Traverse City Youth Leadership Council




At Norte!, we believe young people are to be seen, heard, and valued by their community. We believe in their abilities to take action and contribute to make their neighborhoods safer and healthier places to live. Norte! is committed to not just being youth-centric, but youth-driven too. El Liderato empowers young people to stand up, speak up, get involved and do good in their community.

Our Youth Leadership Council is made up of a small group of awesome young men and women aged 13 – 18 who are dedicated to helping Norte! advocate for a stronger, better connected and more walk/bike friendly Traverse City.

El Liderato members commit to a one year term and are eager to learn the ins and outs of advocacy to bring about the needed change for safer streets for all. They attend either a 1 hour meeting or a 1 hour volunteer event per month.

Alex Schwartz :: East Middle :: President

Alex is a third generation Traverse City resident who believes having a say in your community is important. He loves to bike and ski race and in his free time reads and does puzzles. Alex has two younger brothers and has been a part of Norte! for three years and counting.

Gwen Urbain :: East Middle :: Vice President

Gwen Urbain is 13 years old, loves Super Woman and attends 8th grade at East Middle School.  She enjoys reading, running cross country, and cross country skiing.  She has one big brother, and one little sister.  Her nickname is Gweniggans.

 William Haapala :: East Middle :: Treasurer

William is a 8th grade honors student at East Middle School.  One of William’s favorite activities is biking … he has been on a bike since he was 3 years old.  He bikes to the bus stop year round and enjoys many of Traverse City’s local bike races.  When William isn’t biking, he can likely be found boating, skiing or camping.

 Will Unger :: East Middle :: Secretary

Will Unger has been riding with Norte for about 3 years.  He rode as a counselor for the Bike Más camp during this summer, where he enjoyed seeing the young campers develop more confidence on their bikes.  Will began as a camper at his elementary school, built his own confidence and knowledge, and now he gets to be a counselor!  Will races for the Varsity Mountain Bike Team.  The best part about the Varsity race team is getting faster and the snacks. His hobbies are biking and film making.  When he grows up he wants to be a professional cinematographer.

Drew Humphrey :: East Middle :: Director of Communications

Drew loves to bike, ski race, and play tennis. He also loves to skimboard and longboard with friends. He is very passionate about mountain biking.  He is really excited to do the full iceman this year and to be a part of the Norte leadership council.

Grady Luyt :: Woodland representative

Grady is 13 and an 8th grader at Woodland School. He is on the race team for sailing, the Norte
varsity team, and an independent VEX robotics team. He likes to build and modify things. His
favorite book is The Martian. He is doing Liderato because he likes to have a say and it is a
good experience.

 Julian Hilt :: West Senior High representative

Julian Hilt is a 9th grader at West Senior High, and he likes riding bikes. For him, Norte provides a great chance to get out on his bike and go as fast as he possibly can, while having fun with friends at the same time.  Some of his other hobbies include running track, building models, and goofing off with friends.

Carter Schmidt :: East Middle representative

Carter Schmidt is an 8th grader at East Middle School. Carter was born in Tucson, Arizona and moved to Traverse City when he was two years old. When’s he’s not riding his bike, you can find Carter at the library or slinging buckets at Carter’s Compost.

Kyle Naparela :: Central High School representative

Kyle Naperala is a Freshman at Traverse City Central. Among singing, guitar, filming, composing, skiing, and performing, biking is one of his favorite hobbies. He uses his bike for getting around town and riding the VASA single track. He enjoys volunteering for Norte! whenever he can and wants to make Traverse City more bike friendly by being a member of El Liderato.

 Kyan Olshove :: Grand Traverse Academy representative


Kyan is 15 years old and lives with his parents and 12 year sister, Britta. He is a freshman at Grand Traverse Academy.  Kyan is passionate about mountain biking and playing his keyboard. He likes to go off jumps (bike, ski, snowmobile, etc) and he has a need for speed! Kyan did his first mountain bike race in 2013 at
Conquer the Village where he first was invited to be part of Norte. Since that time, he has raced Iceman Cometh, Mud Sweat & Beers, Grit & Gravel, and Ore to Shore.

Nate Madion :: East Middle representative

Nate is an eighth grader at East middle school. He loves spending time mountain and road biking, along with many other sports including football, lacrosse, wrestling, and skiing. He plays in the middle school symphony band, loves reading, and loves fixing things. He lives on East bay with his parents, three sisters, and his dog, Bandit.

Drew Cummins :: East Middle representative

Drew Cummins is an 8th-grade honors student at East Middle School. Drew loves biking and has been biking since the age of four. He loves to race and have fun out on the bike trails. Drew also loves to program computers using JavaScript, C++, or Python. When he isn’t doing that, he sails for the High School team and skis.

Colin Miller :: East Middle representative

Charlie Black :: East Middle :: Liderato Prospect

Charlie Black is a thirteen year old attending the 8th grade at Traverse City East Middle School.  Charlie likes vintage Schwinn bikes, and currently has three of them!  He found each bike cheap and in disrepair.  Charlie fixes up these old, neglected bikes, and regularly rides them around town.  He also enjoys spending time with his family, mountain biking, boating, playing drums in his band, The Sharp Edges, and downhill ski racing.

Max Werner :: Central High representative

Max Werner is a freshman at Central High School. Besides both road and mountain biking Max enjoys skiing and playing soccer in his free time. In 2013, he started a Carter’s Compost franchise in central neighborhood and has been doing it year round ever since. Max joined Norte almost as soon as it started and wants to make TC more bike friendly by being on El Liderato.

Evan Coulter :: East Middle :: Liderato prospect

Evan Coulter is a student in 8th grade at East Middle School. If you ever need to find him, he’ll most likely be at the VASA trailhead. He loves building and riding bike jumps. Some of his favorite things besides mountain biking are skiing, traveling, and working in the garage.

Interested in getting involved?

We are now accepting applications from students at West Middle School, St. Elizabeth’s Ann Seton and St. Francis.