Momentum Bike Clubs (MBC), a group mentoring initiative facilitated by the Clemson University Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, begins a new chapter this spring, as leadership passes from David Taylor to Tavaghn Monts.
Monts, who also serves as the assistant director of community collaboration for the department’s Race, Ethnicity, Youth and Social Equity Collaboratory, will take over as executive director of Momentum Bike Clubs on June 1, moving from his current role as associate director of the organization.
“David has poured his heart and soul into making MBC the supportive, inclusive, life-giving program it is today,” Monts said. “I consider it a great honor to take the reins and carry his vision into the future.”
Founded by Taylor in 2010, the program uses cycling as a vessel to foster positive mentor relationships and build resilience in underserved youth facing persistent poverty, parental incarceration or instability in their home lives.
Once a week, middle and high school students throughout the Upstate participate in group rides on local trails to establish healthy exercise practices and stay connected with their mentors and peers. Clubs work to provide students with the support they need to overcome challenges, develop healthy relationships and pursue their dreams.
“Connection and a sense of belonging are important to the youth we serve,” Taylor said. “MBC offers them a community of people who are advocating for their academic and personal success, as well as their mental, emotional and physical well-being.”
Bike club students can participate in internships, trips, youth development seminars and high school preparation resources. Younger students are also eligible to “graduate” to the more rigorous challenge team, a diverse group of young people who take on more difficult rides and push each other to achieve their goals.
Since its induction, Taylor’s passion for positive youth development can be seen in how he has nurtured and grown the program from an inaugural group of 10 students to over 1,100 youth and 110,000 miles ridden.
Moving forward, Monts plans to continue Taylor’s important work of advocating for underserved youth in the Upstate and providing them a place of refuge from the adversities of life.
Momentum Bike Clubs operates on the belief that youth and caregivers thrive when living in inclusive and supportive communities and promotes vigorous exercise and healthy peer and mentor relationships. MBC was founded in 2010 and is facilitated by the Clemson University Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management is part of the University’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS). Established in 2016, CBSHS is a 21st-century, land-grant college that combines work in seven schools and departments – Communication; Nursing; Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management; Political Science; Psychology; Public Health Sciences; Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice – to further its mission in “building people and communities” in South Carolina and beyond.