Woman with bicycle wheels

Doreen Y. grew up in Berkeley in the 60's. Her parents didn't own a car so she biked everywhere from the age of six. She didn't buy her first car until she was a college senior. While attending El Cerrito High School her guidance counselor, referring to her Asian heritage, told her “Your kind don't go to Ivy league schools.”

So she went to Cornell on a full scholarship, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, then NC State University for a master's degree in biomathematics, then Duke University for a master's degree in computer science with a minor in electrical engineering.

Back in California and working as a software developer, she wanted to do a benefit ride for the American Diabetes foundation. She went looking for a used road bike at the Cupertino Bike swap and met Jack Miller. Through him she found the Bike Exchange, and began volunteering in 2003. She likes to assist with inventory so she can learn about the parts’ names and uses.

Asked what she likes about the Bike Exchange, she says she enjoys the people who volunteer there, and the great equipment available. She likes the satisfaction gained by seeing visible progress and the completed job. She also likes that the bikes are a gift that cannot be misdirected: "Every bike here gets put into the hands of someone who will use it."

Doreen is a strong proponent of green energy. She bikes to work, for health, and for pleasure to the tune of over 3,000 miles per year. Asked for her bucket list, she mentioned that she learned to sail when she was a kid, and would like to own a sailboat some day!

Learn more about the superstars who keep SVBE rolling through our previous featured volunteer spotlights!