On Monday, February 18th, Monsanto Global Breeding Leaders from across the globe met in St. Louis to discuss new technology implementation…and mountain bikes. Their group of sixty was subdivided into smaller groups whose task it was to completely assemble a brand new mountain bike in an hour. Not all of the bikes appeared rideable after their first attempts, but soon adjustments were made and the bikes were trail ready. The groups competed against each other to see who could finish their bikes first, who had the best decorations, and what team could create the most persuasive 30-second video of their ride. However, the ultimate inspiration for the staff was the final destination of the bikes.
Mellisa Scaccia, HR Generalist for Monsanto, and I coordinated to have the finished bikes donated and delivered* to Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program (TLP), along with helmets and bike locks. The Monsanto team seemed very pleased that their creations were going to be put to good use with our teens. Some of their local staff will even visit the Wyman campus this summer for a fleet dedication ceremony!
Activities like this one, show that the folks at Monsanto know how valuable experiential education can be to foster planning, communication and problem solving skills. Not coincidentally, it’s also an education that is foundational for teens in Wyman’s TLP.
After leaving that evening, I felt personally motivated that at Wyman, we aren’t lone rangers in the business of providing resources and opportunities to our teens. We have committed individuals and institutions in the region that are eager to come alongside us and share in the work. I also felt a sense of affirmation in the kind of work we do with our teens. If a corporation like Monsanto uses exercises like this with their high performing teams of adults, how much more ready for the world are our teens, who have had the benefit of deep cooperative experiences with TLP during their formative years?
Article by Tim Kjellesvik. Tim is the Director of Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program and has over ten years of experience developing, delivering and managing youth programs.
*Special thanks to Peloton Cyclery in St. Charles for handling all the gear and delivery.