About Youth En Route

Mission

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

Vision

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

Values

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 Name

Youth En Route came about after talking with high school students at both EP Scarlett and Lester B Pearson. Board member Rizalyn Reyes went through a focus group exercise and the student landed on the name unanimously. It captures a broad age group, and the all modes of active transportation.

About our Logo:

We have a placeholder until we can start our work in schools in September. We expect to work with youth, and connect with young artists and designers to build our brand.

Incorporated on May 11, 2021 as 13008037 Canada Association.
Corporation number 1300803-7

It was registered in Alberta on May 19, 2021 with corporate Access no. 5324493048.

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
Chair

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.

Rizalyn (Reese) Reyes
Executive Committee

Reese is a friend-maker, communicator, advocate and volunteer. Professionally, she has more than 20 years of experience in media, non-profits and corporate communications, and is the incoming Vice-President of IABC/Calgary. Personally, she volunteers nearly 200 hours a year with local organizations that serve the community.

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
Director

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.

Lindsay Bliek
Director

Lindsay, B.Sc. (McGill), B.Ed. (UBC) is an educator and parent. Her experience ranges from formal (classroom-based) to informal (museum-based) education, teaching preschoolers to adult-aged students and every age in between; working as an active transportation advocate, including helping to implement the Active and Safe Routes to School Program at elementary schools in Calgary, Alberta; and, owner/chief content creator at the family cycling blog, This Mom Bikes. She is passionate about getting kids active and independent within their communities, as well as advocating for their safety and infrastructure needs. In her spare time, she likes to travel by bike with her young family, in the Rocky Mountains, BC, and beyond.

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
Director

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
Director

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.

Doug Clark
Director

A recently retired geophysicist, Doug practiced year-round commuting via active transportation for over 30 years (biking, public transport, and walking). - most recently strongly advocating for bike commuting for those working in the downtown core. Doug has been active with many Bike Calgary initiatives in the past while. When the bike to school pilot project at Dr. EP Scarlett started, he jumped on an organizing committee and provide a ton of support – from setting-up bike racks, identifying infrastructure improvements, to assisting with route finding. A life-long avid cyclist, Doug can be found on the pathways, trails, and roads around Southern Alberta and beyond.

Our Partners

It takes a village.

C-Can Store:
Because secure bike storage is so important for students.

Markanic Towing:
Mark and his crew have helped us deliver bike racks all over the city.

HLC:
This bike equipment supplier works with the biggest brands in biking. They supported our Pilot Project right out of the gate, with over $3,000 worth of equipment to encourage riding!

Velo Canada Bikes:
The umbrella group that connects cycling advocates across the country. Recently working on the national Pedal Poll.

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.