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Little Bellas - West Marquette

Grant Recipient of $5,000 - 2020

About Little Bellas

Little Bellas is a mountain bike organization working to help young women realize their potential through cycling. Their programs support riders ages 7-17, through a crucial period in teenage years that often see a drop off in female participation in cycling. With volunteer-led chapters around the country, the Little Bellas community empowers girls through the sport, emphasizes the importance of goal-setting, promotes healthy lifestyles, and recognizes the positive effects of forging strong female bonds.

“When a girl learns that the chance of skinning her knee is an acceptable reason not to attempt [something], she learns to avoid activities outside her comfort zone. Soon many situations are considered too scary, when in fact they are simply exhilarating and unknown. Fear becomes a go-to feminine trait, something girls are expected to feel and express at will. By the time a girl reaches her tweens no one bats an eye when she screams at the sight of an insect.”

"Why do we teach girls it's cute to be scared?"

New York Times, 2016

Gearing Up in West Marquette County

A $5K grant from The Cairn Project will help to launch a new girls cycling program in West Marquette County, Michigan. At least 35% of of registered participants have sought financial aid, and funding from The Cairn Project will help to cover scholarships and gear purchases for these young women, making this new program more equitable and accessible to the local community. Little Bellas’ Gear Up program provides free bikes, helmets, and other gear for girls who need it.