Students from Whitman and Whittier elementary schools in Mesa line up their brand-new bicycles and helmets, which were donated by the Boeing Company.

Boeing Donates 200 Bikes to Mesa Public Schools Native American Education Program Students

By Tasha Silverhorn
Au-Authm Action News

Boeing, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems, recently donated 200 bikes to Native American students in the Mesa Public Schools. Out of those 200 students, 71 were enrolled Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members.

“Each year, the Boeing Company has a meeting of the CEOs of all of its plants around the world, but primarily here in the United States. [They] come together for a yearly cooperate meeting,” said Mesa Public Schools Executive Director Dr. David P. Shuff. “Even though the meetings have been held here in the Phoenix area for the last couple of years, Boeing has taken the position that rather than going out and golfing and doing [recreational activities], they have decided to pick some service projects and give back to the community [here].”

In fact assembling bicycles for the bike giveaway was one of several community service projects Boeing employees did while they were here. They also volunteered at the Desert Botanical Garden pulling weeds and maintaining the trails.

Last year, Boeing approached the Mesa Public Schools Native American Education Program about creating the Build a Bike Team Challenge to give away bicycles to Native American students who have good attendance (missing no more than two days during the first semester of the school year) and showed good performance on the district’s benchmark academic assessments. Boeing staff assembled and gave away 200 bicycles to students in second, third and fourth grades.

This year Boeing donated another 200 bicycles. The bicycles this time were a little too small for the fourth-graders, so they decided to give them to students in second and third grades.

“We changed our criteria from last year because we wanted to let all kids get a bike. If a child got a bike last year, they were unable to get one this year, just to keep it fair for others who have improved in their grades and attendance this last semester,” said Shuff.

“We really appreciate the working relationship that we have with the Boeing Company. This is the second year that they have given us 200 bikes for our elementary students,” explained Theresa Price, director of the Mesa Public Schools Native American Education Program.

“This year we noticed that with the change that we had enough bikes to recognize all the students who met the criteria, and this allows us to reach district-wide Native American students [who are performing well] in the areas of academics and attendance who we are sometimes unable to reach otherwise,” said Price. “We’ve been excited about this and want to continue to work with programs that allows us to do this. Also, [we are] thankful to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation for the support that they have given through gaming and [their] education departments that work with us hand in hand, and the parents.”

Whitman Elementary School
Jayen Baptisto
Joseph Preston Enos
Keenan Osif
Darcie James Silversmith
Omar Villalpando

Whittier Elementary School
Antonio Ayala
Lily Chamberlain
Kymani Harney
Manuel Martinez
Elias Montoya
Marcia Thomas

Adams Elementary School
Anthony Alvardo

Hale Elementary School
Jesus Corral

Hermosa Vista Elementary
Caleb Dash
Diandra Dream Losey

Ishikawa Elementary School
Daniel Acosta
Jacob Chiago
Guigu X’zellia Sherrie Ochoa
Albert Thomas
Jesse Thomas

Kerr Elementary School
Marcela Phillips
Victoria Smith
Lehi Elementary School
Malechi Andreas
Zaria Alexis Gonzales
Angelica Montiel
Taylastine Perkins
Anessa Sampson
Carlin Bryan Tanner

Patterson Elementary School
Savannah Gaitan

Salt River Elementary School
Layla Boye

Webster Elementary School
Gabriel Martinez

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