It’s All About the Bike
Shakir (right) arrived in the U.S. in 2014 and works with Communicycle in Clarkston. Shakir worked with New American Pathways’ Melodie (center) and Kate (left) from the Georgia Department of Transportation for the Clarkston Bike Rally.
On December 5, New American Pathways hosted the second Clarkston Bike Rally in partnership with Clarkston Communicycle (a program of the Clarkston Community Center) and in coordination with the Georgia Department of Transportation. The rally focused on delivering bike safety and maintenance education to refugees, who then took home brand-new bikes donated by an Atlanta-area corporate donor.
Shakir, who now leads the Communicycle program, appreciates the importance of a new bike. After arriving with his brother and two sisters from Iraq in July 2014, Shakir noted just how confusing public transit could be in a town that is focused on cars. When he received a donated bike from New American Pathways, Shakir turned his passion and previous background in bicycle repair into a career serving his fellow new arrivals. He began contracting with New American Pathways shortly after his arrival, helping with apartment set-ups, translation and driving. Less than one year later, with support of our vocational counseling program, he found a job with Clarkston Community Center leading their Communicycle program. Now, he serves over 100 clients per week with trainings, bike clubs and hand-on maintenance in the community.
Shakir brought this Communicycle work to the Bike Rally this month. Between the September event and this one, more than 100 new Americans took home a bike they’ll be able to use to get to work or school. But Shakir isn’t done yet. While he continues to serve the Clarkston community, he’s looking forward to attending college down the road. He plans to study something in the non-profit or international relations field.