How our development programs foster resilience in vulnerable youth

March 20, 2023

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Full Cycle First Nations


Resilience is the ‘process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress’.[1] Using the bicycle as a tool, our programs foster resilience in youth by building age appropriate competencies such as teamwork, problem solving and leadership. Two Wheel View also helps young people develop and practice social and emotional skills such as emotion management, empathy and positive attitudes about self. Development of these competencies leads to higher self-confidence and self-esteem, both of which are associated with improved coping strategies for personal and academic difficulties.[2]

Protective factors contribute to resilience

Resilience represents a capacity for coping, and thriving, despite setbacks and the ability to bounce back from difficult experiences. Protective factors – conditions or attributes that help people deal more effectively with stressful events and mitigate or eliminate risk – contribute to conditions where established risk factors are not associated with negative outcomes.[3] Essentially, by promoting the development of protective factors, young people are more likely to have positive outcomes, even if they experience risk factors such as mental health problems, unsupportive family environments, negative peer groups or poverty. Research shows that young people with a diverse set of protective factors usually experience more positive outcomes.[4]

A combination of protective factors contribute to resilience, including[5],[6]:

Our goal at Two Wheel View is to provide the conditions, and help young people to develop the attributes, that reduce risks and strengthen protective factors.

Full Cycle First Nations Program

Through a program that combines Earn-a-Bike and Bike Trip experiences, our Full Cycle program encourages young people in First Nations communities to attend school and engage in positive activities that build community and enhance resiliency. We currently operate this program in the First Nations communities of Morley, Eden Valley and Tsuut'ina (added in 2018), in Alberta.

The program is embedded in the First Nations school spaces and on traditional First Nations territory, supporting youth to connect with their cultural traditions and explore the natural world around them. Our goal is to reduce the risk factors specifically faced by First Nation’s youth and to increase the protective factors that will impact their long-term personal growth and positive development. Here's a look at the results from our 2017 programs:

A table showing statistics from the Full Cycle Program

Our mission is to provide youth development programs that use the bicycle as a tool to build resiliency in young people.While acquiring bicycle mechanic skills, young people involved in Two Wheel View programming also develop the cognitive, social, emotional and physical competencies that facilitate a successful transition from adolescent to adulthood.  

[1] The Road to Resilience.American Psychological Association. Retrieved September 7, 2018.

[2] Gasti, D. & Shivacharan, P. (2015). A Comparative Study of Self Esteem and Coping Strategies of Male and Female Post Graduate Students. IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science, Vol. 20 (5), pp 102-108. Retrieved September 9, 2018.

[3] Masten AS. (2001). Ordinary magic: Resilience processes in development. American Psychologist, 56, pp. 227–238.

[4] Positive Youth Development. Retrieved August 2, 2018.

[5] The Road to Resilience.American Psychological Association. Retrieved September 7, 2018.

[6] Positive Youth Development. Retrieved August 2, 2018.

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Intentional community building should not be overlooked. When we come together, we talk through our insecurities, our uncertainties and share stories to help us better understand each other and the world we live in.

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