Council members are from regions all across Canada, and reflect a range of educational, employment and life experiences. They serve on the Council in addition to maintaining their school, work and family commitments.
Cohort 5 – July 2021 to July 2023
Raised in Markham, Ontario, Haleema is an incoming Biomedical Sciences student at York University. Graduating as the valedictorian from Middlefield Collegiate Institute, Haleema served as the President of the Muslim Student Association and as a Prefect. As a freelance writer and SciSection journalist, she has published her thoughts on high school education, Islamophobia, and social justice for the Toronto Star, Markham Economist & Sun, and MYVoice Canada. She believes for youth to fuel change, they must speak on platforms dominated by adults and she now engages with Accountability in Action to assist students in doing this. Haleema’s values are crafted by her volunteer work with local hospitals, non-profits, and masjids where she feels most at home.
Marianne graduated in theatre with a minor in history from the University of Ottawa. From Fredericton, New Brunswick, she is a proud Acadian who is always ready to be the voice of francophone people outside Quebec and in all circumstances. Marianne is not afraid to express her opinions; in fact, she has represented the students of her theatre department to various organizations within her university and, when she was younger, she participated in several presentations to raise awareness of LGBTQ2S+ issues at her school. Marianne is passionate about culture and the environment. She hosted a program on these topics for a summer on Fredericton Community Radio. She is also interested in Canadian politics and the parliamentary system. She participated in 6 parliamentary simulations for which she wrote bills on the financing of the arts and on the reduction of the ecological footprint in Acadia. During these parliamentary simulations, Marianne strove to be a mentor to the younger participants and to encourage them to speak in public and express their opinions.
Abhinav Dhillon is from Edmonton, Alberta. He currently attends the University of Alberta, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. Abhinav is a technology hobbyist and is always looking for ways to mesh his community pursuits with his technical interests to further benefit his community. As a student researcher, Abhinav uses his computational skills to develop applications for remote-based data collection for ongoing research on Trigeminal Neuralgia and Parkinson’s disease. To extend his passion for science and technology to high school students, Abhinav serves as a director for the Team Up Science Interdisciplinary Science Competition. As a strong proponent of data science, he aims to equip youth with technical skills that are essential in our increasingly data-driven society. Abhinav also serves as a leader on numerous initiatives focusing on youth mental health and well-being with the City of Edmonton Youth Council and the non-profit mental-health organization, OwlPod.
Born and raised in British Columbia, David is passionate about making Canada more inclusive and equitable for all. In 2017, he founded a global initiative that transforms youth into changemakers through stories and mentorship. Since then, David has led numerous community projects, including human libraries, conferences, and town halls. As a part of Junior Team Canada, he served as a delegate at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation to advocate for inclusive pandemic recovery policies. Having gone through a series of personal transformations, David believes that change comes from within. He has proudly shared his story through 3 TEDx talks, hoping to inspire others to stand up for themselves and their community. Today, David is currently studying at Pearson College UWC alongside students of over 150 nationalities to develop a more peaceful and sustainable world. In his free time, David enjoys hiking, canoeing, and is an avid DJ of music from all cultures.
Maël lives in Montréal, Québec. From a very young age, he distinguished himself as a versatile individual with strong leadership skills. He has been helping people from different backgrounds to acquire skills; including teenagers learning lifesaving, lifeguarding and leadership, recent immigrants seeking professional development to find employment in Canada, and inmates preparing to reintegrate into society. He has been volunteering with the YMCA for many years, being part of the original youth strategy committee, which is a group of employees and volunteers within the YMCA working to ensure that young people have a voice and an impact in the organization. Maël has also been working with the Lifesaving Society and the Heart & Stroke Foundation to help develop and ensure the quality of the programs, as well as the information shared with the public, in an effort to improve public safety and health.
Ira Mamis was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada in 2005. She currently lives in the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and The Ta'an Kwäch'än in Whitehorse, Yukon. Ira is pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work Degree with the University of Regina and a Diploma in Northern Justice and Criminology through Yukon University. She is passionate about the newcomer, immigrant, and refugee population; children and youth, community building and the Sustainable Development Goals. Ira is the co-chair of the Colleges and Institutes Canada’s Impact Student & Alumni Advisory Committee, Director of External Communications with the Canadian Council for Refugees Youth Network and serves as a board member on the Canadian Filipino Association of Yukon. Recently, she co-founded YukonFilCanYouth – a youth-led organization for young Filipino youth in the Yukon. A strong leader and advocate for her community, she hopes that her membership in the Prime Minister’s Youth Council will allow her to amplify the voices of youth in the Yukon (and in the North) and empower youth to be leaders and changemakers to build a better, more inclusive, and sustainable future for her generation and generations to come.
Sarah Mazhero is a Zimbabwean-Canadian born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and raised in Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut, and in Montréal, Quebec. As a recent alumna of Concordia University, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minors in Psychology, Law and Society, and First People Studies. As an active member of her university community, Sarah had served as the Academic & Advocacy Coordinator of the Concordia Student Union and President of the Political Science Student Association. Sarah is passionate about advocacy, law, public policy, and human rights. Her involvement in various student organizations has been driven by her desire to advocate for and promote the inclusion of minorities. As a leader in her community, Sarah has publicly expressed to various news outlets the harmful barriers faced within marginalized communities, and Canadian society's responsibility to help eliminate these systemic barriers.
Jenna is passionate about being a leader and changemaker in her communities, both in Mi’kma’ki and in Toronto. She has spent years of her life volunteering for community events, local organizations, and working closely with levels of government for the justice and equality of Indigenous peoples. Jenna works for the federal government and is a speaker; she spends time travelling (pre-COVID-19) to speak with organizations and with advocacy across Turtle Island, in Nova Scotia. Jenna has worked with the United Nations Association of Canada and with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to speak to Canadians and create awareness about the Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples document. Jenna is currently working on projects both in Toronto and in Nova Scotia to unite Newcomer youth and Indigenous youth to improve their experiences as vulnerable groups keeping mental health and wellness as a focus.
Nalyn is from Camrose, Alberta, and completed her final year of high school in June 2021. She is a strong advocate for student voice, mental health and LGBTQ+ issues within her school and beyond. She is the founder of her school’s debate club, deeply involved within the local arts community through choirs and musical theatre, and serves on multiple student voice committees. She has volunteered with multiple organizations in order to improve her rural community. Soon she will be heading to Ryerson University to pursue a Bachelor of Journalism degree. She is an Alberta Minister's Youth Council Alumni and spent 2 years working with the Education Minister creating legislation on issues regarding education in her province. She is excited to continue making change on a national scale.
Topaza Yu is a fourth-year Kinesiology student at the University of Saskatchewan. She is actively involved in the areas of youth empowerment, and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Her dedication to SRHR is demonstrated by being on both Action Canada's Sexual Health and Right's governance and National Youth Advisory Board. Her work with Action Canada includes policy work, community-based research around barriers to care for youth, and creating optimal sexual health promotion campaigns. Her recent community initiative, "Covid Pacs" is where she created 160 care packages that contained educational resources and were distributed to Saskatoon families in need during the pandemic. The mission of “Covid Pacs” was to combat barriers around accessibility to educational resources for youths during the COVID-19 pandemic and is an excellent reflection of her commitment to humanitarian work and empowering youths.
Cohort 4 – July 2019 to December 2021
A strong advocate for bilingualism, Jamuna Bothé has represented her community in several youth organizations, including the Fédération des jeunes francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick, and has volunteered in a home for refugees in Munich, Germany. She completed her studies at l’École L’Odyssée in Moncton, New Brunswick, and is starting her Bachelor of Science at McGill University this fall. Jamuna believes it is important to educate people on the current state of the environment and on sustainable practices to build a cleaner future for Canada.
Contact Jamuna: email@example.com
At an early age, Alfred Burgesson moved from Ghana to Nova Scotia with his family to pursue a better quality of life. Alfred is an active leader in the Halifax community, and is passionate about sports, engagement, and employment. He is an alumni of Halifax Grammar School, and coaches their junior high boys basketball team. To support meaningful employment for young people, Alfred founded HFX Collective, Inc., a community interest company. He also recently co-led a group of 30 young people in a social innovation lab called Future City Builders, where they focused on housing issues. He serves on the board for the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Public Library, and works with the local organizations Develop Nova Scotia and Engage Nova Scotia to build inclusive places and improve quality of life for all Nova Scotians.
Sarah Fancy is passionate about rural Nova Scotia. She takes pride in her community, and is an avid volunteer with 4-H Canada and a local therapeutic riding program. Sarah is currently completing her Master of Science in Agriculture at Dalhousie University, while interning in a soil microbiology lab. A recipient of the Arthur Irving Academy Scholarship in Environmental Science and the Acadia University Medal in Environmental Science, Sarah is a keen science communicator and an advocate for environmental issues and agriculture. Sarah believes in a Canada where the needs of the environment and the economy and are balanced through green technology.
Contact Sarah: Sarah.Hines@pmyc-cjpm.ca
Born and raised in small-town Manitoba, Erin Knight is passionate about rural Canada. As a Loran Scholar and the founder of the Rural to Urban Student Association, Erin works diligently to help ease the transition for rural high school students attending urban post-secondary institutions. A recent graduate of the University of Calgary’s Development Studies program, Erin also has a Certificate in Sustainability Studies and is devoted to tackling some of rural Canada's social, environmental, and economic issues, including the digital divide. An experienced public speaker, Erin has hosted and spoken at numerous conferences on topics such as health and international development.
Contact Erin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently in his final year at Waterford Valley High School in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Conor serves as student body president and is an active member of the school community. He volunteers at the Vera Perlin Society, a local non-profit organization dedicated to serving people with developmental disabilities. Conor is passionate about student mental health, youth empowerment, and inclusion, and works as a facilitator for the Beyond the Hurt program, which supports a school-wide approach to preventing bullying and building empathy and respect.
Contact Conor: email@example.com
Nancy Mitchell is from Toronto, Ontario. She recently completed a Masters in Political Science at the University of Toronto, with a Graduate Collaborative Specialization in Women and Gender Studies. She is passionate about global affairs, gender equality, human rights, and public policy. Active in her community, Nancy has volunteered with Women in Cities International, raising awareness on how urban planning can create inclusive, diverse, and accessible cities. Nancy draws from her knowledge and learned experiences when examining the barriers faced by marginalized communities, and believes that it is our responsibility as a community to support one another so that each individual has equal opportunity to quality of life.
Contact Nancy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Born and raised in Prince Edward Island, Brooks holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies from Dalhousie University and is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration in Global Leadership from the University of Prince Edward Island. He is an active member of the Prince Edward Island Youth Futures Council, and an advocate for physical and mental health, sustainable community development, and accessible and inclusive spaces. Brooks is also an ambassador and youth mentor for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and a frequent volunteer with health initiatives. His efforts have increased awareness for type 1 diabetes, and help raise financial support for Neonatal Intensive Care units caring for prematurely born infants and for research for a wide range of autoimmune diseases. Brooks is a nationally decorated athlete and has worked with Curling Canada, SportPEI, and regional associations to develop sport infrastructure and promote healthy ways of living.
Born in Iqaluit and raised for a time in Winnipeg, Sila is currently studying genetics and physiology as a Loran Scholar at the University of British Columbia. She is a passionate advocate for high quality health care and accessibility, particularly for rural and Indigenous communities, and uses her love for science to improve her community. As part of the Silent Genomes Project, she helped increase access to genetic technologies in Indigenous communities by working to develop content to promote meaningful partnerships and informed consent among Indigenous participants. She also worked with Grand Challenges Canada to develop a health care innovation platform to help Indigenous innovators transform the health of their communities. Sila served as the Director of Community Outreach for the UBC Red Cross Club and worked with the Canadian Red Cross to improve the health of the Vancouver community.
Contact Sila: email@example.com
Cohort 3 – June 2018 to September 2020
Zander Affleck is from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. He is a proud northerner and has spent a great deal of time exploring and introducing others to the great outdoors as a guide and canoe instructor. Zander has worked to educate himself on the history and legacy of the Residential School System and is an ally of Indigenous peoples. He studied Biology at Queens, completed a Masters in Exercise and Sports Medicine at Glasgow University and is currently studying Medicine. Zander plans to continue to do research and provide healthcare in the north. Zander can frequently be found camping, running, taking photos, or anywhere his road bike takes him.
Habon Ali has been involved from an early age in her community of Toronto, Ontario. She is a passionate youth advocate for Toronto Public Health as part of their Youth Health Action Network. Habon has worked with Habitat for Humanity to combat homelessness and her Social Justice club to help marginalized groups in Canada and abroad. Currently, she is a student at the University of Toronto pursuing a degree in biology and environmental science. Recently, she led a campaign to educate her peers about the harmful effects of smoking hookah and shisha and was instrumental in advocating for preventative health measures to Toronto City Council. Habon has also worked with Relay for Life to raise thousands of dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society. Her vision of Canada is one that is connected to youth and inclusive for all.
Jack Campbell is from Vancouver, British Columbia. Entrepreneurship is a driving force in his life, one that he shares with his peers. He is passionate about innovation and helping people, to this end, he created an app with instructions on how to treat a fentanyl overdose. Jack is an avid volunteer, helping to welcome Syrian Refugees to Canada, to being involved in raising over $15,000 for brain cancer research, and founding his high schools business club. He believes in small actions of kindness, at times making sandwiches to hand out to those in need or striking up a conversation with people having a rough time. Jack’s vision for Canada is as a hub for global innovation for the future generations.
Contact Jack: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley Komangaapik Rose Cummings is passionate about destigmatizing mental illness and connecting youth to supports and resources. To this end, she has worked with youth across the North with North in Focus, a for-youth, by-youth organization. The North in Focus team presented at the 2017 Arctic Circle Assembly and in 2018, received the Arctic Inspiration Prize in the Youth Category for $20,000 to create a mental health toolkit to be used across Nunavut. Ashley believes strongly in “nothing about us, without us” and has advocated for greater youth involvement in the decision making process. She has led workshops at Dorchester Penitentiary, working directly with Inuit and Innu inmates to foster a stronger relationship to their heritage. She is also an alumna of the Students on Ice 2015 Arctic Expedition. Ashley is currently studying at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec. When she is not studying, Ashley splits her time between the Yukon and Nunavut.
Elijah Dietrich is from Winnipeg, Manitoba and is currently studying engineering as a TD scholar at Western University. Elijah founded his high school’s Environmental Action Committee and has conducted multiple research trips to study climate change in Churchill, Manitoba and the Arctic Sea. Elijah co-founded North Forge Startup Youth, a program that empowers high school students to realize their entrepreneurial potential, and organized a conference featuring Canadian executives, entrepreneurs and tech industry leaders. Elijah believes youth are in a perfect position to mitigate climate change and its devastating effects through technological entrepreneurship and is passionate about engaging youth in these fields. Elijah served as one of the co-presidents of his high school’s student council, helped coordinate the donation of over $15,000 to local charities as a member of the Youth in Philanthropy committee, and trained with the Winnipeg Rowing Club. Elijah is excited and dedicated to continuing to promote environmental stewardship and technological entrepreneurship as a member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council.
Tagalik Eccles is from Rankin Inlet (Kangiqtiniq), Nunavut. She is currently enrolled in the Nunavut Law Program in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She is passionate about mental health, education, and youth. To support youth and educate them about self-care, Tagalik has worked with Kivalliq Counseling and Support Services. An innovative volunteer, she has organized winter clothing drives in her community to support those in need. She takes pride in her community, constantly inspiring civic engagement. She recently led a campaign to clean up public spaces drawing attention from CBC. Tagalik is entrepreneurial and has started her own sushi business with her sister. She has worked as the recreation coordinator for Rankin Inlet for the past four summers. Tagalik’s vision for Canada is one without food scarcity, where the gap has closed between the North and South.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Sagar Grewal attends the University of Calgary, where he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Biomechanics. He serves and represents his fellow students as a member of the University of Calgary Board of Governors and as the President of the University of Calgary Students’ Union. Previously, as the Faculty Representative of Kinesiology, Sagar successfully advocated for free academic support, and raised nearly one million dollars to create new student study spaces and barrier-free change rooms, to foster inclusivity on campus. His passion for mental health awareness led to Sagar receiving grants to improve resource accessibility, to contribute towards building a resilient campus community. As a strong proponent of healthy participation in sport, Sagar works at the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre on studies supported by the International Olympic Committee and the National Basketball Association, to help keep our youth healthy and active.
Pier-Maude comes from rural New Brunswick. Proudly Francophone and Acadian, Pier-Maude identifies as gender fluid and is a member of the LGBTQ2S community. Pier-Maude was the vicepresident of the Conseil Jeunesse Provincial Francophone de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Their passion? To give a voice to people in marginalized communities in decisionmaking processes. For example, Pier-Maude guided a group of young women as part of a youth parliament by helping establish conditions to enable these young women to share their points of view in a safe and trusting environment and to actively participate, despite stigmatization and the lack of female role models in politics. Pier-Maude was also part of a group of students that developed various tools to create safer and inclusive spaces in schools and other public institutions. This initiative generated such interest that the project was expanded throughout New Brunswick. The group’s posters and videos are used to educate people on gender diversity and inclusiveness and can be found in schools, hospitals and other public places.
Contact Pier-Maude: email@example.com
François Lépine-Cossette manages through inclusion. He believes that understanding is achieved by listening. François initiated the Marche Kawaii, in which more than 5,000 youth walked over 80 days from New Brunswick to Ottawa. He was a national youth advisor for the Association des Scouts du Canada and a youth spokesperson for its Anglophone equivalent. As an advisor, he and his colleague Isabelle are working on including youth in decision-making. François is currently studying at UWC Atlantic College and proudly shares his Canadian perspective with students of more than 90 nationalities to develop a more peaceful and sustainable world. His latest project, Mets Ta Couleur, uses art media to develop a sharing platform for First Nations and non-Indigenous youth. What drives him is enabling youth to use their full potential to contribute to developing a better world.
Contact François: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathryn McIntosh’s mission in life is to engineer healthier communities and people. She is passionate about clean drinking water and reducing inefficiencies in the health care system. Kathryn has worked to help end youth homelessness, lobbying with the Nova Scotia Government for permission to create a homeless youth support centre in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. She has led numerous initiatives within her community, some of which include painting sessions, yoga classes, and a winter clothing drive to aid youth. Beyond her volunteer work, Kathryn has directed short films to raise awareness about important issues such as domestic abuse and mental health. Kathryn is an advocate of science and she believes that with collaboration we can improve the health of our communities.
Cohort 2 – January 2017 to January 2019
Rayene Bouzitoun is currently a first-year law student at the University of Ottawa. Before moving to Ottawa, Rayene studied at Collège de Maisonneuve in Montréal, Quebec, where she is also a long-standing and active member of the Forum Jeunesse de Saint-Michel. She is passionate about working to counter racism and radicalization leading to violence, and about working toward gender equity. As a leader in her community, she has delivered talks on addiction and substance abuse to youth, and has helped to connect young people with the political world through events with local politicians.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, and partly raised in Montréal, Quebec, Simone Cavanaugh is a Loran Scholar and a recipient of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 award. She recently graduated law school at McGill University where she majored in International Human Rights and Development and served as Equity Commissioner. She is a human rights activist who is passionate about women’s and children’s issues, particularly as they intersect with issues of disability and accessibility. As a motivational speaker, she has given a TEDx talk on overcoming challenges and empowering every child to reach their potential. She is interested in working toward better access to education and employment for Canadian youth with disabilities. She believes that everyone counts and can be an agent of change in Canada. In 2018, Simone became the youngest recipient to be awarded the Laurie Normand-Starr humanitarian award. She continues her work to this day with projects at home and abroad.
Molly French is an Engineering Student at University of Alberta. A resident of Sherwood Park, Alberta, Molly is proud to serve her community. While in high school, she was a Science Expo Ambassador, a Student Senator and a Student Trustee for her school district. Molly has also served on the Strathcona County Youth Council as treasurer. She is passionate about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She pursues that passion through such ventures as volunteering in a robotics laboratory, peer tutoring and delivering STEM workshops to youth throughout Alberta and the Northwest Territories. She is also a member of the AlbertaSat mechanical team at the University of Alberta, where she will help to launch a satellite to monitor, track and predict wildfires. She is especially interested in working to increase graduation rates for women in post-secondary STEM programs.
Lauren Kennedy is a teaching consultant and mother of two living in Paris, Ontario. She is a strong leader with experience and training in youth facilitation, mentorship, and restorative justice. In the pursuit of her interest in anti-bullying and mental health, she co-founded Titans for Titans, an anti-bullying group in her high school, and continued to provide support for the group after graduation. For her work in contributing to a safer and more inclusive school, she was awarded the Premier’s Award for Accepting Schools, and she is eager to bring the same changes to communities across Canada.
Dana Kenny is from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages at the University of Prince Edward Island. He has served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity PEI as a Youth Engagement Director, as well as President of the UPEI Student Union on the UPEI Board of Governors. Dana brings with him experience living abroad in Spain and France, where he has studied and worked. He believes in a grassroots approach and is passionate about increasing democratic engagement, promoting and celebrating la Francophonie, and improving supports for victims of sexual assault through policy development and education.
François-Olivier Picard is from Quebec City, where he is currently finishing a master’s degree in the Université Laval’s Hautes Études Internationales. As part of his extracurricular activities, he was strongly involved as a leader on campus. He is a former FSA Ulaval debates team member and the former vice-president of external affairs for the students association. He sat on both the Ligue des États Arabes de l’Université Laval and the Bureau International. He recently developed a business to offer running guided tours of Quebec City. He is currently completing his master’s degree practicum with Hydro Québec International’s business development unit. As a Council member, François-Olivier would like to encourage young Canadians to participate in politics and strengthen youth involvement in decision-making processes.
Contact François-Olivier: email@example.com
Neha Rahman is a student at McGill University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with Joint Honours in History and Classical Studies. As both an immigrant to Canada and a woman of colour, she grew up in Toronto, Ontario where her experiences shaped her drive to be involved in her community and take on leadership roles from a young age. She has always been drawn to activism and mobilization for intersectional feminist and anti-racist causes. In high school she founded a feminist club and organized with students to donate to women’s shelters and raise awareness about issues affecting women of all different lived experiences. She is also passionate about the fight against climate change and in her time at McGill continues to work in anti-oppressive circles to advocate for the marginalized.
Competitive by nature, Gabe strives to contribute to teams and have fun while doing so. Gabe grew up on a farm near Melfort, Saskatchewan, studied at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, and worked two years in Vancouver before moving to Ottawa in August 2018 for a Masters of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. Gabe was a determined cyclist up Vancouver’s hills and through Saskatchewan’s winters (although he admits it would have been easier to bike up Saskatchewan’s hills and through Vancouver’s winters) and he continues to commute by bike. The potential of public policy to improve society fascinates Gabe and he finds municipal policies like zoning particularly interesting. Gabe often reads, goes hiking and camping, and plays board games.
Sara Wheale lives near Breton, Alberta, where she works as a heavy equipment operator. In 2017, Sara was elected as a County Councillor for Brazeau County. Her roots are in agriculture and she has created and led an organization for raising awareness of agricultural issues. With her professional experience in the oil and gas industry, she has developed a passion for advocating on related subjects. She sees getting oil to tide water as an economic priority for Canada.
Justin Charles Wong
Justin Charles Wong is a fourth-generation Canadian living in West Vancouver, BC who believes in diversity, perseverance, and that helping others should come naturally. He is an avid singer, chess player, fitness enthusiast, web and mobile developer, and is a recent UBC Computer Engineering graduate from the Faculty of Applied Science. Justin designs and develops websites in addition to providing tailored technical support for his clients. Justin also co-founded an app development team for his high school and produced an application that was well received by more than one thousand users and the West Vancouver Superintendent of Schools. He is passionate about positive youth mental health, access to transportation and education, as well as strategies to mitigate and prevent bullying.
Riley Yesno is an Anishinaabe woman living in Toronto, Ontario, where she attends university. She is a highly engaged community member, a youth facilitator, a public speaker, and a feminist. Riley has been a school board representative at the provincial level, a youth liaison with an Indigenous-led art collective, and has spent the past two years working to address issues in Indigenous communities with Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and the Institute on Governance, among others. As a First Nations woman who has lived on reserve, she is most passionate about equity for Indigenous people in Canada.
Cohort 1 – September 2016 to March 2018
Sara Abdessamie is currently in her 3rd year studying Medical Sciences as a Loran Scholar at Dalhousie University. From Fredericton, New Brunswick, she has been a strong advocate for bilingualism, inclusion, accessibility and youth rights. She has notably worked with organizations such as Best Buddies to help teens with disabilities and has worked with the Office for Disability Issues to help implement the first National Accessibility Legislation in Canada. She has spoken at We Day Canada and the Walrus Talks tour to promote inclusion and youth involvement.
Mustafa Ahmed was born and raised in Canada’s largest social housing project, Regent Park, in Toronto, Ontario. He sought to make a difference in his community by founding programs to get youth involved in arts and literature. He is also deeply involved in helping immigrants to Canada feel at home in their new country.
Hani Al Moulia
Hani Al Moulia resides in Toronto, Ontario, where he is enrolled in his second year of Computer Engineering at Ryerson University. Through his experience as a person with poor vision, he has embraced photography and been recognized for his artistic style and talent as a photographer. Prior to coming to Canada as a refugee from Syria, Hani helped fellow refugees while living in camps in Lebanon and working for UNICEF. Upon arrival to Canada, Hani settled with his family in Regina, Saskatchewan, where he was involved locally to help other newcomers adapt to their new context. Hani is passionate about employment and immigration. He would like to find ways to help more Canadians with disabilities to get equal opportunities working or studying. Hani is currently helping building Canada’s first youth policy by engaging and encouraging youth in Toronto to do so.
Alex Bouchard is from Haines Junction, Yukon, and is a proud francophone who was involved with the Fédération de la Jeunesse Canadienne Française. She also founded the University of British Columbia Parks Canada Club while attending university and inspired youth to get outdoors and live an active lifestyle.
Joseph leads by empowerment. A medical student at the University of Manitoba, Joseph has spent time at home and abroad examining the issues facing society today. By engaging with community groups, youth parliaments, and government agencies, Joseph has made it his focus to be a part of the dialogue that is shaping Canada’s future. At home in Winnipeg Joseph is a community leader and collaborator, a TEDx speaker and mentor with Winnipeg Child and Family Services. As a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Joseph now instructs the cadet program which he belonged to as a teenager. Joseph takes a multilateral approach to problem solving, drawing on years of experience as a Rotary exchange student and member of ΔKE fraternity. In his free time Joseph enjoys flying as a private pilot, and running.
Gregory Francis is from Kingsclear First Nation, New Brunswick. Recently becoming a new elected councillor in his community this past Feburary, and studying engineering, a role model for his younger community members to strive for what they seek. He continues his work for Indigenous rights, participating with organizations such as 4R's Youth and CCUNESCO.
Hailing from the remote community of Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories, Sylvia Pascua-Matte has worked to provide activities to youth and children. She has volunteered for the Fort Simpson Historical Society, offering activities for all ages. She has also led fundraising efforts in her community. Sylvia is passionate about education and employment for youth living in northern Canada.
Rachel Smale is a resident of Pond Inlet, Nunavut. She mentors children and youth in her community. She created an after-school sports program for elementary school children and wants to develop a greater number of activities for them to be happy in their community. Rachel recently graduated top of her high school class and won the Governor General’s Award for her achievements.
Donovan served for four years (2013-2017) as the youngest person elected to municipal government in Newfoundland and Labrador in his hometown of Wabana, Bell Island. Concurrently, he held advisory roles with the 12th Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador (2014-2015) and the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada (2016-2018). Donovan served as an ambassador with the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation, a delegate with the Young Diplomats of Canada for the Y7 Summit in Tokyo, Japan, and put his storytelling skills to work at events for Jack.Org, RESULTS Canada, Students on Ice, TEDx, and Choices for Youth. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies from Memorial University and a Master of Professional Communication from Ryerson University. Donovan has worked to build capacity and advance the safety and visibility of 2SLGBTQI+ people, those living in rural and remote Canada, and persons with mental illnesses.
Aaron Taylor is from Debert in rural Nova Scotia. He recently finished his Master’s of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Carleton University. Passionate about serving Canada, Aaron is a federal public servant and an Officer in Primary Reserves of the Canadian Forces. Aaron speaks seven languages and believes strongly in the power of people-to-people connections as networks to foster inclusive change.
Macgregor ‘Mac’ Tebbutt is from Penticton, British Columbia. He has been actively involved in the 4-H Club for 11 years, holding many executive positions. He has completed two years of Junior Leadership, has been 4-H BC Youth Ambassador for two years and has designd and implemented a Safety Checklist for 4-H Horse members. Mac has travelled across the province to promote agriculture and farm safety. He has organized yearly lesson plans, camp-outs, and clinics. He has taught public speaking and started a new 4-H club for rural youth in southern BC. Mac is a competitive rodeo athlete and a third-year engineering student at UBC-Okanagan.
Élyse Tremblay-Longchamps is from Montréal, Québec. She has worked as a volunteer for Lanaudière’s Regional Committee on Education for International Development, where she had a chance to work with people from her region and abroad in projects to promote the French language, as well as integration and sponsorship initiatives for newcomer families. She is Vice President of the Quebec Federation of College Students and hopes to continue being active in the development of a values and principles-based society.
Nmesoma Nweze, originally from Nigeria, grew up in Iqaluit Nunavut where she learned and developed her passions for holistic mental health, environmental stewardship, and cross-cultural reconciliation. She’s has been involved in planning activities focused on arts and active living for youth in her community as well as spearheading free mental wellness sessions and volunteering regularly. In 2017 she graduated from Pearson College UWC in Victoria BC, where she learned to look at her passions in a global way. Nmesoma was a Schulich Leadership Award nominee in STEM in 2017. She’s currently a student at the University of Toronto where she is studying psychology and neuroscience. She hopes to pursue clinical psychology and make a difference in her communities through both practice and research.
Contact Nmesoma: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley Whiteman is from Edmonton, Alberta. Her activism passions included youth engagement, Canadian Indigenous rights and mental health advocacy. Ashley works to ensure that the voices of young people are heard in the decision-making process. She organises and attends community events, panels and consultations at schools, youth groups and organisations to profile issues important to young people or impacts youth in her province Alberta and throughout Canada. Ashley’s goal is not only to talk to youth and help provide a platform in which their voices is heard but also assist and encourage youth to find their passion and to be actively engaged citizens. She consults non- profit organizations on how to develop their own youth council. Ashley is a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and is a councillor on their National Youth Advisory Council. Ashley also visits a local hospital once a week to talk to patients. She has also worked with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help to decrease the stigma and improve the quality of life the Indigenous community as a student facilitator and a panellist. Ashley is a runner up for the 2018 Queen’s Young leaders awa
Born in China and raised in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Chris is passionate about enhancing Canada’s role in the world. As part of Junior Team Canada and Young Diplomats of Canada, Chris has achieved and contributed to successful results in international trade missions, summits, and negotiations. He is also an avid advocate for international education. Through the Canadian Education Policy Working Group, Chris has led several advocacy initiatives that contributed to the historic $3.8 billion investment in Charlevoix for girls in crises. Chris always welcomes the opportunity to connect with young people around the country.
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