Charitable Choices: Quinn Mazurkewich of NSTEP

Healthy eating and positive physical education habits are what NSTEP, a local non-profit in Calgary, strives to promote within their community. They educate the youth on the importance of good nutrition and exercise to create a healthy and happy lifestyle. We spoke with their Social Media and Communications Manager Quinn Mazurkewich to learn more.


Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

NSTEP is a registered charity that provides nutrition and physical activity education to children, teachers, caregivers, community agencies, early childhood settings and parents. We are evidence-based in our approach and integrate our programs into all levels of the education system, as well as communities. We focus on creating healthy brains and bodies through nutrition and physical activity to help build healthy habits for life.

What problem does it aim to solve?

We strive to simplify complex messages around nutrition and health for children and adults to help them understand why physical activity and nutrition are so important. NSTEP aims to create a wave of health by teaching small changes that have big, lifelong effects. We work with schools, communities and organizations to empower children and youth to make healthy choices.

When did you start/join it? What made you want to get involved?

NSTEP started over 20 years ago with founder Deb Hymers seeing the need to give the next generations the skills and education to create healthy habits. I joined at the end of 2022 after learning about the amazing work that NSTEP does and seeing an opportunity to continue to promote education and our programs on social media. I am also fortunate to work at NSTEP alongside my sister, who joined in 2019 as a practicum student. Working with the NSTEP team is not only inspiring to see the impact on the youth we work with but also for myself and my habits!

What was the situation like when you started?

NSTEP has worked hard in communities over the years to become the hub that it is today. The impact that NSTEP has had on the lives of those we have worked with is so evident and positive. The entire NSTEP team is made up of so many diverse people and backgrounds and everyone brings a unique set of skills to the table, which makes it a great experience to be a part of!

How has it changed since?

For me personally, I am learning so much, not only in research for social media content but also in seeing the impact NSTEP has on the communities we have worked with. We have been fortunate to collaborate with professionals and organizations on social media, and continue to support, and be supported by, the communities in which we work. NSTEP has some great, long-standing relationships with schools and organizations in Calgary, so we continue to develop our work with them. Every year presents new opportunities for us to provide education and resources to those who need it and we are always excited to build new connections.

What more needs to be done?

There is always more to be learning and teaching when it comes to nutrition and physical literacy, which we love. As research is updated, we continue to update and add to our programs. Not only do we bring programs to schools and communities, but we teach our certificate program to educators, post-secondary students in many faculties, and anyone working with children and youth so they have the ability to bring this knowledge into the lives of the youth
they work with.


How can our readers help?

NSTEP offers a variety of programs, including school, community and adult programs. Everyone can help create positive health changes by reaching out and getting NSTEP involved in your communities. We are always excited to welcome new volunteers, which is a great way to learn more about NSTEP’s mission and give back. If you want to get even more involved, individuals can complete our certificate program to become an advocate for health. As a registered charity we accept donations and we also run a number of fundraisers each year. You can keep up to date with our fundraisers by subscribing to our newsletter, and with donation opportunities on our website. We are further developing our certificate program right now and welcome the opportunity for new connections to bring that program to undergraduate faculties, such as education and social work.

Do you have any events coming up?

We are so fortunate to be a participating charity with Shaw Birdies For Kids presented by Altalink. From now until August 31, 2023, all donations made through Birdies For Kids will be matched up to 50%! This is a wonderful event to be a part of and is a great way for people to make their donations go even further. You can donate and find out
more about the Shaw Charity Classic, which happens from August 16-20, 2023 here in Calgary.

Where can we follow you?

Keep up to date with our programs and events on our website. Read our blog and subscribe to our newsletter here. Also, you can follow us on Instagram.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

We love Fresh Routes, a local non-profit that helps get healthy and affordable food to the Calgary and Edmonton areas for people who need it most. Their mission is to ensure everyone has access to nutritious food so that they can live a healthy life! NSTEP has worked with Fresh Routes to provide education resources to accompany Fresh Routes pop-up markets.



About Sabrina Greggain-Lord 15 Articles
My name is Sabrina Greggain-Lord, I live in Montreal and I am a Community Outreach worker for the Guardian. I am passionate about writing and bringing recognition to those doing wonderful work within their communities.