Growing Up Boulder is a partnership between the City of Boulder, Boulder Valley School District, and University of Colorado's Community Engagement Design and Research (CEDaR) Center. In addition GUB partners with many youth-serving organizations in Boulder. Click here to learn more about our partners, funders and founders.
Current GUB Team Members
Mara Mintzer, Growing Up Boulder Program Director
Mara Mintzer is a co-founder of Growing Up Boulder, and she presents and writes internationally on the topic of engaging young people in city planning. She loves working within Growing Up Boulder's collaborative structure, whereby children and youth may meaningfully shape their own city. She is inspired daily by seeing the growth in all partners involved: children, youth, city leaders, university students and faculty, and community members. Prior to GUB, Mara was Director of Belle Haven Community School in California, where she oversaw child and family support services families on a low-income school campus. She has designed and implemented a wide variety of programs for underrepresented children, families and neighborhoods in New York and California. Mara received her B.A. in Psychology from Brown University and her M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She speaks Spanish and French and loves to travel and live abroad.
Cathy Hill, Growing Up Boulder Education Coordinator
As Growing Up Boulder's Education Coordinator, Cathy works closely with partners to design and facilitate community engagements that are personally relevant and meaningful. With teachers she uses curriculum integration and community connections as especially powerful tools. She enjoys collaborating with and mentoring children, youth, and GUB interns, where she is constantly inspired by their ideas and ambitions. In 2015, Cathy retired from teaching after 32 years of service, 22 of which were at Whittier International School in Boulder. Cathy is a board member of PassageWorks Institute, a local non-profit that provides teachers a practical approach to teaching and learning that improves social, emotional, and academic outcomes, develops inclusive and respectful learning communities, and fosters a strong sense of meaning, purpose, and motivation in schools. Cathy received her B.S. in Human Development & Family Studies at Colorado State University and her M.Ed in Elementary Education at Lesley College. Her passions include travel, backpacking, snowboarding, and spending summers on Lake Michigan.
Grace Carlin, GUB Capstone MENV Graduate Student
Grace Carlin is a graduate student specializing in Sustainability Planning and Management in the Masters of the Environment (MENV) program at the University of Colorado Boulder. Grace came to the MENV program from a position as an aviculture exhibit interpreter at the San Antonio Zoo, where she facilitated interactions between guests and parrots. This inspired her passion for studying the social aspects of nature, especially through the lens of immersive environmental education opportunities for underprivileged groups. As such, she is thrilled to partner with Growing Up Boulder to engage local youth in participatory planning processes regarding urban design and environmental decision-making. Grace received her B.A. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Urban Studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. In her free time, Grace enjoys hiking, singing, and consuming science fiction media.
Jing Liu, GUB Capstone MENV Graduate Student
Jing Liu is a graduate student in the Master of the Environment program with the specialization in sustainability planning and management at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her interests mainly focus on urban design and planning, community engagement, and youth education. Jing enjoys spending her free time skiing, camping, and stay with her family and friends. She is currently working with Growing Up Boulder to develop bilingual Child-Friendly City Map, compile a Child-Friendly City Toolkit and create a Teen-Friendly City Map. She believes that children and teenagers should have their voices and opinions be considered in the urban planning process since their perspectives are often unique and unbiased. Being a part of GUB members, Jing feels responsible to encourage and empower the young people to be active participants in the communities and raise their social awareness and responsibilities in their early age.
Hunter Meldman, GUB Capstone MENV Graduate Student
Hunter is a graduate student studying Sustainability, Planning, and Management at CU’s Masters of the Environment Program. He comes to GUB with years of professional experience including running a non-profit called Life Pursuits. As director of the organization Hunter is actively engaged in the community to form relationships with local youth agencies in order to support their initiatives. He has worked and volunteered as a lacrosse, soccer, and football coach and believes in the importance of nature and the outdoors playing a vital role in child development.
Oliver Brooks, Intern Summer 2019 & Spring 2020
Oliver is a senior in the Environmental Design program at CU Boulder, with a specialization in urban design and planning studies. His work focuses on designing diverse public spaces in cities through the application of participatory planning and community engagement principles. He is currently interested in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to create narratives for cities through data visualization and spatial modeling techniques. In his spare time, Oliver enjoys local film, music, and theater events as well as exploring nature through hiking and rock climbing. Through the Growing Up Boulder internship, he hopes to develop an understanding of how to provide more effective outcomes for end-users and how to better manage systems that support community engagement.
Max Jongewaard, Intern Summer 2019
Max is an incoming senior in the ENVD program with an emphasis in product design. He is interested in creating sustainable products that are adaptable and therefore accessible to everyone around the world. Max also has a passion for ceramics and has gained first hand experience watching children flourish in a workshop setting through his time with Color Me Mine. By interning with GUB, he is excited to involve otherwise disengaged youth on design projects in the Boulder community.
Alex Haefling, Volunteer Map Designer
Alex is a recent graduate from the ENVD program. He holds a BA in Environmental Design with a focus in Planning. He has used various editing software such as GIS and the Adobe Suite to bring his dreams and ideas to reality throughout all his studies; especially working for Growing Up Boulder. Alex’s interests lie mostly in helping the community whether that be design based or not. He has worked for the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art as an intern to encourage youth to participate and get involved in museums and design. He currently works for the City of Boulder’s Transportation Division, GO Boulder and has continued to hold close ties with the Growing Up Boulder Team and always will! Alex enjoys traveling, being on/in water, New York City, The Rocky Mountains and waking up early! He can adapt to any situation and can sing any song you throw at him. Working with the GUB team has built so many valuable skills for Alex such as time management, critical thinking and immensely productive teamwork sessions. Working intergenerationally is something he hopes to take with him wherever he goes.
Federica Merola, Fall Intern 2019
Federica Merola is a senior in the Environmental Design Program at CU Boulder with an emphasis in Sustainable Planning and a minor in Sociology. She is very interested in community engagement with the goal of attracting people to be involved in their communities, and make them understand the importance and impact they have within their neighborhoods. She believes planning is a creative act, and in order to aim the best design approach, it is important to be fully engaged with the community and its environment.
Tori Civitello, Fall Intern 2019
Tori is a senior in the Environmental Design program at CU Boulder, specializing in landscape architecture and lighting design. She is interested in bringing low impact and efficient lighting techniques into the world of landscape architecture and is passionate about finding a balance between lighting for human use while reducing the impact of outdoor light on wildlife. Outside the office, Tori plays on the CU Boulder Women's Rugby team and enjoys rocking climbing and skiing. She is excited to be interning with Growing Up Boulder because of the unique office/classroom experience and hopes to help further give the children of Boulder a voice within their community.
Stephanie Andersen, Spring Intern 2020
Stephanie is a senior at CU Boulder in the Environmental Design program with an emphasis in Sustainable Planning and Urban Design. She is interested in the community engagement aspect of design and believes that incorporating youth involvement is very important to the planning process. She hopes to work in the urban planning field after graduation as an urban designer and is looking forward to learning more about participatory design to inform her future career. In her free time, she enjoys working with kids as a volunteer teacher in her local community and is excited to get more involved within the Boulder community.
Ayushi Patel, Spring Intern 2020
Ayushi is a senior at CU Boulder in the Environmental Design program with a specialization in Landscape Design. She wants to concentrate on implementing green spaces throughout dense urban centers to allow biological life to flow through cities. Other interests she has include being part of the CU Boulder Taekwondo team and playing board games. She looks forward to interning with Growing Up Boulder and helping the children and families have their ideas produced through the city of Boulder.
Growing Up Boulder is a partnership between the University of Colorado's Community Engagement Design and Research Center (CEDaR),
Boulder Valley School District, and City of Boulder.
Boulder Valley School District, and City of Boulder.
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