Making a difference in the youth community has easily become Charise Stephens’ mission. When Stephens is not working with small businesses as the Macon-Bibb County Office of Small Business Affairs (OSBA) Executive Director, she is leading U Create Macon– a youth cycling nonprofit group.
U Create Macon, which Stephens founded, most recently won the 2021 Bike Walk Macon Mobility Maker Impact award. Earlier this year, Stephens won the 2021 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) East Regional Champion of the Year for her efforts in empowering youths in our community.
“A lot of our youth have never been outside of their neighborhoods. Bikes can help them see a whole different world,” said Stephens. “With all of this violence, I think it’s imperative that kids get out of their bubble of trauma and see something different. I was super excited to get this impact award because I think this is making an impact.”
Stephens and several kids part of U Create Macon just got back from the Harriet Tubman Freedom Ride in Ithaca, New York. They were the only youth in the nation to be invited to the event. It was not only a great learning experience for them, but a monumental moment as many of the kids had never left Macon before.