BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The head of a Baton Rouge nonprofit, Front Yard Bikes, is being recognized for his contributions to the community and his work with at-risk youth.
Dustin LaFont, executive director of Front Yard Bikes, has been selected as one of only five national recipients of the 2019 Dorothy Richardson Award for Resident Leadership by NeighborWorks America. LaFont was nominated by Mid City Redevelopment Alliance.
LaFont founded and leads Front Yard Bikes, which teaches at-risk young people the values of teamwork, service, and responsibility through owning, maintaining and repairing bikes.
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The Dorothy Richardson Award receives hundreds of nominations each year from across the country. The award honors resident leaders who are producing positive change in their community.
“Front Yard Bikes is creating a community where there was none and empowering students who live on the margins,” said Sam Sanders, executive director of Mid City Redevelopment. “For these young people, bike access is not simply recreational. It’s a way to get to a job, to school and to afternoon activities such as sports, tutoring or mentoring programs.”
Young people become owners of bikes through the program and are taught how to repair, maintain and even build bicycles, learning skills such as welding in the process. They also have an opportunity to intern in a bike shop and participate in community service projects through the program.