Q&A With Microgrant Recipient Jonah


Karma for Cara Foundation microgrant recipients have competed in an application process alongside other young people who have spearheaded exceptional service projects that benefit their communities. In order to qualify for a K4C award, an applicant must be 18 years of age or younger, and the project must take place in the US.

Who? Jonah (17)

What? reCYCLE

Where? San Benito, TX

Why? reCYCLE is a project that establishes an opportunity for school-aged students (target audience) to develop the knowledge and skills associated with bicycles, bicycle repairs, biking mechanics, the health benefits of biking, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. The primary goal is that the reCYCLErs engage in hands-on learning of key academic, pre-engineering concepts. At school and community events, the reCYCLErs will repair bicycles, conduct maintenance, teach biking, and disseminate health, safety, and educational information. The project will serve as a repository for bicycle donations. The students will repair and service bicycle donations and sell/donate bicycles to worthy groups.

What inspired you to start this project?My inspiration for starting the reCYCLE grant project centered around my passion for biking and a deep desire to promote health and well-being in my community. I was drawn to the idea of combining something tangible and real-world, such as bicycles, with my interest in engineering. By leveraging engineering principles, I saw an opportunity to create innovative solutions that would not only enhance the biking experience but also improve overall health outcomes. This project became a catalyst for personal growth, as it not only fueled my curiosity and creativity but also paved the way for new opportunities in college and beyond. Through reCYCLE, I aim to make a lasting impact by fostering a healthier lifestyle and inspiring others to explore the transformative power of biking.
While working on your project, what surprised you?What surprised me the most throughout my reCYCLE grant project was the overwhelming number of people who already owned bikes but had them neglected or abandoned. Initially, progress was slow, and I faced challenges in generating interest and participation. However, as word spread and my efforts gained momentum, I witnessed a remarkable transformation. People started dusting off their old bikes, repairing them, and taking to the streets once again. It was truly humbling to see the impact I could have on individuals’ lives by simply providing them with the means to rediscover the joy of biking. The gratitude and appreciation expressed by those I helped served as a constant reminder of the power of my initiative and further fueled my determination to make a positive difference in the world.
What do you feel you learned from this experience?Through my involvement in the reCYCLE grant project, I acquired invaluable skills and knowledge that extended beyond the realm of bicycles. Firstly, I immersed myself in the intricacies of bicycle mechanics, becoming proficient in fixing various parts and addressing common issues. This hands-on experience not only expanded my technical abilities but also fostered problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will undoubtedly serve me well in my engineering studies. Additionally, engaging with community members and conducting workshops allowed me to enhance my public speaking and teaching skills. I learned how to effectively communicate complex concepts in a way that resonated with diverse audiences, fostering an environment of learning and collaboration. These newfound abilities not only supported the success of my reCYCLE project but also equipped me with invaluable tools for future endeavors in college and beyond.
How did Karma for Cara impact your project?Karma for Cara played a pivotal role in supporting my reCYCLE grant project and amplifying its impact. Their financial assistance was instrumental in providing resources and support to individuals who had limited financial means. With their help, I was able to offer affordable or even free bike repairs, making cycling accessible to those who otherwise may not have had the means to participate. Additionally, Karma for Cara’s endorsement and collaboration with my school principal helped legitimize my project and garnered increased recognition and support from the community. Their involvement not only provided a valuable network of resources but also served as a catalyst for expanding the reach and influence of my initiative, enabling me to make a more significant difference in promoting biking and health in my community.
How will your project continue to impact others?The impact of my reCYCLE grant project will continue to resonate with others through its sustainable and empowering nature. Moving forward, I am dedicated to training facilitators who can establish reCYCLE clubs in various communities. By equipping others with the knowledge and skills to create their own bike repair workshops, I aim to empower individuals to take ownership of their biking experiences and promote health within their own neighborhoods. Through these facilitators, the ripple effect of the project will expand exponentially, reaching more people and inspiring a culture of active and healthy living. By fostering self-sufficiency and community engagement, my project will continue to have a lasting impact on individuals, fostering a sense of empowerment and well-being for years to come.