Texas Tech students donate e-bikes to Open Door participants

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 7:04 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Some students at Texas Tech are giving the gift of transportation to folks in Open Door’s housing program.

A new pilot program started by two students at the Civic Leadership Academy is providing a fleet of e-bikes to help them get around.

Program Director Jason Headrick says students were looking for a way to make an impact on the community.

“Our students started brainstorming ideas; so one of the ideas we had was this electronic bike program,” Headrick said. “The students put together a proposal to fund 10 electronic bikes.”

That funding was made possible by the Helen Jones Foundation.

The beneficiaries, 10 members of Open Doors supportive housing program.

Dennis Howard is one of them, and he says his new ride showed up just in time.

“I was kinda in shock,” Howard said. “It was kinda an answered prayer that I’ve been praying about lately.”

Howard has used a bike to get around for a while. He says it can be tough at times. He even suffered a broken leg when he was hit by a car while riding downtown.

“Riding that bike kinda gets me caught up sometimes in the street with the flats,” Howard said. “This one I can get there easier and less strain on my ankle. It’ll help out a lot”

Leadership students are taught to assess the issues in their community.

After some time doing that, Savannah Ivey, one of the students who started this pilot program, says there was a clear need for transportation assistance.

“That was one of their biggest issues,” Ivey said. “Getting to resources, getting jobs and overall being able to successfully live here in Lubbock.”

After some searching, she and her partner Nathan Feuquay found the answer.

“Ultimately, we found Swagatron online,” Ivey said. “They happen to be doing a really big sale on their bikes, so we were able to get more units.”

Now those units have arrived and they’re rolling out with a group of people who need them most.

Ivey says she is proud to see the vision of the program come to fruition.

“It’s just really nice to see it all come together,” Ivey said. From just like, ‘oh maybe we’ll do that’ to it actually happening.”

Howard says it’s exactly what he needs right now.

“I couldn’t think of anything better right now,” Howard said. “Until I get back on my feet again.”