Neu Life Build Projects Teach Soft Skills for Youth

You may remember back in 2014 when JaQuawn Seals, Darrius Stephenson and Trayshawn Brown won a grant from Lead2Change to establish a bicycle program for youth at Neu-Life. The program gave Neu-Life youth a weeklong bike class, over 60 bikes, helmets, locks and a custom-designed bike map of the Lindsay Heights neighborhood. (Read more about it here).

From bike riding to bike building. Interest in bikes has taken many shapes over the years: bikes as transportation, bikes as excercise, and most recently...bikes as mobile pop-up! This summer, Neu-Life teens at the Youth Work Innovation Center (YWIC) completed an ice cream bike, a project that led them through the process of designing and building a bike from the ground up. Neu-Life's first bike-build project was a food demonstration bike. Beneath the surface of our bike-build projects, soft skills like verbal communication, collaboration, planning for success, social awareness, growth mindset and problem solving are essential to taking the project from idea to completion.

Partnership with All Hands Boatworks. Neu-Life teens had the exciting opportunity this summer to work with All Hands Boatworks to build their very own boat. Through boat building, All Hands Boatworks aims to build character, career opportunities, and hope in Milwaukee’s urban youth. For Neu-Life teens, this unique experiential learning project taught technical skills like power and hand tool use, safety and accuracy. We’re very excited to have reached the recognition phase of this project. Teens launched their boat and got to see their hard work celebrated by the community and each other. 

Here at Neu-life, we know that a bike isn’t just a bike and a boat isn’t just a boat. To be a part of a team that builds something completely from scratch is incredibly rewarding and an opportunity that many kids might never have. But it’s also difficult and frustrating and full of challenges. Our build projects give youth the chance to overcome barriers and learn what they are capable of!

Do you have a knowledge or skill that you’d like to teach Neu-Life Youth? We are always on the lookout for new ways to offer enriching experiences, hands-on learning and professional skill development to our youth - from carpentry to communications. If you have an idea for an experiential learning program, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Each year, Neu-Life youth make and sell art in collaboration with local artists. 100% of the proceeds from art sales support Neu-Life's mission.



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