Collard de Beaufort
STUDENT - SPEAKER - ACTIVIST
WHO I AM
I am a full time student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, studying Civil Engineering with a concentration in Environmental Engineering, and taking extra classes in the field of public policy and international relations. I am involved on- and off- campus through various clubs, sports teams, and community service, and with the school administration. In my free time, I catch up on local and global news, paint, and figure skate.
Outside of school-related activities, I am a traffic safety activist - in 2014, I founded the Vision Zero Youth Council (VZYC), a student-run organization that leads middle and high school students in working with local schools, elected officials, and organizations in advocating and fighting for safer streets.
Under my lead, the Vision Zero Youth Council held monthly meetings to educate our members on traffic safety and how we could work together to not only raise awareness for the issue but also promote safer practices - for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians alike - and encourage stronger traffic laws. Over the summer of 2019, I passed on leadership of the VZYC to two high school traffic safety activists, who now have creative control over the Council and hold their own meetings and events regularly. However, I continue to oversee the VZYC, and have helped create international chapters and partnerships. We can now also be found in Rwanda, India, and Mexico!
Through my work with the VZYC, I have had multiple incredible opportunities to travel across the world to share my experiences and learn from other activists like myself. To highlight these voyages, I attended the 2nd World Youth Assembly and the 3rd Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, Sweden this past February as a Youth Representative for the United States.
Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities
3rd United Nations Ministerial Conference on Road Safety
2nd World Youth Assembly on Road Safety
The Vision Zero Youth Council is a student-run organization based out of New York City that engages middle and high school students in working with local schools, elected officials, and other organizations in advocating and fighting for safer streets. I founded the Council in 2014 and led it until the summer of 2019, when I passed the torch to new activists.
During my Sophomore year of high school, I led a team of four to create a now-patented smartwatch app that alerts a pedestrian user if it detects cars moving towards them at unsafe speeds. As a National Winner, it won $120,000 for our school, and was featured on TV and in national media such as the Wall Street Journal.
I was a member of the NSBE Jr. Chapter at Brooklyn Technical High School, and was a part of the Chapter's executive board all four years. I held the positions of Publications Chair, Parliamentarian, Vice President, and Treasurer. I also participated in the National Try-Math-a-Lon competition, leading my team to a first-place victory at the 2018 National Convention.
In March of 2019, I traveled to Louisville, KY to speak at the annual Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities. I spoke on a panel of youth activists and shared my story, the lessons I have learned as a youth activist and as the founder and leader of the Vision Zero Youth Council, and my advice for those looking to work with youth.