Victor Onwukwe's grandfather rode a bicycle he called the "great white horse" and lived to be 120 years old. Onwukwe is one of 20 qualified international students at U of A who received a recently donated bicycle, helmet and lock as a result of a new partnership between the U of A Office for Sustainability and Pedal It Forward, a regional non-profit organization. for profit that restores used bicycles. for community members.
For Onwukwe, this free bike reminds him wistfully of his late grandfather.
"The bicycle will help me easily go anywhere I want to go, unless it is too far away," said Onwukwe, a Nigerian graduate student studying food science. “I love the bicycle. I will use it to hike the trails we have here every morning, to strengthen my bones and stay in shape. I'm seriously excited! "
The U of A Office of Sustainability and the Office of International Students and Scholars identified 20 international students who need a bicycle for transportation while living and studying in Fayetteville this semester. These students received a bicycle during the UARK Bike Block Party on September 2.
"Pedal It Forward is pleased to provide reliable transportation to this group of international students and looks forward to creating bike access for many more students in the years to come." said Kenny Williams, program director for Pedal It Forward. "If you have a bike you'd like to donate to the effort, please get in touch and stay tuned for more information on our fall bike donation drive."
Namiko Bagirimvano, Assistant Director of International Retention Programs at the Office of Students and Academics icos Internacionales added: “We are very excited and grateful for this partnership to welcome our new international students in such a unique way. This program not only helps our newcomer international students get transportation on campus right away, but also introduces them to NWA's growing bike culture. Some students are from countries where biking is an integral part of their cultural experience. "
As part of the Graduate School and International Education, the Office of International Students and Scholars strives to create campus life engaging by providing international education seminars, cross-cultural training, cultural immersions, and country-specific workshops. They offer opportunities to encourage campus and community participation through the International Culture Team, iFriend, Intercultural Mentors, and other cultural organizations.
Logistical support was provided by University Recreation.
"University Recreation Outdoors Bike Shop is pleased to help Pedal It Forward, OFS and ISS bring bikes to the block party." says Kat Miller, UREC Outdoors coordinator. “Campus partnerships like these are vital to the overall success of our students, and UREC Outdoors Bike Shop will be able to assist these students with future bike maintenance and service needs. ”
Pedal It Forward will continue to work with the Office of Sustainability to identify additional campus partners and students who may need a bicycle while at school. The goal of this ongoing partnership is to promote more environmentally friendly transportation options while reducing financial barriers that may exist between students and the opportunity to ride a bike.
About the Office of Sustainability: The mission of the Office of Sustainability at the University of Arkansas is to motivate, facilitate, and coordinate responsible practices through partnerships with students, faculty, and staff in all campus departments. OFS uses the campus as a living laboratory by overseeing the implementation of the University of Arkansas environmental goals. These programs are part of the UA Resiliency Center, sponsored by the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, and are supported by UA Facilities Management.
About Pedal It Forward: Pedal It Forward collects used bikes, repairs them, and then distributes them to those in need through our more than 60 Pedal Partners. We serve low-income rural and urban children, adults and families, at-risk youth, minority populations, and immigrants in Northwest Arkansas. Our mission is to increase the number of people who have access to bicycles for health, transportation or recreation reasons.
About College Recreation: The mission of College Recreation (UREC) is to empower students for success through recreation and wellness. UREC serves the university community by providing a diverse selection of programs, events and facilities through aquatic, club sports, intramural, fitness and wellness, informal, outdoor and inclusive activities.
About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A offers an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $ 2.2 billion to the Arkansas economy through teaching new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and activity. creative and, at the same time, provides training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks U of A in the top 3% of US colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. US News & World Report ranks U of A among the best public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world in Arkansas Research News.