For kids, a bicycle is a symbol of independence and freedom. The South Atlanta Bike Shop symbolizes that and so much more. It offers kids of the Historic South Atlanta neighborhood a way to learn job skills fixing bikes and a vehicle to earn their own wheels while doing so. The bike shop is part of FCS Urban Ministries, a community development nonprofit partnering with residents to revitalize Historic South Atlanta. Andrej Ciho, a web developer and father of five, is the bike shop’s founding director but its success goes to the neighborhood. Around 100 kids have earned bikes, some multiple bikes, in the shop’s five-year history. If you are interested in buying or donating a bike, learn more at www.southatlantabikeshop.org or call 678-802-9253.
Q: Where are you from originally?
A: I am from Slovakia in central Europe. I have lived in the United States since 2003, first in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I moved to Atlanta in 2009.
Q: Why did you move to Historic South Atlanta?
A: To join the neighbors and FCS Urban Ministries in an effort to revitalize the community. I can’t imagine what the work would look like if I did not live in the neighborhood, without the ability to feel the community’s needs instead of just hearing about them. This is our home and the youth we work with are our friends and neighbors. Many of them feel like an extended family.
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The Sunday Conversation is edited for length and clarity. Writer Ann Hardie can be reached by email at email@example.com.