Cully Youth: Learning and Advocating for Transportation Options

Spring, 2016. In  partnership with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) Nestor Campos, Verde Education Coordinator, taught a  9 week   transportation options curriculum for middle school youth in Hacienda’s After School Program, working with 28 students at three after school program sites in the Cully neighborhood. The transportation options curriculum, funded by Metro’s Regonal Travel Options grant, was developed over 6 months as a collaborative effort between Verde and OMSI. The hands-on curriculum covers active transportation, health and safety, environmental impact, mapping and navigation, Wayfinding, career opportunities, and how to advocate for transportation improvements in your neighborhood. When asked about his inspiration for working with youth, Verde’s Nestor Campos reflects “I always say, don’t miss the opportunity to learn something new, knowledge can be useful at any time or in any  place”.

In the last class, students had the opportunity to meet professionals working in the transportation field, Kyrie Kellet from OMSI, Carolina Iraheta, formerly with the Portland Bureau of Transportation and other transportation professionals talked with students about their careers and what it means to work in the transportation field. At the beginning of the class when asked about possible careers in transportation students mostly talked about being a bus driver, or a taxi driver, by the end of the 9 weeks, they had met diverse professionals working in the transportation field from engineers to urban planners.


Students learned about how to advocate for needed improvements in their neighborhood. As Natalia Sanchez, a 7th grader writes in a letter to the City, “…on 52nd there is a cross-walk that people don’t stop with their cars…I would ask to make a stop light for the cars, so they can stop and respect when people walk “. She and other students learned not only about how to make an a positive impact on the environment with their own transportation choices, but also what it takes to advocate to the City to make needed improvements so everyone can safely walk and bike in their neighborhood.

The curriculum will be adapted in the Fall of 2016 for high school students at NAYA’s Early College Academy and middle school students at Scott School. The classes for youth build on work done over the last 3 years through the Living Cully Walks program, a program also funded by Metro that works with Cully residents to document and address barriers for pedestrian, bike and transit access to parks and open spaces in the neighborhood, and is now launching a Wayfinding system in Cully to help people bike and walk safely to parks in the neighborhood.

To learn more contact Nestor Campos:

Comments for this post are currently closed