TYC Leadership Team 2018-19
EDNA ALI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Civic engagement, particularly where it concerns communities systematically left out civic spaces, is something close to Edna's heart. This has led her to do work around leadership capacity building for young people and anti-oppressive city-building with institutions like City of Toronto, organizations like the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, and community-based initiatives in Etobicoke-York.
As Executive Director of the Toronto Youth Cabinet, Edna is responsible for the management of the Leadership Team and the organization as a whole. In her role as Executive Director, Edna fosters inclusive leadership among her peers to empower and mentor diverse youth to become leaders in their own right. She also works to create and improve critical youth relationships across institutions including the Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto District School Board and Toronto Public Health.
En outre, elle est diplômée du Collège Universtaire Glendon en sciences politiques.
HAMDI JIMALE, DIRECTOR OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
Hamdi Jimale is a student leader, disaster responder, and lifelong resident of Leslieville. As Director of Internal Affairs at Toronto Youth Cabinet, Hamdi supports the internal management of the Cabinet and works in collaboration with the Executive Director in overseeing the TYC's initiatives.
Through her cross-sectoral experiences as the Parliamentary Debates Chair at the largest Muslim interscholastic tournament in North America and disaster responder with the Canadian Red Cross, Hamdi discovered her passions for municipal affairs, conscious citizenship, and disaster resilience that is critical in our urban agenda.
Prior to graduating UOIT, Hamdi was extremely active in university research focusing on emotional processing and affective disorders. She is also the former President of the UOIT Social Sciences and Humanities Student Society, where she worked to create a student-friendly campus through advancing equity and working towards collaborative governance.
Hamdi is pursuing her Masters of Public Policy at the University of Toronto, where she will continue to explore urban policy and city-building.
Elise wan, director of public relations
Elise is a high school student at St. Clement's School who is actively engaged in her community of Willowdale. She is the President of the Carefree Lodge Youth Council, a government-run seniors home in Toronto. Recently, she co-founded a non-profit organization based in Toronto focused on youth mental and physical wellness. She is also a member of the Willowdale Youth Council. Elise frequently volunteers at Baycrest Hospital and the Horizons program at her school.
As Director of Public Relations, Elise is excited to oversee all of the TYC's social media accounts and developing and execute a youth-led, youth-centered digital media strategy.
RILEY PETERSON, DIRECTOR OF COUNCIL RELATIONS
Riley Peterson is an urban planning student on hiatus, a political campaigner and a community mobilizer born and raised in York South-Weston. Building meaningful youth leadership and capacity has always been a pillar of her work because of the lasting change that youth have the potential and power to make.
During her previous two terms as Budget Lead, Riley led the Budget Working Group in advocating for a city budget that reflects the very pressing needs of youth and other marginalized groups in Toronto, as well as in pushing for a forward-thinking process that builds a shared vision for our city. Her other areas of interest include tax policy (favourite!) as well as housing and transit, specifically how the two relate to gentrification.
Riley is currently a Communications Assistant at the Broadbent Institute and a Campaign Manager in Ward 11, York South-Weston.
Catherine Virelli, DIRECTOR OF organizational development
Catherine is passionate about improving access to mental health care services in Toronto, especially for under-served communities. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2016 after completing a double-specialist in Psychology Research and English Literature.
After working and studying as a research scientist in psychology and neurosciences, Catherine enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Toronto’s Translational Research Program, where she learns to navigate pathways to innovation implementation in Ontario healthcare services.
ANDREA Fernández, DIRECTOR OF POLICY & ADVOCACY
Andrea was born in Venezuela but now calls Toronto her home. She is a recent Master’s of Public Administration graduate from Queen’s University and works as a Policy Analyst at the Ontario Cabinet Office.
From a young age, Andrea has been passionate about advancing equity and inclusion in her community. While at the University of Toronto, Andrea was the Vice President of the Criminology Students’ Association as well as a Senior Mentor for the First in the Family Peer-Mentor Program.
In these roles, she was a strong advocate for creating academic, leadership and social opportunities that enable first-generation students to feel connected to and engaged in their school communities. As the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Toronto Youth Cabinet, Andrea seeks to apply her experience in policy development to lead policy engagement initiatives for the TYC and to recommend positions to the membership.
KEISHA ST. LOUIS-MCBURNIE, DIRECTOR OF STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
Keisha is a lifelong resident of Cabbagetown-South St. James Town. As an Urban Studies and Political Science undergraduate student at the University of Toronto and
Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT)
Diversity Scholarship recipient, she is especially passionate about housing, community development, and urban politics. She is currently a Research Assistant in Policy & Delivery for the Ontario Cabinet Office, a Sidewalk Toronto Fellow, and the Co-President of the Urban Studies Student Union (URSSU) at the University of Toronto. While acting on the Equity Commission of her student government and as the previous Housing Lead for the Toronto Youth Cabinet (TYC), she has actively used inclusive city-building practices to create accessible spaces and place-making opportunities for all. Understanding and incorporating intersectional and anti-oppressive frameworks that value lived experiences, especially of those who are marginalized and/or equity-seeking, has been fundamental to her work.
Ann Nguyen, Education LEAD
Ann is a high school student currently studying at Bishop Allen Academy. From a young age, she has been passionate about youth and civic engagement. At 14, she has served on the Toronto Youth Cabinet as the Summit Sponsorship Lead and on the Budget Working Group. This year, Ann is part of the core team for the #PutWard11OntheMap campaign and an active member of the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Constituency Youth Council. Through her work advocating for accessible programs for youth, Ann is dedicated to providing equal opportunities to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Osivue Isteumah, EQUITY & EMPLOYMENT LEAD
Osivue’s passion for peace, progress and the pursuit of happiness has been instrumental in the development of his love for public policy and governance. Since immigrating from Nigeria to Toronto in 2012, Osivue has been able to engage with his community through active civic participation. While working with the Canadian Human Rights International Organization, and Our Vision Nigeria between 2015 and 2016, Osivue began channeling his research and writing skills towards youth and immigrant issues both in Nigeria and Canada. Osivue recently completed an undergraduate program in Political Science & Communication Studies at York University in 2017 and intends to go back to school to attain a Masters in Public Policy and Administration to help bolster his knowledge and skill-set to work in the civil service. Osivue, alongside members of his equity and employment working group, produced a policy report on youth unemployment in Toronto in the 2017-18 year. As lead of the group this year, he hopes to improve upon its findings and continue to work with dedicated members of the working group to improve the lives of Toronto’s youth.
Harman Dosanjh, HOUSING LEAD
Having recently completed her first year at Osgoode Law, Harman is always looking ways to get involved in the community and using her skills to make a difference. She is passionate about issues such as affordable education, housing and urban planning, and labour and employment.
She completed an Honours BA in Political Science at York University, and has years of experience in a number of sectors including government, academia, non-profit organizations, and customer service.
Michael manu, budget lead
Michael was born and raised in Scarborough. He is currently completing a Master's degree in Accounting at the University of Waterloo. Michael is very much interested in the role that finance plays in city governance. During his Bachelor's degree, he had internship stints with the Toronto District School Board and the Canada Revenue Agency. Both opportunities allowed him to understand the impact that fiscal policies at all levels of government have on Toronto, and the disparities that exist among different groups of people as a result.
It was during his time with the TDSB that Michael began working with youth, both at home and elsewhere. He has coached soccer and led youth nights at the Scarborough YMCA, and he also led a youth group while on an international internship.
Michael is looking forward to furthering the discourse around the budget as it pertains to Toronto’s youth.
NINAR FAWAL, NEWCOMER LEAD
Ninar is a second-year student attending the University of Toronto, studying political science and international relations. She is passionate about political engagement, human rights, and democracy, and hopes that her community work makes a positive impact in those fields as well as others. She volunteers with several organizations aimed at empowering minorities and youth, and is an inaugural member of the Mississauga-Erin Mills Women's Council. She has long been passionate about newcomer issues, and volunteers with the Daughters for Life Foundation, which aims to sponsor the education of women in the Middle East, and has volunteered with other grass-roots charities to help with the resettlement of Syrian newcomers. She is fluent in English and Arabic, with a working knowledge of French.
In her previous term as Newcomer Lead, she lead the Newcomer Working Group in a series of consultations aimed at reaching newcomer youth city-wide and hearing their concerns as to how Toronto could be better for them.
Erika Dupuis, urban health lead
Erika is a current Master of Social Work student and Bachelor of Social Work graduate from Ryerson University. Having lived experiences in navigating multidimensional health systems, she works to support youth and their communities to ensure their wellbeing in all social determinants. Her education has been key in providing her with theoretical frameworks to deconstruct and critique gaps in healthcare within the greater Toronto area.
Erika currently works with the Ministry of Youth and Children as a youth worker, with previous experiences as a front line harm reduction worker at an AIDS Service Organization (ASO). Previously, Erika has worked as a policy assistant with the Ministry of Education while also holding a research assistant position with the Indigenous Programs team at Frontier College. As a recipient of the John David Parker scholarship for youth work, Erika has collaborated on several youth led projects in the urban health context with CAMH, Toronto Public Health, Ryerson SMASH, and more. Erika works to mobilize youth in creating systemic, transformative change that which reflects disparities and inequities youth face in the healthcare system.
Eli aaron, TRANSIT LEAD
Eli Aaron is an Urban and Regional Planning Student at Ryerson University. For the past two summers he has worked as a planning student at the Port Credit Business Improvement Area. Through Northern Secondary School’s Co-op Program, Eli worked in Councillor Matlow’s office. He volunteered for an additional two years in the office and through his work became very familiar with the issues facing Toronto residents.
Eli has made numerous deputations to committees of Council, advocating for vital programs and services for all Torontonians. He believes in an inclusive Toronto that works for everyone. At Budget Committee he strongly opposed TTC fare increases, and supported service improvements. Transportation is Eli’s passion. He has participated in the public process for a number of transit projects in the city including; the Crosstown LRT, the Relief Line, Line 2 Extension, and Smart Track. Along with a team of Ryerson Planning students, he recently completed a report for Toronto’s Environment and Energy Division on how to better utilize the city’s existing transportation infrastructure. Eli believes in giving back to the community. He volunteered for 9 years at “Out of the Cold,” which provides food and shelter to the homeless during the winter months. Eli is a lifelong resident of North York and uses public transit on a daily basis. In his spare time he enjoys exploring all corners of the city by bike, on public transit and on foot.
rania ahmed, COMMUNITY SAFETY LEAD
Rania is a graduate from Queen's University with a degree in Political Science and focus on Multiculturalism. Rania aims to advocate for equity and inclusive forms of knowledge through civic engagement at a local and national level. She has experience as a community organizer and facilitator grounding most of her work in Anti-Racism and Development initiatives. Whilst in university she worked with Human Rights groups to improve student life through policy reform and funding. During the 2017/2018 Rania served as a member of the Community Safety Working group where she helped conduct research pertaining to policing best practices for youth engagement. Rania hopes to continue researching this topic in hopes to represent the opinions and expressions of youth in Toronto in a tangible way.
ARJUN SAHOTA, CHAIR
Arjun Sahota is a student at Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management and a graduate from the Future Leaders Pathway program at R.H. King Academy, a high school located in the east end of the City of Toronto. Arjun has dedicated the last four years to advocating for youth issues and enabling youth to be involved in municipal politics through his position as an executive at the Toronto Youth Cabinet. Along with being the Chair at the Toronto Youth Cabinet, Arjun is the Manager of Community Relations at Count Me In, the largest youth-led Charity in North America and a Board of Directors member at Sacraspice, a community serving organization within the City of Toronto. Arjun’s experience in the charity and non-profit sector enable him to understand youth issues at both a community and policy level.