You may have seen her smiling face at Sunday Streets, on-street service stations or at community health fairs. Since summer’s started, Natasha has been the face of the SF Bicycle Coalition as our Membership Outreach Intern at events across the city. We caught up with her to find out why she got involved, and just what she’s learned after talking to hundreds of San Franciscans about biking.
SF Bicycle Coalition: You’ve been interning with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition for the past month. What motivated you to apply for an internship?
Natasha: I have been biking all over San Francisco for the past eight years and have seen the SF Bicycle Coalition’s efforts to make San Francisco a safer place to bike through outreach and public policy initiatives. I am an Urban Studies and Planning student at San Francisco State University, so when it came time to apply for internships, the SF Bicycle Coalition was an obvious choice. Their relentless efforts have made San Francisco a safer and more enjoyable place to ride.
What has been your favorite internship moment so far?
I love being able to see the inner workings of such an amazing organization. It is so interesting to see such a small and directed team move mountains as far as bike awareness goes. I also have so much respect now for the number of people that take time out of their busy schedules to volunteer at events all over the city. It is so impressive how many people from our community come out to help.
You’re volunteering as a Bicycle Ambassador at outreach events all over town. What’s the best part about volunteering as a Bicycle Ambassador?
As the Membership Intern, I get to partake in many outreach activities throughout the city and meet all sorts of people. I love when people come up to our table and tell me stories of their experiences biking in San Francisco. Most of the stories are positive, but even the negative ones allow me to engage with people on a common topic. It’s amazing, and helps me gain a better perspective on the state of biking in San Francisco and just how many different people from different ages and backgrounds are in this city.
What do you do when you’re not donating your time to the SF Bicycle Coalition?
I have many different part-time jobs that take me all over the city. I love getting to know various neighborhoods in a more intimate way, so I have an excuse to eat and drink at all the various watering holes those neighborhoods have to offer. When I’m not working, I can be found on my deck or in a park trying to get better at crosswords (my current goal is to be able to complete a Thursday crossword), eating tacos, or playing bingo.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a Bicycle Ambassador?
Just do it! It is awesome to be a part of an organization that helps so many people. This answer may be cheesy, but the network of people in the SF Bicycle Coalition make each event an amazing place to connect with other San Franciscans who bike. It’s a great way to meet people and achieve our goals for making SF more bikeable.
Want to become a Bicycle Ambassador like Natasha and help us do outreach about our great campaigns? Join us July 21 for our summer Bicycle Ambassador training to get started, or visit sfbike.org/volunteer to see all our great upcoming opportunities.