We’re a non-profit organization on a mission to inspire a spirit of exploration in the youth we serve. We use bicycles to mobilize, empower and engage young people. Join us!
To get a better idea of what a Build-a-Bike class is like, we will be following one Charlie’s bike
through the program, as it transforms from a neglected, rusty, wheelless pile of metal and grease
to a shiny, rideable and loved bicycle! Who will the bike meet along it’s journey?
Who will be its friends, and foes? Follow along on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram to find out! #storyofabike
Keiren is a recent past participant of the Charlie's Build-a-Bike program. During the program, she grew a strong admiration towards bicycles and how cycling promotes personal growth, increases physical/mental health and creates a more sustainable environment. In 2014, Keiren decided to join the board and is now the Volunteer Coordinator. Every now and then, she also volunteers as a cook for the build-a-bike program. Aside from Charlie's, Keiren is pursuing a career in policing. She enjoys going to concerts and eating free food at Charlie's.
Jenn joined the Charlie's FreeWheels board in July 2014 to share inspiring CFW stories by supporting the organization's communications, fundraising and community outreach. With a passion for exploration, experiential learning and civic engagement, Charlie's mission struck a chord with her and she had to get involved with this model program. Jenn is currently the Communications Coordinator with a provincial food policy network. She has an H.B.A. in Geography from the University of Toronto, where she was involved with a micro-grant fund for student initiatives and volunteer-run cafes focusing on local food and peer-to-peer learning.
Nabeel joined the board at Charlie's in 2014. As treasurer, he helps to ensure proper policies and controls are in place, as well as implementing and overseeing an accounting system that provides financial reporting on a timely basis . He is a Chartered Accountant and has a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Toronto. He currently works at a midsized public accounting firm and in his spare time enjoys watching movies with friends and playing tennis.
Vicki and Stuart Lazier
Charlie's Bike Joint
Charlie’s Bike Joint is the for-profit bicycle shop at the front of CFW’s programming space. The store is operated by Derek Chadbourne, the original volunteer mechanic for CFW. Charlie’s Bike Joint donates to CFW initiatives regularly by providing tools, parts and sup¬plies at cost. Charlie’s Bike Joint also pays half the rent on the space, as well as the costs of utilities and phone/internet. Profits from Charlie’s Bike Joint are donated to Charlie’s FreeWheels at the end of the fiscal year.
Pathways to Education ® (Regent Park Community Health Centre)
CFW works closely with Pathways to Education to recruit and communicate with youth from the Regent Park area and their parents. Pathways to Education provides administrative support, community context, and connects Charlie’s FreeWheels to interested youth.
Sohel Imani (Lead Mechanic)
Sohel Imani has been working as Charlie’s FreeWheels’ Lead Mechanic for about a year. He has developed all of the curriculum for Charlie’s core Build-A-Bike programming and has championed the Earn-A-Bike program. Sohel has great ability to manage a variety of student learning levels and his patience and clarity make him a great teacher. Sohel completed his BA in Social Science at York University. He spent 10 years in bike assembly and in the past 2 years has focused his skills on building bikes from the grease up. Recently he completed his first wheel. The best way to learn is to build, Sohel now has five bikes he has built.
Thea Jones (Program Co-ordinator)
Thea Jones has been working as the Program Co-ordinator at Charlie’s FreeWheels for the Youth Advocacy initiative, which started in October 2013. She develops the curriculum for this project and ensures that the Youth Advocates feel prepared for their undertakings. Jones has also become a Charlie’s FreeWheels Administrator, ensuring that all programming runs smoothly. Jones is an artist and educator. She received her BFA from Concordia University in Montréal Québec and her MFA from York University in Toronto Ontario. Jones has always been an avid cyclist and has scars on her knees from too many sweet skids on gravel growing up in British Columbia.
Katherine McIlveen-Brown (Director)
Katherine McIlveen-Brown is the Director of Charlie’s FreeWheels. She is 24 years old and has been involved with the program since it began in 2009, first as a volunteer, and then as the Program Coordinator. She has been working as the Director since the summer of 2013. Katherine is an avid cyclist, and personally knew Charlie (whom Charlie’s FreeWheels is named in memory of). She holds an Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto in Geography and is very interested in thinking about and acting on issues of urban access and sustainable transportation with other young people.
Ammar joined the board in 2014 as a youth advisor. He is a past participant of Charlies's build-a-bike program in 2013. He was also involved the youth advocacy project in 2013/2014. He is currently a Grade 12 student at Jarvis Collegiate Institute, making him one of the youngest board members. He joined the board for two reasons: he loves bikes; and he wants to give back to Charlie's FreeWheels. Ammar is inspired to become an accountant, so he hopes to be the board treasurer after he graduates from university. Ammar commutes around Toronto on his bike that he built at Charlie's.
Sam Siew has been a board member at Charlie’s Freewheels since 2012. He assists the organization with various legal matters that arise during its non-profit activities. He also enjoys helping out at the build-a-bike sessions from time to time. Sam has a B.A. from the University of Toronto and a J. D. from its Faculty of Law. When not riding, racing or thinking about bikes, he works as a Crown Attorney for the Federal Government in the area of criminal law. He values Charlie’s because it allows him to see the positive and promising side of Toronto’s communities.
Terrence Chin previously worked in investment banking and holds a B.Comm (Honours) from Queen’s University. He’s an avid cyclist and is excited to work on corporate sponsorship and other planning initiatives with Charlie’s FreeWheels. He’s also a big fan of Family Guy.
Sonya joined the board at Charlie’s in 2014 because she is passionate about how cycling can contribute to building healthier, and more sustainable communities. She has a B.A. in International Development and Anthropology and an M.A. in Anthropology, both from the University of Toronto. Over the last five years she has worked abroad in the fields of international development, sustainability, and youth engagement. She is currently the Volunteer Coordinator at a community agency serving the Regent Park community. She gets around Toronto on an old beater bike she’s had since her teen years.
Kurtis Elton is the Chair of Charlie’s FreeWheels. He was one of Charlie’s Free- Wheels’ first volunteers, helping out as a mechanic for the inaugural build-a-bike session. He has been a board member since 2012 and is currently acting as chair. K urtis’ has a B.A. & Sc. from McGill University and an M.E.S. from the University of Waterloo. He is a Policy, Planning & Project Advisor for Toronto Water. Right now his go-to bike is a big ol’ Dutch Gazelle.
Do you have used bikes relatively free of rust? Would you like to make a financial contribution?
Want to be involved at Charlie's FreeWheels? Click here to find out more about our program and volunteer opportunities.
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