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Jasmine’s new bike: Freedom and Independence on Wheels

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Finding independence through employment

Getting a job brings new-found independence for many people.  Earning one’s own money, making progress toward new goals, making new friends, having co-workers depend on you…it’s all very exciting.

When Jasmine got a job at Skagit’s Best Salsa last year, she could not imagine a better job or employer. It was like a dream come true. There was only one logistical item that needed to be worked out: transportation. Jasmine lives in Mount Vernon, Skagit’s Best Salsa is located in La Conner and Jasmine does not drive a car.

But Jasmine is a resourceful young woman and designed her transportation plan in this way: She rode her bike from her home to the bus depot in downtown Mount Vernon. Then, she mounted her bike on the front rack of the bus that took her to La Conner. Once in La Conner, she rode her bike the rest of the way to Skagit’s Best Salsa to start her shift

Jasmine soon grew to love the independence her job and her bike gave her. She found herself spending time in Mount Vernon riding her bike and exploring new areas before and after work. Plus, she had her own money to spend!

The system worked perfectly for months until the accident

The system worked perfectly for months until the accident. One morning when Jasmine was riding the bus to work, a car collided with the mounted bike rack on the front of the bus. The bike was totaled. For the next four months Jasmine had to rely on the help of family friends to drive her to and from work every day. Money from the insurance company to fix Jasmine’s bike was delayed with no end in sight.

Finally, after four months, Jasmine’s Employment Specialist, Jennifer Frisby, took matters into her own hands. She accompanied Jasmine to the police station to speak with an officer about the incident. Jennifer spoke to Officer Shaddy, who had investigated the initial collision at the time it was reported. With the help of other employees at the Mount Vernon Police Department, Shaddy was able to acquire a lost and found bike that was suitable for Jasmine’s needs.

A big surprise in store for Jasmine

  • Jasmine and her new bike
The next day, Officer Shaddy and MVPD Volunteers dropped off a beautiful green Schwinn bicycle at Chinook Enterprises for Jasmine. As a surprise, Jennifer delivered the bicycle to Jasmine at work.

Jill Rohrs, owner of Skagit’s Best Salsa described the moment Jasmine first laid eyes on her new green Schwinn bike, “She was ecstatic! She rode around the parking lot for fifteen minutes with one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen. It is a beautiful bike.”

“It’s one of those great moments. One I hope to always remember,” said Frisby.

 

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