2019 KC Regional Safe Routes to School Presenters

Jen De Melo

Director of Programs and Operations

Jen De Melo has been committed to prioritizing play and serving the kids who need it most since 2005. KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all kids get a childhood filled with the balanced and active play needed to thrive. Jen has worked on over 150 playground projects across North America and Mexico and oversees the Play Everywhere Program, Build it Yourself Grant Program, and other Special Programs at KaBOOM!. In her current role, Jen works with innovative and inclusive playspace designs and leads efforts to integrate these into cities and communities around the country. Additionally, Jen and her team work directly with communities and designers on developing innovative play ideas such as Play Everywhere, which brings play to everyday, unexpected places, including bus stops, sidewalks, grocery stores, and laundromats.   Jen has a laser focus on equity, infrastructure and community and is focused on using play as a driving catalyst. Prior to joining KaBOOM!, Jen worked at the Boys and Girls Club in her hometown of Redwood City, CA after graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she obtained a degree in Cultural Anthropology.

Areiona King

Safe Routes to School Wyandotte County Coordinator

Areiona is a KCK native with many hats. Before becoming the Coordinator for Safe Routes to School Wyandotte County, she joined the team while serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the WYCO Health Dept. When she’s not walking with students along the Walking School Bus, she’s guaranteed to have a camera (often simultaneously). Freelance photography allows Areiona to highlight small businesses and capture diverse communities all throughout the metro.

Lideana Laboy

City Traffic Engineer
Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas

Lideana is the project manager for the WYCO/KCK Safe Route To School Program. She has a passion for serving the community and strongly believe on building communities that creates opportunities for our young generations. Thus, they grow up in the best environment possible and achieve the higher potential in life.

Michelle Dake

Director, Youth Initiatives
KC Healthy Kids

Michelle creates resources for schools and community organizations to empower students to speak out for healthy schools and communities. As a classroom teacher for 6 years, she is intimately familiar with the challenges facing teachers, students and schools when it comes to promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Michelle oversees the coordination and administration of all aspects of the Champions for Health and Walking detective programs as well as serving as the event chair for the annual youth summit.

Clare Anthony

ELL Teacher
New Stanley Elementary

Clare has worked in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools for 11 years, and has participated in New Stanley's Walking School Bus  for a year. She enjoys getting kids home safely and helping them build relationships outside of school.

Jennifer Spears

PE Teacher
New Stanley Elementary

Jennifer Spears is the physical education instructor at New Stanley Elementary. She became the lead champion for Walking School Bus in 2017.

Michael Kelley

Policy Manager

Michael advocates for safer streets through a combination of activities including community partnerships, policy research, and advocacy campaigns. While his primary focus is in Kansas City, Missouri, Michael’s efforts have included advocacy efforts in Wyandotte County, technical assistance to rural communities near Springfield, as well as collaborative efforts with statewide partnerships in Kansas and Missouri.

Vanessa Crawford Aragón

Community Prevention Coordinator
Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA)

In her position at MOCSA, Vanessa facilitates the agency’s community-level violence prevention efforts, including organizing partners in the implementation of Wyandotte County’s 5-year Community Violence Prevention Plan. Vanessa has more than a decade of experience in policy advocacy, coalition development, and community organizing.

Laura Steele

Director of Education

Laura oversees BikeWalkKC's education team and works to ensure program sustainability through cultivating strong relationships with numerous community organizations, school districts, public health-focused workgroups and others across the Kansas City Metro. She is also involved with our Women Bike KC initiative and coordinates the KC Women's Bike Summit and the Greater KC Safe Routes to School Summit.

Laura is Licensed Cycling Instructor​, 2017 alumni of the Healthy Communities Leadership Academy, frequent bike commuter​, a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and resides with her family of cyclists in Westwood, KS.

Doug Moore

Community Development Manager
Institute for Building Technology and Safety

Doug Moore is the Community Development Manager for the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS).  IBTS is a non-profit organization based in Ashburn, Virginia. IBTS was founded to provide services for the public good, with the aim of benefiting communities, governments and the planet.  Doug brings 25 years of both public and private experience in planning and development. Throughout his career he has coordinated multi-disciplinary teams, volunteers, advisory boards and commissions, and governing councils to develop planning policies and resolve issues. He is able to interpret, communicate and direct complex planning procedures and regulations into understandable terms and examples. Doug has provided effective grant writing and administration skills for organizations such as the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Art Council, and National Safe Routes to School Partnership, and Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.

Doug has also served as the treasurer of the Mayes County HOPE Coalition and was the 2017 Oklahoma Turning Point Council Chair.

Mary-Catherine Graziano

Education and Volunteer Manager
Local Motion

Mary Catherine coordinates all of Local Motion's youth educational programming, as well as significant areas of Local Motion's general educational programming. She ensures that Local Motion's programs are equitable and accessible to all students, which includes prioritizing programming for low-income schools and making sure that Bike Smart provides adaptive equipment to allow all students to participate equally.  

Mary Catherine has a decade and a half of experience working with schools and students on educational programming, and in program marketing and promotion. She earned her BA at McGill University in Environment and Development, and a certificate in Mediation and Conflict Management. Mary Catherine is on the board of Safe Kids Vermont, an injury-prevention-based coalition located in Burlington, VT

Allegra Williams

Livable Streets Program Manager
Local Motion

As a child, Allegra rode to school on the back of her father’s bike, and her own family has continued this tradition with their sons (most recently with our new cargo bike)! She has spent the past decade working in a variety of capacities as an urban planner, educator, and advocate for healthy and sustainable communities. Time spent abroad and living car-free has further fueled her passion for reclaiming streets as public spaces, and for creating greater access to those with limited mobility options. As Livable Streets Manager, she feels fortunate to be able to collaborate with municipalities, schools, and local advocacy groups across the state who want to make their streets safer, and their communities better places to walk and bike. 

Colleen Innis, LPC

Child Behavioral Health Project Coordinator
Swope Health Services

Colleen Innis is a long standing resident of Kansas City, Missouri who graduated from the Kansas City Public Schools, and later went on to pursue a degree in Social Work to help build healthy, viable communities. Colleen was reared in the Ivanhoe neighborhood and succeeded with developing programs for youth and adults of Ivanhoe that promoted healthy living, neighborhood safety & beautification, and entrepreneurship. Colleen recalls the best moments of her childhood were the walks to school and home daily with neighborhood friends. Colleen reports it was a time for her to visit with friends, discuss homework plans to study and enjoying friendly race competitions home. Colleen continues to promote health and wellness through her work as a Licensed Professional Counselor, by practicing and encouraging the use of mindfulness, walking and connecting with others.

Carla Lee, M.Ed.

Patient/Community Education Specialist
Swope Health Services

When human beings experience Trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. Carla is an enthusiastic and passionate person when it comes to Mental Health with extensive experience in this field. She has provided education, lunch and learns, and trainings pertaining to Mental Health, Trauma Informed Care, Suicide Prevention, and the Opioid Crisis within the agency she works for (Swope Health Services) and in the community. She believes in bringing healing through education, counseling, and medication assistance.

She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Missouri Wester State University in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. She has a Master’s Degree from Webster University in Education.

Stefanie Smith


Stefanie Smith is an avid cyclist and board member of Cycling Kansas City and Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation. She has worked with BikeWalkKC to start a bike club at her daughter’s school, Antioch Middle School. She also has a high school daughter who has recently taken up cycling.