When Matthew Jennings is not working on schoolwork or volunteering, he is skiing, mountain biking, playing basketball, reading science fiction books or creating art. Photo by jana bounds

59716 Volunteer: A passion to share the joy of biking

Matthew Jennings looks forward to making is mark in NICA, both with competing and volunteering

Matthew Jennings stays busy between school, skiing with Big Sky Ski Education Foundation in the winter and mountain biking with Montana NICA. He reads science fiction when he has a chance and likes to create art. 

He also sees the importance of creating community – even at 13 years old. 

“People think we are in this little bubble where we can do whatever we want. If you volunteer to help a cause in our community it puts out the message that there are people who do care in our little bubble – who help people in our community and even outside of it,” he said. 

His parents got him involved with volunteering early. 

“They told me, ‘Oh, why don’t you help us out with this?’ [Volunteer efforts started] from that, having fun and helping people was fun – it makes me feel good,” he said. 

He is multifaceted, as many Big Sky kids are, but where some might wonder what they really care about – he knows. 

“I’d love to do more things for our Montana NICA bike league that we started this year – things like take down, set ups, getting people together for the start. From that to the Big Sky Biggie, I’d love to do a bunch of biking volunteering this next year and in the future – as much as I can,” he said. 

He wants volunteering to not just be something he does as a kid, but a lifestyle choice – a way to give-back and have fun. Right now, though, he feels a bit limited by his youth. 

“I think I will volunteer when I get older – definitely more often but also to more things I can apply myself to that at this age I can’t,” he explained. 

His love of mountain biking is something he does throughout the year, even in the winter with fat biking. 

“I feel like if I can help other adults and children who are passionate about [biking], it will just make me feel accomplished,” he said.

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