299 days left until Canoecopia!     March 13 - 15
Canoecopia is presented by Rutabaga Paddlesports


  Victoria Koch & CAT Youth


Zorbari Nwidor. I am 25 years old, a graduate of Howard University, and am from Chicago by way of Nigeria. I am a kayak and canoe coach through British Canoeing. I have been kayaking for about 10 years. When I am not kayaking, I enjoy rock climbing, traveling, and helping people through my job at Omni Health Clinics and my job as a senior program coordinator for the nonprofit Chicago Adventure Therapy.

Roxy Pelagio. I use they/them pronouns, and I’ve been with Chicago Adventure Therapy since September 2018. I’ve obtained a 1 star award from British Canoeing, and I’m looking forward to obtaining a 3 star award soon. I have experience working on a boat and working at a swimming pool. Those jobs made me realize that I enjoy being by water, because of that one of my goals is to move out of state to keep working in the water sports field.

Anthony Montoya. I am 20 years old and have been kayaking for 4 years. I’m a first generation college student pursuing my political science degree in order to transition into law school. I work as a career coach helping youth who have been incarcerated with their career plans, while being part of Chicago Adventure Therapy, helping to bring opportunities for minorities at all levels. I want to expand more on-the-water activities to communities who haven't had the exposure. I firmly believe that we can make kayaking a more diverse sport by exposing more people of color to it.

Vicky Koch has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from DePaul University and is an ACA level 2 kayaking instructor with guiding experience on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. She has hiked 1,400 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, done adventure travel in over 10 countries, road tripped across the United States, gone on multi-day kayak expeditions, and more. As a second-generation (first US born) Mexican American breaking cultural norm, the outdoors has helped her instill a greater sense of independence, community, and continues to help her grow. By working at Chicago Adventure Therapy, she is able to share some of her experience and passion for the outdoors.


 Chicago Youth Led Programming
Pre-recorded - Sun 3:00pm-4:00pm 

Chicago Adventure Therapy acquired a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Coastal Management Program to have a group of young adults lead a year-long project that includes water safety talks, paddling, extravaganzas, beach clean ups and becoming kayak coaches. These young leaders, people of color, were excited to reach people within communities that aren't usually engaged in water sports or conservation. Everything changed when COVID-19 hit. The restrictions imposed meant the group had to quickly figure out how to make it work without the ability to meet in person - a disappointing and daunting task to push through. This group is excited to share their story about how they are pulling it off, what they have learned along the way, and why their work is important.

Canoecopia is presented by Rutabaga Paddlesports