Thursday, April 10, 2014

Men Involved: Brett Donelson

You started The Cycle Effect, what inspired you to want young women learn how to mountain bike?
I believe that youth participation in sports is a powerful force to change lives. And we see lot of kids, especially girls, sit on the sidelines due to lack of funding, support, confidence, etc. And I think we can change that, even with more expensive sports.  

Besides teaching young women to mountain bike, what else do you do?
In terms of The Cycle Effect, everything.

We are in charge of our own funding, bookkeeping, admin, sponsorship, marketing, events, etc.
Up until January 1st, I was a 1-man team with a lot of great volunteers.  We now have a small staff that is helping me implement all of that.  So that now adds managing people and staff.  So I am now a bit of a utility man in terms of getting done what needs to be done.  Some days it is budgets, some days it is a flat tire.  Some days it is a role-model to the girls, and others it is just giving a lot of high-fives.  

What has been one of the most fulfilling experiences you've had with The Cycle Effect?There are too many to talk about.  But the overall theme, is taking the girls on a ride, somewhere that I did not cleanly ride my first couple of times.  Then watching them ride it on their first attempt, and them looking at me like, “So, what is next?  Let’s go old man.”  We are teaching girls to break down expectations and want more.  

What else would you like people to know about The Cycle Effect and what you do?
While we may not be impacting a large number of young women, the impact that we are having on each young woman’s life is enormous. Every single girl in our program has seen a positive change in her life, whether it’s academic, social, personal, getting into college, getting a scholarship or getting a good job. 

How has your life changed since being involved with The Cycle Effect?
I ride my bike more my and attitude on what is important has changed.  Helping others feels good.  I think there are very few people that would deny that.  And I now have ideas on how we can do that, while growing an organization and being excited about work each day.  

If someone wants to be involved with your organization, where do they start?
The easiest is to go to The Cycle Effect.  It is constantly being changed and updated, but has some good information on there.  For direct questions, the easiest is to email us at info@thecycleeffect.org.  

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