During the week of August 4th through 8th, Montini Catholic High School students received a unique opportunity to assist families involved with DuPage & Fox Valley Easter Seals Services in the "i Can Bike" program.
The program is sponsored by iCan Shine (formerly, Lose the Training Wheels), a national nonprofit organization providing quality learning opportunities in recreational activities for individuals with disabilities. Approximately thirty-five (35) children participated in the week long, annual event held at Montini.
"Montini has been a program host for iCan Bike for approximately six years," informed Cassandra Salinas, Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator at Easter Seals. "We are very thankful to them for hosting this event." She added, "The iCan BIke program is one that I look forward to every year."
Montini students volunteer for numerous community service events throughout their four years at school. During this particular event, the volunteers act as "floor and bike technicians," helping the participants learn how to bike on two wheels without the use of training wheels. They also provide one-on-one attention to the riders by walking or running along with them while giving much needed encouragement.
Mary Long, a senior at Montini, started helping with the program as a freshman. "There is a lot of running and jogging involved," she admitted. "Once the bikers get the hang of riding, they can do their laps quite quickly!" Mary added that despite the brief workout, she truly enjoys working with the children and finds the experience very rewarding.
Community outreach is an important part of the experience at Montini, a Lasallian institution. "Our students are called to action and participate in mission trips, service projects and days of service. Principal Maryann O'Neill said, "I believe that our vocation is to instill in them a desire for knowledge, to help them develop an awareness of their talents, to deepen their relationship with God and a deep rooted sense of service and responsibility for others."
"We are very honored to be able to host this event for Easter Seals," said Montini President, Jim Segredo. "We are quite proud of our students who volunteer to live out Montini Catholic's message of Christ, service, and responsibility to Church, family and community."