SUU to Everywhere

Dannielle Larkin ('16)

Dannielle Larkin ('16)
SUU to Community Leader

Originally published on April 22, 2020.

Dannielle Harris Larkin enthusiastically credits SUU for helping prepare her to serve as one of St. George City’s newest council members.

“Studying sociology and anthropology, you learn so much about culture and community and the way we interact with each other as humans,” Dannielle states. “St. George is growing fast and we need to have community as our focus.”

Dannielle had a great experience at SUU and points to her experiential learning project, The Bicycle Collective, as the most rewarding aspect of her SUU experience.

The Bicycle Collective came to fruition while Danielle was volunteering at the St. George Community Soup Kitchen. While serving lasagna for lunch one day, she noticed many of people who came to the kitchen rode a bike while others walked. She began thinking about how her own love of biking and that could translate into helping soup kitchen patrons get a bike and then receive the needed support and assistance to maintain their wheels of transportation.

She soon met with soup kitchen directors and board to pitch her idea, and they loved it. The wheels were then in motion and Dannielle began gathering used bikes from local riders and shops, as well as donations of tubes, tires, lights, helmets, cables, and anything else the local biking community was able to donate. Her mechanically minded friends even volunteered to share their skills and knowledge of bicycle repair. The response was great, and soup kitchen patrons were very appreciative of the help and the community’s acknowledgement of their dependence on bicycles as their primary source of transportation.

When Dannielle finished her experiential learning project, she called the director of Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective and asked if he would like him to create a full-time collective in southern Utah that would mimic the Salt Lake operation where people can buy bikes, earn bikes, learn to be mechanics, build community relationships, and give back to those who are less fortunate. His answer was “yes” and the group recently met to “wrench” (work on bikes) and committed themselves to the cause, shared new vibrant ideas for building the bike sharing community, and built new community friendships.

“I am ecstatic about the future of the bicycling community in St. George,” she says. “I owe my commitment to making positive change happen to the opportunity given to me through SUU to participate in an experiential learning project.”

Dannielle resides in St. George, Utah, with husband Darrin and their four children, one of whom attends SUU. She enjoys hiking, reading, listening to educational podcasts, and, of course, biking.