for having us thanks for having us uh so dustin one of the many things i am blessed with in doing this podcast is it affords me the opportunity to feature lesser-known non-profits you know you got the big ones out there like saint jude those are all great non-profits but there’s some really good maybe lesser known non-profits that i really enjoy spotlighting yours would be one of those when jenny told me your story and what you do i thought it would be great to have you on the show and kind of feature that and get it out there especially in this community of livingston parish now in your case i would imagine early on you had a love for bikes that kind of started your journey into front yard bikes oh absolutely you know i just fell in love with uh vintage you know road bikes i guess people call them english racers yes 10 speeders and you know some japanese bikes and i just thought it was really cool to have all these vintage things you know and yeah just started tinkering and playing and building that stuff and then just fell in love with riding just yeah love to get out ride especially you know we have our mississippi river with some great paths and some great spots that are just really fun yes so just riding the city and riding around and enjoying it i agree and you know it’s interesting i had a guy on my show recently sebastian alvarez good friend do you know sebastian sebastian’s awesome i’ve been in his uh i’ve been able to help with wills to succeed on a couple of occasions and fantastic big fan of him and his uh his late father and the work they’ve done with the will to succeed great stuff yeah great stuff and and good just a great guy in general uh funny and uh he came on my show and he actually rebuilt his uh version of his dad’s bike um and let me i went to his office one day and he actually let me touch it and pick it up and it weighed like like a sheet of paper yeah i mean it was super light but beautiful it was like looking at a and a classic porsche or something uh and you could see him light up so i’d imagine you’re the same way when you see this classic absolutely biking is something that is just a great hobby to get into in general front yard bikes you know there was a point it didn’t exist and and uh the concept came along with you somewhere along that point i want you to tell the story of that how did it start i mean honesty i was uh just graduating from lsu living in old south baton rouge uh paying my way through so you know finding anywhere you can live in in uh affordable housing and um i was blessed with that feeling yeah i was uh you know blessed to start volunteering at community gardens in the area and being a part of some really cool community work and you know one day one kid just said uh he had a broke bike and asked if anybody could help him fix it so people directed him my way and i thought to myself you know be cool if i just you know fix somebody’s bike and did you know a good deed but it’d be way more empowering if i let you hold the tools and i teach you because then you won’t need me you’d be able to learn that skill and move on with that knowledge yourself wow and kind of like the old adage with fishing you teach somebody to fish you give them a fish that holds absolutely so i thought all right let’s do that and uh he came by my my rent house and his bike was uh way worse off than we thought it’s like anybody asked you to fix something they say like oh it’s just a couple things and you’re like oh yeah and you start looking like wow you know so after we uh buried that bike and gave it a funeral we got another one that we could uh really give a shot at to try to repair yeah uh and he earned it by working with me on that bike and i saw him ride home that one day and i just thought well that was fun i didn’t think there would be about 15 of his other friends that would come by the house the next day saying hey we all got broke bikes too and can use a hand oh wow and it was just like okay well here we have these young people they’re so engaged so interested in learning and building creating and they have a passion desire standing on my little stoop there how do you say no to that energy how do you say no you know there’s no opportunity there’s not really a system there’s not really an organization for this it’s just me so no i can’t help you you just find yourself saying yes and you know you move into that little by little and over the last you know 11 years building from the front yard of a little rent house all the way into our uh beautiful facilities in baton rouge it’s just been an amazing journey and that one kid with jay wilson he was 10 now he’s 21 and we’re still hanging out it’s just come on 11 years of a relationship and his uh his brother is our manager at our business it’s just it’s become more about the family and community almost then the bikes were just a distraction for us to get together right build community which has been a really special journey you know when jenny was telling me about it i was very intrigued it sounded like a wonderful organization and uh what i want to get to uh now is these kids come to you and they basically and you basically teach them these skills i know y’all are affiliated with the the uh is it the big brother organization yeah so we’re partners with um the big buddy program big buddies fantastic for mentors and great relationships and building getting adults and young people together so that they can be mentored for opportunities and grow to be successful individuals which is fantastic um and we’re kind of a little bit different because we just do a lot of work together and then we talk later yeah we’re kind of like you know you probably don’t want to sit here and talk anymore because you probably are a little bit out of that right and there’s wonderful organizations to do those relationships but we like to get our hands dirty and then after we get our hands dirty you see young people want to open up ask more questions you know it’s no different from playing a pickup basketball game with a bunch of kids you know after that now they want to talk and have interactions and have questions about growing up in life for us is you know working on a bike digging in the garden painting the walls of you know a building we’re renovating or working on and beautifying and sometimes getting in the fab shop cutting and drilling and song and doing some fun stuff and um that opens somebody up to then want to ask questions just maybe about just anything in life and have trust and be confident that you know you care about me because we’ve spent time together so it’s not like you’re coming here to talk at me anymore yeah you know and you’re here to listen that’s interesting and you know you’re absolutely right they will open up over over time and i think opening up uh comes with trust and i think that maybe what these kids are doing is they’re forming almost a trust level with that i guess you could say mentor that person um and when they form that trust level uh they’ll open up and you find out things maybe you didn’t know and hey man uh maybe maybe the whole life ain’t as great as as you would think it was or whatever it may be uh and then that’s when these these mentors can really help and and give some life experience because we’ve all had times in life where you know maybe everything wasn’t perfect right um and so that is a big what i think is a big value to this program is is kind of this you know it’s great that um you’re learning these skills these kids are learning something they can take with them they’re learning to work with their hands in general and we all know trades right now or are of any type are really something that lacks as far as labor is concerned so uh you know your non-profit is something that kind of starts them off early and learn a little hard work and and uh but they learn how to use their mind to fix things and out of that comes the help and and we just love that around here now your experience as it relates to the non-profit i had asked you about that in your questionnaire and i’m gonna read this because i found this very interesting it says uh i was a difficult kid growing up and my mother who i can’t imagine that by the way i was a difficult kid growing up and my mother who was a principal uh always built positive affirmations in me she never let me quit on myself so when i began working in community gardens and public schools with youth i carried those lessons young people want someone to believe in them and walk it out with them i’m fortunate that i’ve been able to do that the last 11 years and i couldn’t agree with that more that’s exactly what i think young people want i think some of the problems or some of the issues with young people is they just don’t have someone there that they feel like they can relate to and so uh shout out to you i thought that was very well written and how important is positive influence of people in your opinion absolutely you know a lot of people feel like when they’re raising kids and you know jenny probably the test of this is we always want to tell them what they’re doing wrong like the first time we talk to them is like hey you know what you need to do better hey you know what’s wrong hey you know what you need to fix but just as many times as you say that you need to say everything’s going right everything they’re doing well in fact even the things everybody says well they’re supposed to do that says look you got to build it into them let them know that it’s a good quality you can’t just say well you’re supposed to do it because then there’s no reward for it for young people who want to hear at least something of like hey you showed up on time you’re a timely person you know what i know you’re always on time and from there on if you’re late that’s against your character because you’re not a lay person you’re a timely person yeah you build that positive affirmation and you hold someone accountable to be who they are yeah such as if i we have some students that you know they they struggle to get out of their shell but then we catch a glimpse of them helping somebody it could be as simple as somebody says i need a tool and they pull out the box and hand it and i see it man you’re a helpful person yeah that’s who you are yeah so the second acknowledge it the second that we’re not helpful i say hey you know what i know you wait i saw you you’re a helpful person that’s in your nature that’s in your character so what’s stopping you from being yourself today yeah now we’re not interested in helping them in the hand of being involved and that is a different way of being engaged it’s like oh man that’s that’s me so i got to do some internal investigation because i’m helpful i’m capable i’m a great helper supporter i’m a leader what’s the prohibitors that stop me from being who i am yeah rather than the way around of we got to fix you we got to make you into something better because right now you’re a mess well nobody wants to stay in a program that long for that and you think about our relationships with adults and mentors nobody wants to sit down and listen to everything that’s you know a problem that needs to be fixed with yourself yeah i agree 100 jenny you agree with that definitely amazing

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and i couldn’t agree more you know it’s it’s uh it’s interesting that i say this a lot with business owners because it relates to them directly but when somebody has a bad experience somewhere they’re real quick real quick to go on facebook and blast it everywhere don’t go here they forgot to put my receipt in the bag or whatever pick a problem but if they have a good experience very rare that people do that some do some do but it’s not as common as when they have a bad one so that’s another way of saying what you’re saying you know except you put that that young adult there um when they’re doing something bad it’s that fast that somebody will jump on them for that but when they’re doing something good maybe it’s not acknowledged as much as it needs to be and every time you acknowledge something like that what you’re doing is you’re building confidence right that’s confidence is everything with young people and those are the things i think that we need to build up i think problems with some some young adults stem from the fact that they just don’t think they’re good enough right so that’s why this this is a extremely important non-profit because um there’s so many things behind the scenes that occur that nobody really ever sees coming now you know you you get going you’re you’re helping these young kids and and you start thinking you know i think uh i want to get some more support and kind of form this non-profit and all that and it’s it look i can’t imagine how hard that is to do tell take me back to that was it surprising the red tape that was involved or was it a bunch of red tape or was it easy when you say lesser-known nonprofits what you mean is the most grassroots ones that are like starting from scratch where you actually find yourself with a challenge and start trying to work yourself backwards of like we’re working and doing stuff but how do we do this right how do we do this you know the right way sure and learning about uh you know applying for your non-profit status to the irs and you start learning about all the insurance you need to get and then you need to go lower facilities and spaces and then you got to get parent permission slips and you know a lot of things that you start building out and you think oh man we have to do this this way but on the reverse side of that what i i’ve been talking to jenny about is um you know we look at our kids and if we value our kids as the most wonderful amazing worthwhile individuals that deserve great programming deserve great opportunity if we put them in that shell and say man this is the lightning in the bottles these these young people that we have yes then what kind of program do they deserve and they deserve the best kind that we can create so we can’t settle and we can’t start to look and say well sure there’s a leak in this you know warehouse but it’s good enough for what it is it’s a bike shop yeah we start to think you know what i want my students when they walk in to even feel the building’s influence and say man the value of who i am when i walk in because i inhabit these walls and the walls reflect a lot of me this is the this is the wrapper on the candy right yeah it got a it’s gotta look good it’s gotta feel good and it’s gotta make me think yes i’m so i’m hot stuff to be in here i don’t know if you ever played sports or have you ever done any kind of event where there’s a stage but if you walk on a stage there’s something about it if you walk onto the floor of a basketball court or in any arena or football field or baseball or softball field you all of a sudden get this sense of man i’m i’m on the ground yeah this is this is something great that i belong here i’m on the stage and it’s going to be so much fun so for our kids to walk into a center or a space a learning space and feel that way yeah that’s what we have been driving and pushing for and that red tape oh man it’s exhausting and it’s there but we ask ourselves are students worth it oh yeah and they are so yeah let’s do it yeah absolutely and and that’s what you have to have because you know people sometimes give up on things when it gets hard and uh and leaders push through that they they look at that as opportunity to get better or an opportunity to grow absolutely and they push through it um and you did just that eventually uh you formed that non-profit and then i guess it was all about uh you know we need a place we need a a facility right for these kids to go so how did you come up with where you’re at now which is terra street and you’re adding a government street location well thankfully we had a partnership with uh breckwell we were kind of using some of their spaces obviously some cool trails and cool parks and riding around and so then fantastic they had a couple of parks that they weren’t able to staff in man and they offered us some room to to lease and i’ll say it’s a really really great lease because mostly it’s the cost of us just keeping the door open and keeping it clean you know they’re like hey as long as you get young people in here and as long as we’re not charging our participants to be involved well you can use it and talk about a godsend because you know we wouldn’t really be anywhere else it is uh expensive to get space it’s expensive to keep any kind of space anywhere and it doesn’t uh ever go down you know in value that’s right when you’re a non-profit trying to pour everything into your kids and everything into your programming to be better and stronger you don’t get excited when you’re looking at at least increasing you know and so this has helped us really have the staying power to to grow to a point where we’re now able to do a big expansion in the mid-city area fantastic that’s awesome bj pawn and gunn and denham springs wants to buy your am wanted gold jewelry gold coins and gold bullion with 30 years of experience operating in the livingston parish area b.j palm wants to be your source when selling your gold so stop by 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but you’re in a correlation with four nonprofits absolutely uh tell me about those oh the four non-profits working with our the big buddy program who already talks about is amazing with building mentorship relationships and does fantastic work with young people we’re also partnering up with humanities amp who works directly in public schools doing research projects and really sticks to the academia and relationship building on on a similar level to us which is why we we gel because they had some of our students in their classes and we started talking about the same students and we just knew how to say man that’s a great kid we got to keep keep up with them and then lastly is line for line which i’m a big fan of them because what they do is kids who will read books and get literacy and read will be able to go and get free haircuts at their barber shop and then some of the kids even get to grow old enough to get barber technician technician jobs and certifications yeah so they learn to cut hair so they have a similar i guess vibe to us because we like the skills and we like their relationships so all four of us have really great uh unique sense of either being in workforce in mentorship or at least in some format education with kids yeah and we had been sharing some of the same students already which we didn’t realize it but you know when you’re asking like where’s that kid today oh they’re at the big buddy program like what what are they doing over there and we find out and we had some people walk in from other nonprofits like life a lot and they say hey we’re looking for this kid and this kid what are they doing here what is this what are they doing here yeah and so we started to realize our kids started to figure out how to make their wraparound programs by hopping into all of our different come on being engaged so we said all right the kids have figured it out why aren’t we working together like more officially in a better partnership and actually getting to communicate because guess what this kid has a lot of different qualities that they’re getting served by us let’s do a better job of communication and support yeah so that we can do this in a bigger capacity and from there the first thing that we said was well let’s get a space and i’ll be in the same room because then they don’t have to travel from this part of town to that part of town and get dropped off here let’s all be in one centralized location let’s be right in the middle of mid-city and then we’ll get all of our young people to get all of our services and experiences and it’ll just be so much stronger than you know what we currently have yeah um so that’s been a big motivation for us to to push and to keep doing we’re doing i think that’s awesome and you know another thing that it gives you when you you know kind of get in a coalition with those those organizations is uh it offers some sort of legitimacy i encourage anyone out there all my listeners um hear out your non-profits you would be surprised what some of these non-profits are doing that are good things so hear them out because programs like this are important they’re uh there’s something needed in young people in our community or i don’t want to sound like whitney houston but they’re the future right they are um they are what when i’m 75 i’m gonna have their kind of running things and and uh so we want to take care of them we want to teach them good skills uh you know and and make them productive members of society i think that’s the goal and i think everybody is kind of lined up on that aspect but front yard bikes you know you function like any other non-profit functions you rely a lot on donations i would imagine and things of that nature um tell me about that tell me about i’m gonna give you a hypothetical so let’s say a large corporation abc is listening right now and they’re like i want to get affiliate i’ve been wanting to do that i like riding bikes too and i think that’s great um how do they how do they get in contact with you who would they talk to how do they go about the process of supporting for your bikes in some way well they can get with any of our number of coalition members um and just make a contact with with any of those organizations i mentioned uh to you know just say look i want to learn more i want to tour this new facility and be involved as a corporate sponsor and um right now we have a couple of amazing sponsors that have already taken charge to make contact with me directly in our sponsorship committee um fantastic blue cross blue shield has just been fantastic never heard of them they’re kids hey they are they’re they’re definitely large and in charge they are you know and uh there’s there’s a number of other organizations and uh you know baton general and cafe united way and i mean you go down you go down the list of fantastic you know when and what’s great is it’s difficult like you said as a grassroots nonprofit to get well off the grass of a yard and out of a field and out from under a tent that you’re always popping up and get into facilities and spaces and begin to have sustainable long-term programs yeah very hard it’s easy for a non-profit to last you know three four years it’s very hard to get past that threshold because you get to a point where it’s like man we we’re getting stuck in a rut you know and for these organizations these these foundations to kind of identify what’s really going well with us and then to invite us to apply and then to push us further to say you know what let’s pull let’s pull you this way because you can do more in this avenue and even help give some direction advice to us is fantastic and corporate sponsors do that just as much as anyone you know they can also help us to know what needs of their own clients are and they say look i’m in this very specific community and i live in this community as many you know business owners and companies do and they say you know this is things we would like to see we want to support but we also want to get involved i love i love a business that says we want to donate we want to come volunteer with staff as well yeah because as much as the dollar is a really big value time time when i tell our students hey we’re being sponsored because i don’t say you know oh we got a donation say no we have a sponsorship today yeah it is by this group and they’re here to with their hands and feet because they believe in that much to build out this new part of the community garden or help us put this mural up and beautify this area or this mechanic you know been in space we’re going to rebuild it retool it and that excitement you know to see that man this agency this big company or even a small company even a business that just says we believe in your worth wildness so much we’re here to give and we’re here to show up and be with you in the work man you know that does to your your confidence that’s like any any kid finding out that adidas wants to send you gloves or i don’t know you know what’s in your shoes you you get that same excitement of yes yes someone believes that not only am i the future but my future is worth investing in right that that’s to hit a different level because there’s a lot of kids obviously struggling with that self-confidence so sure um you know reaching out to or front yard bikes gmail um for for me directly uh or any of those other non-profits um at their websites and information that we’ll provide is uh you know the best way because we’re all excited to hear someone believes in our kids yeah yeah and you know it’s great that you’re getting getting those larger corporate uh sponsors because um as we discussed earlier it’s it’s kind of like if blue cross blue shield is doing it it must be legit it must be worthwhile i mean it people think that way and so uh there’s a there’s almost like a side benefit to that other than the fact that they are uh sponsoring you and that is the legitimacy factor of that so um if you have any questions on that blue cross blue shield’s legit that ought to tell you how legit these people are um now let’s talk about the services a little bit that the the non-profit because it’s much more than just building bikes right you you do a lot of things there cooking classes and and welding classes tell me about those the individual services that y’all for a little bit yeah it’s summer time so oh man we’re uh putting our kids into groups and classes right now so we have our welding fabrication class or we have our high school group middle school and elementary and we take them into our fab shop to teach how to use basic tools like chop saws and angle grinders and you know what’s our ppe personal protection equipment that we have to wear every single time we walk into a room yeah and what’s the past we walk for safety and making sure that we can get to our equipment and then be ready to prep anything and then we have a wonderful welder and mr will adams who does tig welding and mig welding with the students and does a lot there’s a lot of uh observing not a lot of hands-on right away but then a number of the students get their hand on on a mig uh i don’t make torch and uh you know take torch and be able to actually touch down on it and get a sense of you know what this kind of field is and what that kind of career is which is amazing so along with that we we have this community garden that we do gardening classes because everybody loves to know how to grow your own food and really think about uh sustainable food because we live in food deserts there’s not a lot of groceries everywhere that are convenient to get fresh produce um so growing from home and then um well i grew it what do i do with it okay there’s a lot of kids that say look it’s a sweet potato or is it just a football and they’re just like throwing it around it’s like i don’t know what to do with this thing so we had to get a kitchen and we had to say look if you’re growing and you’re learning all this great thing about nutrition and food well how do you prep it what do you do with it and we have some great food culture obviously in louisiana but sure a lot of our kids i’m telling and this is a call out to any parents pull your kids into the kitchen yeah hold them into the kitchen when you’re cooking i know it’s look i got little ones it’s a lot easier just say just go sit on the couch and watch tv let me cook because dinner will be a lot faster yeah and i’ll have to stress out about it right but the experience they get by knowing what’s going on to the plate and how it’s happening and so taking stuff out of our garden bringing it to our little demo kitchen and letting the kids learn just some basic cutting skills and cooking skills and basic recipe stuff so that when they take that stuff home it really gets eaten it really gets in their diet otherwise it’s a whole lot of you know pretty gardens and fluff but then get to the to the table um that’s a good point and the last one which is obviously the the big fan favorite is you know the bike program because when you come to front yard bikes you’re coming to earn a bike you’re coming to walk down these aisles of used pre-loved old bikes that have been through stories of other kids riding around skinning their knees having great summer fun and you look and say which is the one that i’m gonna fix up and beat my bike and when they go down and select that bike you already know what they’re thinking they’re seeing themselves riding they’re seeing themselves showing up just like an adult when they’re looking at a car right same thing it’s just like that you know you think about those images of the kids riding bikes and sandlot or like in uh stranger things and you’re like yep that’s the crowd riding through on those days and so when they pick out that bike they have a valuation of the value of it and they got to work off the hours little by little but the first job is to do a diagnostic and start the repair and then after it works because it’s got to work now hold on it’s got it it’s got to really work safely you know because some some students chain can’t fall off some students are like the chain falls off it’s a feature it’s fine you know you know we say hey make it work really well test it out and then oh man they can trick it out with all the tape and all the bars stuff and all the you know different colors and schemes and yeah you know make their little if some kids make choppers and all this bizarre stuff and say you know what that’s awesome and so they get that bike they keep that bike and then they obviously keep our shop as the place to repair it again and again and again and forever and eventually trade it in yes i mean we don’t keep things forever when they trade it in i say all right we’ll do evaluation what’s the appraisal did the bike go through uh misery and is it garbage now or is it a great thing you kept up with and you’re a good steward of it and so you were a great steward trade it in and get a new project cause you’re getting taller you need something bigger and man i have a lot of fun obviously in the bike shop i talk a lot about that don’t i yeah you light up when you talk about the bicycles yeah that’s a good thing yeah now let me ask you let’s say somebody’s listening to this and they’ve got some bikes that they have no use for oh yeah so you take those oh yes okay yes we we have all of our bikes that come to us are donated you know a lot of community members uh also our local police departments and sheriff’s office will donate bikes that have been abandoned they’ve collected um sometimes our local universities you know who have abandoned bikes on campus will call us to try to do some pickups even uh and big apartment complexes large apartment complex is some type of a problem with they’ve had tenants they have moved away and they left their bikes in old racks and don’t know what to do with them they just communicate with us and we can kind of sometimes glean some bikes from that now i will tell you some bikes are a lot more parts than bikes but parts of what we need right yeah we need to make repairs we need to fix things um even during uh obviously this this past year of a pandemic um we had so many used bikes that were able to help other people’s bikes still work because outdoor recreation became huge and uh people had old bikes and we had thankfully the whole parts to fix those old bikes um so uh that was predominantly a lot of our retail operation in mid city where we’re fixing selling and doing a lot to keep fundraising our programs and obviously making jobs you know we we want frontier bikes to always be about making uh employment opportunities that our kids can get the experience to move on to better and bigger uh organizations and companies from us so absolutely and do you have y’all ever done and uh like bike drives or anything like that or had rarely because man do people show up with bikes i mean it’s almost too much of a good thing yeah we’ve had folks show up with a trailer with like 100 bikes and you’re like well we better we better get to work quick you know uh yeah because so we haven’t had to had to do drives you know we did one with home bank which was fantastic where they let people come into their banks and drop off bikes which oh wow imagine a bank full of bikes but um we’re kind of the bike bank of baton rouge yeah yeah but we so we’ve had some great efforts there very good very good now um stephanie berthelot and the crew at sr enterprise can handle it all from sheetrock to texture to paint give stephanie a call at 504-432-9284 sr enterprise where they spread the paint and you spread the word

again i want to encourage everyone to really listen and grasp what all the outside things that this non-profit does aside from it’s the fixing bikes and all of that are great things but it’s the it’s kind of like the behind the scenes things that these kids are getting through that that really matters and and are something that i really see out of it now as far as volunteers as we’ve discussed earlier you love those absolutely you especially need some volunteers in the garden and lawn care section of what you guys do oh yeah definitely especially in summertime you know weeds are fast to grow things are quick and uh while we have some amazing lawnmower technicians and weed eaters they’re all in middle school uh most of them so maybe some adult uh assistance there and uh support helps out a lot yeah yeah i remember we had to teach one student how to he he just kind of used like a vacuum you know so he just kind of left these high spots everywhere i said all right we might need someone to support you there in training on how to cut this thing up yes and you also mentioned uh in your questionnaire and something that i think would be great to mention is that even if it’s just a group that wants to volunteer one you know one day they they don’t maybe uh you know everybody has lives and busy lives and stuff but maybe there’s a church group that wants to uh go out there for just a day and help where they can and and uh you you would gladly accept that help uh correct absolutely absolutely and i mean we we had a uh some companies even and i don’t want to put anybody on the spot but some companies would actually say look we’re going to make it a paid day and come volunteer anyway and really encourage their staff to get out there uh we had that happen with the lwcc and uh domain company has done that and so a couple have made that addition overnight obviously exxon does that for a number of employees where they really push hey get out be involved it’s great for your mental health it’s great for your community connections to be out and be involved and if that’s not with us look with anybody because there’s a lot of non-profits and they’re all missing a lot of helping hands right now and absolutely could use some help and that’s what i you know that’s what i love about when i feature non-profits is the fact that it’s not like a lot of uh businesses where y’all all compete against each other and it’s like y’all are a lot of y’all are friendly and and uh and you know like we were talking about with sebastian his non-profit uh uh wills to succeed y’all are y’all are friendly folks and you and you absolutely and that’s always a good thing oh yeah sebastian calls us for his fundraiser and he says hey can you set up and be a part of it and said absolutely absolutely and um so you you answer that call because you know the the work of our community needs are always greater than what we could ever provide but you’re thankful for anybody that’s working with with you and it’s a different capacity even better because you know i can’t i can’t do what he’s doing with providing these adaptive bikes for kids yeah but if there’s something small we can do to support yeah let’s be a part of it and uh you know help where we can love it love that now tell me about you city lab oh man i’m excited you city lab is where our four non-profits plan to get all the kids that we’ve been engaging with on the ground and obviously it’s in our name we want youth we want young people but we want it to be almost like a lab-like experience we’re experimenting we’re diversifying the different skill sets we can have in that room because while you listen to this and you hear okay bikes okay a barber shop okay cooking yes okay you know uh welding my business or my company or my my experience doesn’t do any of that yeah well how do we make a space where we can do more than just that you know how do we make a room where somebody can come from a completely different background of career experience and share but also get the kids hands engaged in it we don’t want to just talk graphic design we want to do a little gravity yeah and we don’t just want to talk podcasts we got to start doing a podcast yeah in one of our studio rooms right yes hey i’m down with it brother look you’re biking i got

the uc lab is going to be that kind of transformed space where entrepreneurs and also companies and young people can come to to be together and it won’t be just be a sit-down assembly let me talk to you about my career success it’s going to be hey let’s do some work together yes let’s work on it yes and you just said a word that i love and that’s entrepreneur because let me tell you something anything you’re learning at this non-profit uh you can use for your own business one day folks boom that’s a lot of the issues that i see um in society in general just this is my opinion but people are not as entrepreneurial minded as they used to be um and i would love to see a term back to that and it all starts with learning skills maybe you learn cooking here and you become a chef you know maybe you learn to fix a bike and you own a bike shop yeah wouldn’t that be great one day for these for these young adults and and those are things that i’m passionate about i love business and i love um local family-owned businesses that started from nothing and built it you’re no different than that um but what you’re doing can enable the youth one day to own their own business wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing oh we love that you know in fact we dedicate every monday of summer we do a bike ride to a small business to talk to an owner and ask them questions and that’s been a huge piece of us staying dedicated to what are our local businesses that are here and uh what are they doing how do they do it in things as simple as going to highland coffees and asking them how do you make money selling a drink yeah a small and not even like a drink you’re bottling you’re not even bottling this you’re just making it per order right how does that make a business there’s so many things that our kids don’t know about that’s an amazing way to grow

from humble beginnings in 1989 big mike’s has long been a place for friends and family to gather for lunch dinner and drinks big mike jocelyn and their friendly staff invite you to come in and relax in one of their spacious dining areas or watch a game on one of the big screen tvs big mikes is a place to meet old friends or make new ones big mike’s offers daily and nightly specials and they specialize in serving up delicious and fresh menu items big mics offers a catering menu for large groups and has private party rooms for up to 100 guests whether you’re planning a quick lunch or a large family dinner or just a night out with friends big mike welcomes you to experience a great time and don’t forget to grab some t-shirts caps or koozies in the gift shop oh or a bottle of big mike’s honey dijon it’s delicious big mike sports bar and grill we’re kind of a big deal

there really are and you know especially with mentoring kids things like um uh you know a class where these kids sit down and you have someone that maybe is a successful entrepreneur come in and say hey here’s how i did it yep you know i had uh and i’ll plug this guy for a second but i had mr milkshake on my show yeah a few weeks ago and uh this guy has an innovative way of making a milkshake now i would have never thought of this but he was a new orleans trained chef he just had a love of milkshakes man and you go in there and you eat one and let me tell you you are in a sugar coma it’s like the rest of the day you might as well gotta lay down uh but it’s the best thing you’ve ever drank in your life he his business is absolutely on fire and uh it all started from concept yeah uh that’s where the youth of this area i would love to see them start with that concept build up to where they own their own bike shop they maybe they they’re a welder uh who who owns their own welding company somewhere man how huge is that and so that’s really what appeals to me so um you’re doing great things of that i love the concept with youth city lab and i and i agree 100 and so has that come to fruition yet is it still kind of in the planning stages where are you at on that we’re in phase one so we’ve been able to get just uh the ground floor and get into that oxy permit and just getting the basics in we’re gonna be moving in our full-time service retail bike shop in there first because that is a revenue generating arm that’s going to help us to keep building the rest of the components and like you said earlier we’re looking for corporate sponsors to be involved in this endeavor because you love when we have somebody who’s a corporate sponsor sponsor what’s going on with the building for it to be completed and built out yeah but also show up at the building to see the young people and engage directly with them yeah which is huge so we’re looking for those those types of sponsors to uh get involved and we have obviously our sponsorship packet we’re sharing around and hopefully we we can see this come to uh a completion um in the next uh next year before you know 2022 but yeah it’s a lot of work to get off the ground obviously uh finding contractors and building materials is is a heavy lift but it’s great oh it’s great when you meet people you know like like jenny who wants to help spread the word and get you in front of other individuals to find support you when you say business yes we need entrepreneurs but we need people that can work yeah too yeah like you go into restaurants you go anywhere they’re low staff they need people right and what better way that’s what grabbed well and that’s a yes it’s very true i mean there’s certainly a labor shortage in the in the market of people and we and we see that with the labor market um so you’re exactly right jenny they they they do even if they don’t have necessarily that that um that you know dream of owning their own thing you know there are people out there that are completely happy working for someone else and they get taken care of and they’re and all of those sorts of things and you got to have that there’s nothing wrong with it it’s all part of the journey you know sure it’s all part of the journey i could i could tell you that uh throughout college i wasn’t running a bike shop i was uh delivering pizza yes like i needed a means to an end you know i have to take these steps and man every stop along my road of any job i learned something from somebody you know if you keep your eyes open and you’re listening and i can promise you there are some probably terrible terrible jobs everybody said but you learned something if you really paid attention and so we want that for our young people to where they can learn as much as possible to find a foot in the door at some of these great companies and get a start because it is a big risk to just hire anybody and you’re like man i want to hire this person i want to stay with us i want them to grow with us it’s expensive too and it’s not cheap you know who’s the candidate i go with and when you’re going to come to frontier bikes at the you city lab you’re going to see humanity’s amp kids big buddy kids in line for like can you say man i want to hire all these guys and girls what do i got to do to be in yes i agree 100 and uh and so i you know when i think of of some some nice sponsors that uh you know i think of the banks yeah and uh banks would probably be great for you but you’ll take them all you take all commerce as far as that guy any help goes a long way i’m sure it’s all opportunities yes absolutely my mind goes the other way i’m like restaurants yeah well they’re great too they’re you know any any businesses is great but i do know that that banks in particular love these type of of non-profits and absolutely support and i also want to discuss uh with you some of the ways in which we did talk about earlier how they could get in touch but you do have a website uh let’s shout out it’s that’s right and you can go there and then front yard bikes at if you want to just shoot him a a email and expressing interest in either volunteering or uh sponsoring wanna you know whatever uh they can certainly lead you in the right direction there now i asked you on your questionnaire how you would define a leader and i loved what you wrote here you said someone who knows how to serve the people i’m a service oriented leader as is my mother and even jesus christ doing work leading by actions is the strongest symbol of leadership for me and i’ll tell you this i’m gonna tell you a story um i was a part of an organization here called leadership livingston and it is put on by the chamber of commerce and um you know i’m a guy that i was a sales rep my whole life so you know being first being first you got to be first when you’re a salesperson you know you compete against other salespeople even in your own profession and in your own uh business so um you’re kind of raised up in that i want to be first mentality so when i went and uh was honored enough to be selected for the leadership livingston uh that’s what i thought it was about so i get in there and leadership livingston says okay we’re going to split you up into groups and you’re all going to do service projects and i’m like huh service projects wait a minute don’t i get to compete against somebody and they’re like no no you do service projects and um you basically got in a group and you just picked something in the community that you thought was worthwhile no matter what it was we picked a an organization uh in walker louisiana called the the uh the livingston activity center and what they do is it’s a challenged adult center where they make like paint sticks and stuff and they had they needed a lot of work done and we went and we we did that we made that happen um so out of that what did i learn i learned that leadership has nothing to do with being first and everything to do with giving back period you said it perfectly and that’s right man serving people is what makes you a leader and i just want everybody out there to hear that and do something go out there and volunteer go out there give your time you know if you can sponsor sponsor because um that’s what it’s all about it really is so shout out to you man i could not have said that anybody thank you i really couldn’t

dane arnold with i trade exchange has been enabling small business in the livingston parish area to save cash through his network of over 300 participating livingston parish businesses saving cash by trading services with other exchange members is what i trade exchange is all about for more information contact dane arnold at 225-205-3640 or visit so we did some fun facts with you yes and with jenny i didn’t think we’re gonna get to these oh yeah we’re getting to them we’re getting to them i wouldn’t let you get out on that so um if you purchased what would you name it you said miss all is it all dreamer miss aldrina smith uh dreamer smith 91 year old volunteer tell me about her missile drama smith is a 91 year old volunteer and a garden master she has a master craft of touching anything in our garden and it grows and boy at 91 she drives down to our bike shop and if she has some small meal plates or something she’s made she’s she’s giving them out to everybody yeah she’s she has such a care-giving heart of service and at 91 you know like you said earlier sometimes it gets tough and you can hang it up i’m like missile dream you’re 91. you know call me i’ll come to your house and pick something like no no i just want to get out and i want to come give some things i know you guys are here boy so i said you know what if i make it big and i have to put a name on the side of a big boat you better believe it’s going to be missile smith i love it i’m losing through it there you go the big yacht i’ma know it’s you when i see that uh miss jenny not to be out done

and oasis would be the name of your boat so there you go we got if i see either one of those i’ll know now um the second thing i asked you on those fun facts was what would be what was your dream job when you were 12 years old children’s book author yeah why not i like that i like reading them yeah the easy books not the hard work yeah not the hard ones that got to be big words and short sentences more pictures more pictures jenny uh uh not to be outdone you wanted to be a cartoon voice i could see that about you i could see that it was just always something everybody i don’t know critiqued or said something about me and i knew i had a unique voice yeah so they were always so i just wanted to use it yes so we’re going to work together i’ll draw the book and and you’ll be the voice because kid’s going to need the motion picture that’s right and i’ll i’ll record the other day youtube and me reading books uh if you could have any super power what would it be you had to go man and the first time i’ve had this one set on the show breathe underwater oh absolutely that’s pretty cool absolutely i wouldn’t have thought of that one but i like it i think i want to breathe underwater too um jenny not to be out and look this tells you about jenny right here this tells you about her soul right her super power would be to make people feel love peace and joy how sweet and awesome but that tells you about your you know your heart very good um i think that one’s better than mine for sure yeah i was like she got you back for the yacht it sounded it sounded good in my head uh dustin jenny thank you so much for being on today now for all those people that watch this and want more information i’m going to link everything we talked about with the website in the email to this podcast so we’re going to make it easy for them and they can just click on that to get more information um if you know any uh organizations as or businesses that would like to get involved tell them tell people about this share this podcast that’s a big important thing because social media is huge uh for your non-profit i’m sure i mean it’s all about getting the word out is it it’s not so i want to thank everyone out there for viewing and listening to the local leaders of podcast and and as we talked about with sharing this podcast like comment subscribe and share them they keep going at that point and it gets everybody involved i want to thank my sponsors tricia johnston realtor b.j pawn big mike sports bar and grill sport center black sheep creative sr enterprise painting william waldrop of twfg insurance and tiffany c card of homekey mortgage we could not do any of this without all of you if you would like to information on sponsoring the show or appearing on the show reach out to me at jim at local leaders until next time i’m jim chapman reminding you love your community support local non-profits and keep leading thank you very much thank you all for coming on today i appreciate it thank you thank you

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