Chain Reaction Gets Grant!

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 17

Chain Reaction, who I have talked about before here, got an awesome grant from Citizens Bank to further their work!

Press release below:



Citizens Bank yesterday announced that Chain Reaction, a youth-based organization associated with Bikes Not Bombs, has been chosen as one of two northeast winners of the “Banking on Youth” competition. Chain Reaction, Boston’s first mobile, after-school bike shop and training center, specializes in offering low-cost bike sales and repairs to neighborhoods without access to bicycle shops.

Chain Reaction was conceived by five youth employees of Bikes Not Bombs, a nonprofit located in Jamaica Plain. The teenagers – Evan Hanlon, 17, of Roslindale; Corrina Roche Cross, 17, of Brookline;  Abdul Hussein, 16, of Jamaica Plain;  Stephane Alexandre, 17, of Mattapan; and Will Gifford, 17 of Jamaica Plain – recognized low bicycle usage in many low-income neighborhoods and set out to make cycling more affordable for children. Chain Reaction will receive $1,000 of seed money to build and expand their program.

“Citizens Bank is thrilled to award Chain Reaction and their innovative idea with this seed money, which will benefit the Greater Boston community,” said Jerry Sargent, President of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens in Massachusetts. “Through initiatives like this, we remain committed to fostering good citizenship within our footprint, and will continue to seed the kind of ingenuity and leadership demonstrated by these young entrepreneurs.”

The project launched last March, with space provided by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. Using the Roxbury and Dorchester clubs as their operations base, the Chain Reaction founders have already refurbished and sold dozens of bikes for a minimal cost, with more bikes receiving basic repairs. Chain Reaction also offers “Learn-it, Earn-in” repairs, where bike owners can work with a team member and learn how to fix their bikes, free of charge.

Banking on Youth provides young adults with the opportunity to showcase their nonprofit venture that directly benefits society. Conceived by the Consumer Bankers Association Foundation and Ashoka Ventures, the competition required entrants to develop a creative and fun, 90-second video that demonstrated the importance and impact of their program. As a sponsoring bank, Citizens provided seed money to bring the winners’ ideas to life.

More than 170 business plan proposals were received this year and are available at The video for Chain Reaction can be found here: A full listing of the 55 regional winners, along with their videos is available here. For further information about the competition visit

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