About Us

About Youth En Route

Look at any bike rack at a High School on a sunny day. Chances are you won’t find many bikes. For many youth, bikes were fun in elementary school, but usage as a mode of transportation decreases with age.

Why? It’s more difficult than you might think. Many schools have bike racks that aren’t secure. Student’s don’t have strong U-Locks and are worried about theft. Students who only see Calgary from the seat of a car don’t know the safest routes or the rules for biking. At one of our schools, 11 per cent of students told us they’d never ridden a bike.

This is why Youth En Route was created in 2021. We want youth to have a green, healthy choice to get to school. Our programming and projects empower youth to be able to make this choice.


Youth en Route champions, inspires and supports active transportation to school and beyond. 


Youth are empowered to use active and independent ways to get where they are going. 


We are committed to: 

Valuing the opinions of others, especially youth 

Using equity as a lens to drive our work to communities traditionally not well-served 

Modelling anti-racism practices. We recognize that racism is systemic, and we are committed to eliminating racism in all forms

Acting responsibly toward the communities in which we work and for the benefit of the communities that we serve

We take pride in building positive and beneficial relationships between schools/communities and the key civic/provincial resources. We value opportunities to work with partners to make a collective impact or make resources go further.   

What we are doing

We are working to develop sustainable active transportation culture and infrastructure so in the future, youth prefer using active transportation to get where they want to go.  Reducing dependence on cars, and using active modes, is good for our planet, student health, mental health and air quality. It fosters independence, inclusion and equity and connects students to their communities. It’s fun, too.   

Our goals:

  1. More students riding or using active transportation to get to school 
  2. Identify and advocate for safe, calm (preferable 5A) routes to school for most students 
  3. Build school culture and community around active transportation to sustain  
  4. Engage community members in active transportation and help them support infrastructure improvements 

About our Organization

Incorporated on May 11, 2021 as 13008037 Canada Association. It was registered in Alberta on May 19, 2021 with corporate Access no. 5324493048. We became a registered Charity on July 21, 2022 with CRA business number 758178461RR0001. You can easily make a donation to support our work on our Canada Helps Page.

Staff and Directors

Laura Shutiak
Executive Director

Laura has a BA in Journalism and Communications, and has had many different careers – college teacher, communicator, journalist, sporting goods guru and public education advocate. One constant has been her connection to and support of public education. She’s been on 10 school councils in two provinces. She recognized the simple freedom of getting on a bike to get places is not available to many kids in our city. Which makes it even more frustrating that teens, like her children,  that have the opportunity and tools, don’t because it’s somehow uncool. Covid provided the push to get her vision of a new non-profit into reality.

Shiv Ruparell

A proud albeit often expatriated Calgarian, Shiv is a public and economic policy professional who has worked for both the private and public sectors in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and France. He is a passionate believer in the ’15-minute city’ and an advocate for sustainable urban mobility, including as Policy Coordinator & Strategic Lead for Bike Calgary and through various civic election campaigns. Shiv holds a BA in International Studies and Economics from Vassar College and the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po); he is bilingual in French and English.

Michelle Mueller
Executive Committee

Is a communicator and public engagement specialist. Much of her work focuses on developing integrated public programs that drive health, safety and environmental behaviour change. She’s likely to be seen around Calgary or in the mountains grinning happily as she explores roads, pathways and single track on her mountain or fat bike.

Larry Leach

A long time parent advocate, volunteer and community association board member, Larry brings a strong safety and community building perspective to our board. He’s currently the Executive Director of 12 Community Safety Initiative (https://12csi.ca/) that does great work in communities east of Deerfoot Trail. He’s also Past President of the Crossroads Community Association, Board Chair of Cornerstone Youth Centre and board member at Phoenix Education Foundation.

Chris Saunders
Executive Committee

Chris is a retired accountant with more than 40 years of varied financial experience. While working he was an active transportation commuter (biking and walking), now in retirement he is a keen bike rider on Calgary’s many pathways. A lifelong believer in the value of cycling and walking, he is keen to see active transportation adopted by many more of Calgary’s youth. Chris is also a director and treasurer of a significant Calgary-based environmental charity.

Kimberley Nelson
Executive Committee

Kimberley has been on the Vélo Canada Bikes board of directors since 2014. She is the former president and an active volunteer of Bike Calgary, and a founding member for Bicycle Bells, Vision Zero Calgary and  Calgarians For Transportation Choice. She has also contributed to CARSP, Walk21 and was on the Government of Canada National Vulnerable Road User working group. Kimberley first fell in love with biking when commuting 11km to high school.

Dimitri Giannouolis

Dimitri loves Youth En Route because it merges four of his favourite things: biking, volunteering, urban geography, and biking! He works as a municipal planner, but has previously worked in the realms of mainstreet vibrancy and bike-share systems.

Ivan Osorio-Avila

Born in Mexico and having lived in New York and Canada, Ivan holds a BA in Industrial Design from Mexico City’s UAM, partial studies in Product and Furniture Design at the Centre for Design, Television and Film in Mexico and a Master’s in Planning from the U of C.He has been involved in social entrepreneurship, social innovation, planning and sustainable tourism projects. He has collaborated in different roles with Start Alberta, the Downtown Ambassador Program, the International Avenue BRZ and the 12 Community Safety Initiative, as well as the Victoria Park BRZ. He is currently an urban and regional planner at Township Planning + Design in Calgary, Alberta and enjoys climbing, hiking and biking in Southern Alberta and wherever he can travel to.

Timothy Schaefer
Tim is a lifelong cyclist and an advocate for creating safe and secure places for kids and their bikes. Tim strongly values the physical and mental well-being that biking offers, especially the independence it provides for youth.
In 2022, as a parent member of the Riverside School Council, Tim led the school’s bike committee in upgrading their pair of wheel-bender racks to the YER design. Tim also leads his community association’s Mobility Committee that engages with the city to create safe infrastructure for active mobility.
Tim is an engineer and economist by training and has worked in Supply Chain and Strategic Sourcing for over 25 years in the fields of high-tech, aviation, and medical labs. He is also a husband and a parent to a wonderful family of bicyclists.
You can find him on Twitter @tinybeaches. 
Rob Cooks
Cyclist in Residence
Rob is a life-long cyclist, adventurer and promoter of active living. Growing up in a large family with parents working in health care, he learned the value of well-being, respect for others and taking initiative.
Rob’s cycling exploits include a cross-Canada bike tour following university, taking on big climbs such as Monte Grappa (Italy) and Haleakala (Maui) and long day rides such as the Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff.  He volunteers in the cycling community as a community representative for Bike Calgary and as a ride leader/Ambassador with the Bow Cyclist club. Early in his career Rob worked in the workplace wellness field and more recently has supported initiatives like ActiveCity (MRU/Calgary Economic Development).
Rob is an organizational consultant with extensive experience in leadership development, team facilitation, training delivery and coaching, frequently working with not for profit and education sector clients. He enjoys the challenge of new initiatives that challenge the status quo and related innovation work. Rob is married to Faye, very proud of his two adult daughters Erin and Rachel and enjoys regular walks with his dog Mia.
Rob Crooks Consulting
Stuart Saavedra
Cyclist in Residence

Stuart is a Forest Lawn High School graduate alumni, born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. He is currently studying to become a teacher at SAIT. Not only is Stuart an an avid vintage bike rider, he loves to partake in races with them and is an excellent bike mechanic too! In his free time when he is not riding, he enjoys to rock climb and volunteer his time with youth in the city, from doing tours in downtown to after school programs. As a bonus, Stuart is MHFA certified and is fluent both in English and Spanish. 

John Bolton
Cyclist in Residence

John has been riding his bike most of his life, originally in Sarnia in Southwestern Ontario, but he really got the bug more than 30 years ago while living in Cornwall in Eastern Ontario.

While living in Cornwall, John could be found riding the roads and trails and being a cycling advocate. He started a cycling organization called Gateway Riders, he visited schools to talk about cycling safety, fixed up old bikes to distribute for free, taught mountain biking and created a 250 acre mountain bike area. Eleven years ago John, along with his wife Sheila and their 3 cats, moved to Calgary. He has spent his time exploring the bike path network in the city and riding all the roads, hills and mountains in Western Canada. 

John was a radio broadcaster for more than 35 years. Originally a disc jockey, John spent many years hosting a talk oriented program, speaking with local, provincial and federal politicians, entertainment figures and notable people from around the world. He enjoys meeting and talking to people and likes to spread his love of cycling.

Our Partners

It takes a village.


We are looking for groups to partner with. Let’s work together on shared infrastructure, ideas, and equipment – to make all of our funds go further, and get more kids out of cars and using independent, active, and green transportation.

Financial Statements

In order for us to be as transparent and accountable as possible. You can now view our financial statements from previous years!

Video Reports from Us to You