SILVER2023

Independence Youth Cycling

aka SoMont Youth Cycling   |   Wyncote, PA   |  https://independenceyouthcycling.org/

Mission

Independence Youth Cycling (IYC) introduces middle and high school youth to the sport of cycling, primarily mountain biking, through race, adventure and environmental stewardship activities. We do this using Long Term Athletic Development, including a framework that covers bio-, psycho- and social-models of youth development. Our guiding principles are inclusivity, equity, and a supportive team culture. We believe in the “No one sits the bench” mindset inherent in cycling. Our hope is that the fundamental skills and fitness benefits learned through the program will be carried far beyond high school. Like the many coaches and parents involved with our organization, IYC aspires to develop cycling as a life-long interest for both the youth and adults in our programs.

Ruling year info

2022

Founder

John Raisch

Main address

203 Heacock Ln

Wyncote, PA 19095 USA

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Formerly known as

SoMont Youth Cycling LLC

EIN

87-1845203

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

NICA Youth Mountain Bike Team Development

We encourage, develop, grow, and help manage Philadelphia-area youth bicycle teams affiliated with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). Since our founding in 2016 (as SoMont Cycling LLC) our program has grown exponentially — from seven kids our first year (2016) to more than 80 in 2022 — and we have successfully launched five NICA teams, including SoMont Abington, SoMont Cheltenham, SoMont East, SoMont West, and PhillyWiss.

Independence Youth Cycling (IYC) is about much more than just riding bikes. We teach 6th-12th grade girls and boys to be physically active, self-reliant, engaged with the outdoors, and good community members through the life-long sport of mountain biking. We focus on five principles: Adventure, Exploration, Excitement, Friendship, and Fitness. We get kids off the couch, outside, and away from their video screens! EVERY kid on the team participates, regardless of skill level. Our motto “No one sits the bench” says it all.

Population(s) Served
Students
Children and youth
Girls
Boys

In addition to our NICA-affiliated youth mountain bike teams, we partner with other area public and private organizations (e.g., local townships, Scout groups, non-profits) to provide stand-alone, community-focused workshops introducing mountain biking skills to youth.

Population(s) Served
Students
Children and youth
Girls
Boys

IYC teams support NICA's national GRiT (Girls Riding Together) initiative, a focused effort to bring more girls and women into the cycling community to close the opportunity gap for current and future generations. Female coaches and student-athletes are strongly representated on IYC-affiliated teams, with GRiT-only rides, events, and activities throughout the season. Female coaches make up approximately 30% of the coaching staff across IYC teams.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Students
Children and youth

IYC participates in NICA's national "Teen Trail Corps" (TTC) program, which provides student-athletes and coaches the opportunity to learn and serve the community with trail maintenance, the respectful use of trails, and land stewardship. IYC student-athletes and coaches devote hundreds of volunteer hours annually (373 direct trailwork hours in 2022 alone!) to maintaining local trails in the Philadelphia region, including those in Pennypack Park, Lorimer Park, Wissahickon Park, and Cresheim Valley.

Several of our team members have been recognized for their state-wide trailwork leadership by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League (PICL). Recognizable as youth development through community service, the program’s vision is a future whereby NICA student-athletes advocate and take responsibility for our cycling environment. The program is distinctive in youth sports; it provides young riders advocacy skillsets through sport and is an activity where everyone counts.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Students
Children and youth

Independence Youth Cycling desires to reduce barriers and make our programs open and inclusive to all students regardless of their financial situation. As funding allows, we provide need-based financial assistance and scholarships to students toward our already low program fees, and also work with the state league to obtain financial assistance for state-wide league and race series fees. We also provide need-based assistance toward coach development fees to adults who wish to participate in our programs (see separate program listing for more information).

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

IYC is committed to "getting more kids on bikes." We recognize that access to a quality mountain bike may be a barrier to students facing economic challenges getting involved in the sport. Our goal is to acquire a small fleet of bikes and related accessories (helmets, tools, spare parts, etc.) that can be used by middle- and high-school students during our programs (community events, practices, and races). We don't want lack of access to a bike to keep any child from benefiting from the social and physical benefits of participating in our programs.

Population(s) Served
Students
Children and youth

Any youth sports program relies on quality coaches and mentors to thrive. Adults who work with youth in IYC programs must hold a current certification through the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) coach licensing program. Certification requires a significant outlay of time, effort, and financial resources; we desire to reduce any barriers that might stand in the way of participation by providing IYC-sponsored training activities and reimbursements as funding allows. Doing so also helps us recruit coaching staff from typically underserved populations. Licensed coaches are trained in bike skills education, first aid, risk management, team management, ride management, youth sports psychology, and more. Certification also includes professional background checks as mandated by the state of Pennsylvania. This training and education helps create a safe, positive, and fun environment for our student-athletes. Learn more at https://nationalmtb.org/coaches-license-program

Population(s) Served
Adults
Women
Men

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

National Interscholastic Cycling Assocation (NICA) 2022

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Independence Youth Cycling
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Independence Youth Cycling

Board of directors
as of 03/17/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

John Raisch

Matthew Braden

Kenneth Rose

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable