Joelle Galatan clocks in about 20 miles a day on her bike. It's an activity she loves, and one she thinks everyone should have the ability to access, especially people with special needs.
"It's so important for kids and people with disabilities to get independence and to be able to explore things by themselves," Galatan said.
Inspired by her younger sister Talia - who is on the Autism spectrum - Galatan wanted to teach children like her sister how to ride a bike.
With hopes of bringing that idea to life, Galatan reached out to "Bike New York", a non-profit she volunteered with that offers hundreds of free riding courses across the city.
Just a year later in 2017, a new set of classes was born - "Learning to Ride on the Spectrum”, a program Galatan now oversees.
"I think we have these misconceptions about what people with disabilities can and cannot do and I really think that people with disabilities, they know themselves what their limitations are. I think it's very important for them to come to class and see what they can do," Galatan said.
All taught by experienced instructors on a traffic-free road, students start off slowly - first without pedals - as they get a feel for the bike and figure out how to glide.
Kids learn at their own speed but often "graduate" after only a few classes.
In just two years of operation, dozens have successfully completed the course, giving them a sense of independence, confidence, and a feeling of empowerment - something parents say they feel, too.
"It's a safe spot for these kids to be able to do it because whether it be a sensory overload or whether it be fear, or confidence, you're in an environment where you can just do your best no matter what," said James Kroll, a father.
And Galatan says what may seem to be a small accomplishment to some, it's one that has big impact on both her and the children she teaches.
"You know, we give them a tool and they take it and really I think the kids, every day, are just awesome and riding for me is a very very important piece of my life and I love giving it to other people," Galatan said.
So, for inspiring confidence and courage while giving these kids a lifelong skill, Joelle Galatan is our New Yorker of the Week.