NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As is typical on a Graduation Day, teacher Dan Furbish wanted to leave his class with a little wisdom. "You all have gained a lot of skills," he told the crowd.
What isn't typical is the class itself. "You are hereby awarded the title of Junior Master Mechanic," said Furbish.
The Oasis Center's Bike Workshop at Antioch Middle School started sessions about two months ago with students picking out used, dusty, donated bicycles donated to the Oasis Center. Since then, for an hour a week, students have learned how to rebuild a bike, by doing it themselves.
As of Graduation Day, those bikes officially belong to the students. "It’s very flashy so that people can see me and not run me over," joked Rashod Slaughter, one of the students in the program.
After all of that hard work, it only made sense to take a victory lap around the Mill Creek Greenway. "Hey, use those gears. Practice with your gears," said Furbish to the class as they took off.
Not only is this Rashod's first bicycle, but it's also his first-ever bike ride. "It was hard at first but the more help I received from the people in the program, it became easier and I feel like I’m good at riding a bike now," he told NewsChannel 5.
"You’ve got it Rashod, yea!" yelled Furbish during the ride.
Occasionally, the group would run into a few mechanical issues as they road their refurbished creations around the loop. "Oh, your pedal fell off?" Furbish asked one student.
But leave it to our graduation speaker to impart one last lesson. "So you all have skills that a lot of people don’t have, so it is your job to share your skills with other people," he told the students.
In addition to getting to keep the bike, the students also took home a free tool kit so they can always keep their wheels road-ready.
For more on the Oasis Center's programs, click here.