Bikes for the World

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Volunteer: Ken Woodard

Ken Woodard
Ken Woodard has been working with Bikes for the World for the past four years as the teacher/advisor for Stone Ridge of the Sacred Heart's Social Action group. Mr. Woodard is the History Department Chair and Upper School History teacher at Stone Ridge. Every other Wednesday he is our resident bike mechanic at Bikes for the World. Everyone who knows Ken will mention his love of bikes and his enthusiasm for his work with BfW. It is without pause that we honor Ken for his work with BfW, which reaches far beyond our warehouse.

Ken's dedication to our program, our mission, and especially the students at Stone Ridge shows in every task we throw at him. Whether he is prepping a bike for shipping, loading a container, promoting a bike collection, or tooling away in the back taking parts off bikes, Ken IS Bikes for the World.

Social Action 2011-12
One of our main missions at Bikes for the World involves providing rewarding service projects to our community. Ken helps us bring this to life in his mentoring of our Stone Ridge crew. He's done such a great job, Stone Ridge was named one of our first Featured Volunteers two years ago. In addition to the work they do loading containers of bikes for donation overseas, his crew of 2-6 students (it keeps growing every year!) also regularly tackles our scrap bike heap to rescue usable parts off otherwise unsuitable bikes.

Social Action 2014-15
"Ken's ability to train and guide the girls in this highly technical skill that utilizes the most specialized bike tools is unmatched. He is able to speak to them in a way that makes sense to them while still conveying the mechanical knowledge necessary to successfully remove every single part from a bike frame. The girls come into our warehouse (some unable to ride a bike) and graduate knowing how to remove pedals, bottom brackets, and headsets. They also learn the importance a bike can have in someone's life and livelihood. Ken inspires confidence in his students and his impact is felt worldwide," Yvette Hess, BfW Outreach Coordinator

Social Action 2013-14
"Mr. Woodard has been an excellent leader and mentor for the Stone Ridge Bikes for the World social action group. He is always working hard, either by assisting student volunteers or by working on a separate project. He is a wonderful role model for all of us as his dedication and his willingness to help others is so evident. He demonstrates how important it is to help others, and how much fun can result from doing so," Katie Ledecky, Stone Ridge '15

"Ken puts his whole heart into all he does, and Bikes for the World represents an intersection of many of Ken's greatest loves- bikes, service and the kind of genuine challenge that leads to growth. His enthusiasm has been contagious, and now all of Stone Ridge knows exactly what to do with our old bikes," Lauren Brownlee, Upper School Director of Social Action and History Teacher

Social Action 2012-13
"As a second year architecture student, who has spent the semester in the wood and metal shops at school, I am so grateful for everything I was capable of learning through working with the bikes and it has made my semester of strictly steel project and large scale prototyping fractionally easier. I owe this to both Ken and everyone else at Bikes for the World," Deborah O'Connell, Stone Ridge '13

"Ever since he started working with Bikes for the World it has been one of his favorite topics of conversation. He never hesitates to share his experiences with others, teaching them the impact that bikes can have on an entire community. He talks about the success of the organization, detailing the steps they take in order to make sure the bikes get to their locations safely. He enthusiastically details his job as a volunteer, becoming especially excited when he is given the opportunity to load the containers which will eventually be shipped around the world.

"Bikes for the World has given my dad the opportunity to take something that he loves and is so passionate about and share it with the international community. He has so much enthusiasm for the organization's mission and takes immense pride in his work there," Lauren Woodard, Stone Ridge '16 (and Ken's daughter)

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