There are smiles out there that are so contagious it's almost impossible not to smile when caught in their line of sight. One of our super volunteers, Justine radiates more than just her smile but also her passion for CicLAvia and her love of her community.
Meet Justine Saquilayan Carleton, one of our Super Volunteers! We met her in the summer of 2015 for the first Culver meets Venice route. She and her husband Timothy came in to the office to help us with Data Entry. She's been with us every step of the way since.
We're very happy to highlight this wonderful volunteer angel for this month's volunteer spotlight!
Name, Age & Occupation
Justine Saquilayan Carleton, 26, Marketing and Communications at Loyola Marymount University
Favorite place to hang out in Los Angeles County
I have to go with Santa Monica. I’m originally from Arizona, so I’m still in awe when I see the waves of the ocean up close. Plus, I love cruising up and down the Marvin Braude Bike Trail on a sunny weekend morning.
Preferred method of non-motorized transportation
My big, yellow, beach cruiser!
Favorite CicLAvia Route and why?
Definitely the Heart of LA. There is so much culture and history across all the neighborhoods along this route - it’s easy to miss it all when you’re just driving through. It’s so freeing to breeze through the towering skyscrapers of Downtown LA without cars on the road. Bonus points for being my introduction to CicLAvia!
What has surprised you the most about volunteering with CicLAvia?
I feel so fortunate to have met so many dedicated and passionate volunteers and staff over the past few years. CicLAvia means a lot to them, and it means a lot to the thousands of people who come to our open-streets events each year. I am always surprised to see the diversity of everyone who participates in CicLAvia – it’s a reminder that we have the unique opportunity to strengthen communities by bringing together people of all ages and all backgrounds.
Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to volunteer with CicLAvia?
My husband, Tim, is my biggest supporter and motivator. He helped me take the next step from thinking about volunteering to actually following through. He is also a frequent CicLAvia volunteer, and, even though we may have different tasks, we get to share our experiences and excitement for community engagement and open-streets. It makes it all the more worthwhile for me.
Also, I need to give a shout-out to the incredible Henny Alamillo. She treats all the volunteers so well, and she makes you feel right at home. Thanks, Henny!
What's your personal philosophy on why open-streets are so important.
The streets belong to all of us, and, as a collective community, it’s our responsibility to make them as accessible as possible. By supporting open-street events like CicLAvia, we open the door for people from all walks of life to explore and enjoy the cities we live in.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering for CicLAvia?
I love CicLAvia, and choosing to volunteer was one of the best decisions I’ve made. You’ll meet great people, you’ll see new places, you’ll laugh a lot (everyone is the best), and you’ll make a real difference in your community. If you need a friend to volunteer with you, let me know – I’m always up for it!