2019-2020 LEADERSHIP TEAM

Jaskiran Gill | Director of Internal Affairs

From a young age Jaskiran found her voice through community involvement. Identifying areas of opportunity in the community for working groups sparked her motive for social progression. This driving passion for impact inspired her to work with several non-profit organizations over the years, focusing on youth empowerment, financial literacy, equality and entrepreneurship. With this knowledge, Jaskiran has been working towards building a company of her own which she will be launching in 2019. As the Director of Internal Affairs, Jaskiran works to support internal management and initiatives within the Toronto Youth Cabinet alongside the Executive Director. Jaskiran has acquired strong leadership and management skills through pursuing her post-secondary education in Business Administration. Over the next couple of years, she will be furthering her studies with a Certificate in Canadian Immigration and Law.

From a young age Jaskiran found her voice through community involvement. Identifying areas of opportunity in the community for working groups sparked her motive for social progression. This driving passion for impact inspired her to work with several non-profit organizations over the years, focusing on youth empowerment, financial literacy, equality and entrepreneurship. With this knowledge, Jaskiran has been working towards building a company of her own which she will be launching in 2019. As the Director of Internal Affairs, Jaskiran works to support internal management and initiatives within the Toronto Youth Cabinet alongside the Executive Director. Jaskiran has acquired strong leadership and management skills through pursuing her post-secondary education in Business Administration. Over the next couple of years, she will be furthering her studies with a Certificate in Canadian Immigration and Law.

Ann Nguyen | Director of Public Relations

Ann is a youth advocate and driven student raised in Humber River- Black Creek. From a young age, she has always been passionate about youth and civic engagement. As the Director of Public Relations, Ann hopes to utilize community partnerships and online presence to further the amazing work the TYC does each year. During her previous terms as the Summit Sponsorship Lead and the Education Lead, Ann worked to engage youth through community events and dialogues, through a focus on youth mental health, budget changes, and OSAP cuts. Through her other work as advisor on the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Constituency Youth Council, her experiences as a Forum for Young Canadians Alumni, and time on the core team of the #PutWard11onTheMap campaign, Ann was able to discover her passion for politics and progressive leadership. Her other interests include business ethics, law, and the city budget, specifically where changes are made that directly impact youth. Through her work in advocating for accessible programs, Ann is dedicated in providing equal opportunities to youth of all socio-economic backgrounds. Ann is currently a student at Bishop Allen Academy, and hopes to pursue a post-secondary degree in public policy or law.

Ann is a youth advocate and driven student raised in Humber River- Black Creek. From a young age, she has always been passionate about youth and civic engagement. As the Director of Public Relations, Ann hopes to utilize community partnerships and online presence to further the amazing work the TYC does each year. During her previous terms as the Summit Sponsorship Lead and the Education Lead, Ann worked to engage youth through community events and dialogues, through a focus on youth mental health, budget changes, and OSAP cuts. Through her other work as advisor on the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Constituency Youth Council, her experiences as a Forum for Young Canadians Alumni, and time on the core team of the #PutWard11onTheMap campaign, Ann was able to discover her passion for politics and progressive leadership. Her other interests include business ethics, law, and the city budget, specifically where changes are made that directly impact youth. Through her work in advocating for accessible programs, Ann is dedicated in providing equal opportunities to youth of all socio-economic backgrounds. Ann is currently a student at Bishop Allen Academy, and hopes to pursue a post-secondary degree in public policy or law.

Michelle Li | Director of Council Relations

A lifelong resident of North York, Michelle understands the importance of conscious citizenship and hopes to use her role to encourage youth engagement, particularly in the areas of education and access to mental health services. From her experiences volunteering with programs providing music and technology instruction to youth living in neighbourhood improvement areas, Michelle has found a passion for supporting inclusion for youth of all backgrounds across Toronto. Currently, Michelle is studying industrial engineering at the University of Toronto, where she supports environmental and sustainability efforts as a member of the Sustainable Engineers Association. She also works as a research assistant developing technology based activities for individuals living with dementia. She hopes to use her communication and project management skills to continue to support the Toronto Youth Cabinet.

A lifelong resident of North York, Michelle understands the importance of conscious citizenship and hopes to use her role to encourage youth engagement, particularly in the areas of education and access to mental health services. From her experiences volunteering with programs providing music and technology instruction to youth living in neighbourhood improvement areas, Michelle has found a passion for supporting inclusion for youth of all backgrounds across Toronto. Currently, Michelle is studying industrial engineering at the University of Toronto, where she supports environmental and sustainability efforts as a member of the Sustainable Engineers Association. She also works as a research assistant developing technology based activities for individuals living with dementia. She hopes to use her communication and project management skills to continue to support the Toronto Youth Cabinet.

Kaitlin Rizarri | Director of Policy and Advocacy

Kaitlin is a fourth year Law Major with a Politics minor studying at Ryerson University. She has a particular interest in Social Justice and Food Security. Through her work at an Indigenous criminal law firm, Kaitlin witnessed the inequalities at systematic levels, and noticed that food insecurity was a major factor within the criminal justice system. Kaitlin currently does work for Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project as a Board Member, as well as for Meal Exchange as the Student Feeding Change Coordinator. While her passion work focuses on centralized food systems, she specializes in developing policies for non-profit organization.

Kaitlin is a fourth year Law Major with a Politics minor studying at Ryerson University. She has a particular interest in Social Justice and Food Security. Through her work at an Indigenous criminal law firm, Kaitlin witnessed the inequalities at systematic levels, and noticed that food insecurity was a major factor within the criminal justice system. Kaitlin currently does work for Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project as a Board Member, as well as for Meal Exchange as the Student Feeding Change Coordinator. While her passion work focuses on centralized food systems, she specializes in developing policies for non-profit organization.

Ishi Patel | Director of Organizational Development

Ishi is a 16 year old student attending Sir Wilfrid Laurier C.I. in eastern Scarborough. Her passion for civic education and politics has led her to seek out opportunities where she can learn more about Canadian governments as well as social advocacy. Some of her recent experiences have been the 2019 Ontario Model Parliament conference, the 2019 DECA provincial competition as well as her continuous volunteering experience with her local MPP. She is the social convener of her school’s student council, the choreographer and team captain of a student-led dance group as well as an executive leader for several clubs in her school.

Ishi is a 16 year old student attending Sir Wilfrid Laurier C.I. in eastern Scarborough. Her passion for civic education and politics has led her to seek out opportunities where she can learn more about Canadian governments as well as social advocacy. Some of her recent experiences have been the 2019 Ontario Model Parliament conference, the 2019 DECA provincial competition as well as her continuous volunteering experience with her local MPP. She is the social convener of her school’s student council, the choreographer and team captain of a student-led dance group as well as an executive leader for several clubs in her school.

Eli Aaron | Budget Lead

Eli recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from 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 became very familiar with the issues facing Toronto residents. Eli served as Transit Lead for the Toronto Youth Cabinet in 2018- 2019. In this role he advocated for better bus and streetcar service, safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists and opposed the 2019 fare increase. 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. 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.

Eli recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from 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 became very familiar with the issues facing Toronto residents. Eli served as Transit Lead for the Toronto Youth Cabinet in 2018- 2019. In this role he advocated for better bus and streetcar service, safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists and opposed the 2019 fare increase. 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. 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.

Zenah Hussun | Community Safety Lead

Zenah is currently a second year student at the University of Toronto studying Health Science. She is very passionate when it comes to social injustice, and makes an effort to raise awareness about the importance of how social determinants of health, such as community safety, can affect a person’s well-being while tackling the rise of violence that has occurred within the city.  She believes that the voice of the youth is the key to a brighter future. Living in this current society, Zenah acknowledges that one of the main injustices that have occurred within many communities are violence and injustices towards minorities, which take a negative toll on the youth physically, mentally and socially. By being a part of the Community Safety Group within the previous 2018/2019 term, she plans to continue to engage in conversations with the youth regarding the policing within diverse communities in hopes to create a safer Toronto.

Zenah is currently a second year student at the University of Toronto studying Health Science. She is very passionate when it comes to social injustice, and makes an effort to raise awareness about the importance of how social determinants of health, such as community safety, can affect a person’s well-being while tackling the rise of violence that has occurred within the city.
She believes that the voice of the youth is the key to a brighter future. Living in this current society, Zenah acknowledges that one of the main injustices that have occurred within many communities are violence and injustices towards minorities, which take a negative toll on the youth physically, mentally and socially. By being a part of the Community Safety Group within the previous 2018/2019 term, she plans to continue to engage in conversations with the youth regarding the policing within diverse communities in hopes to create a safer Toronto.

Bemnet Teferi | Urban Health Lead

Bemnet is a recent graduate from York University with an honours degree in Psychology and Health Management. Her studies have focused on using a social determinants of health lens to evaluate the health of vulnerable communities in Canada. She aims to advocate the experiences of marginalized groups navigating through Canadian healthcare. Her goal is to improve Canadian living in all aspects to ensure everyone is ensured equitable access and outcomes. Bemnet has had the opportunity to work as a facilitator, research assistant and community organizer grounded in mental health initiatives. She plans on continuing her studies in health, in particular counselling psychology, in hopes to provide valuable assistance to those in need. As Urban Health Lead, she hopes to represent the health concerns of youth and mobilize transformational change.

Bemnet is a recent graduate from York University with an honours degree in Psychology and Health Management. Her studies have focused on using a social determinants of health lens to evaluate the health of vulnerable communities in Canada. She aims to advocate the experiences of marginalized groups navigating through Canadian healthcare. Her goal is to improve Canadian living in all aspects to ensure everyone is ensured equitable access and outcomes. Bemnet has had the opportunity to work as a facilitator, research assistant and community organizer grounded in mental health initiatives. She plans on continuing her studies in health, in particular counselling psychology, in hopes to provide valuable assistance to those in need. As Urban Health Lead, she hopes to represent the health concerns of youth and mobilize transformational change.

Stephen Mensah | Education Lead

Stephen is attending Ryerson University to pursue his studies in Criminology and Politics and Governance. As an active member of the York South-Weston Community, Stephen has made it a priority to try and promote awareness to issues revolving around marginalized youth and community member involvement for positive changes. As a member of the Youth Advisory Committee, part of For Youth Initiative, he has used his platform to help make changes the Youth Drop-In Space with promoting education-focused programming. Stephen has also provided recreational support for seniors with physical disabilities at West Park Healthcare Centre, while also leading programming for youth at Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club. In 2018, he was a Co-Researcher with the University of Toronto(OISE). The project focused on the Black Lives Matter and Idle No More social movements to discover its impact on Black and Indigenous youth. Witnessing first hand how marginalized groups experience systemic and social barriers, Stephen is committed to being an advocate for change.

Stephen is attending Ryerson University to pursue his studies in Criminology and Politics and Governance. As an active member of the York South-Weston Community, Stephen has made it a priority to try and promote awareness to issues revolving around marginalized youth and community member involvement for positive changes. As a member of the Youth Advisory Committee, part of For Youth Initiative, he has used his platform to help make changes the Youth Drop-In Space with promoting education-focused programming. Stephen has also provided recreational support for seniors with physical disabilities at West Park Healthcare Centre, while also leading programming for youth at Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club. In 2018, he was a Co-Researcher with the University of Toronto(OISE). The project focused on the Black Lives Matter and Idle No More social movements to discover its impact on Black and Indigenous youth. Witnessing first hand how marginalized groups experience systemic and social barriers, Stephen is committed to being an advocate for change.

Omar Ameen | Newcomer Lead

Omar is a high school student attending L'Amoreaux C.I. He came to Canada 13 years ago as an Iraqi refugee, alongside his mom and his sister. He is passionate about helping others, and promoting equity. He joined the TYC in early 2018, and was a member of the Equity and Employment working group. After joining the TYC, Omar started a charity called Youth for Worldwide Education (YWE). He hopes to use his position in the TYC to help others who are newcomers, just as he once was.

Omar is a high school student attending L'Amoreaux C.I. He came to Canada 13 years ago as an Iraqi refugee, alongside his mom and his sister. He is passionate about helping others, and promoting equity. He joined the TYC in early 2018, and was a member of the Equity and Employment working group. After joining the TYC, Omar started a charity called Youth for Worldwide Education (YWE). He hopes to use his position in the TYC to help others who are newcomers, just as he once was.

Princess Vasconcelos | Equity and Employment Lead

Princesa prefers she/her pronouns and is currently completing a combined honours Political Science and Communication Studies degree at McMaster University. Her academic interests are rooted at the intersection of race, class, gender and capitalism – which greatly informs her passion for alternative policy frameworks which operate on anti-oppressive, and anti-colonial axes. She is passionate about human rights, political engagement, and de- colonial frameworks, and hopes to contribute impactful work to mobilize youth engagement. Throughout her undergraduate experience, Princesa has held student leadership roles dedicated to improving the experiences of youth. She has acted as a community organizer facilitating inclusive spaces, and raising awareness to various forms of oppression. Her educational background has exposed her to a multitude of theoretical frameworks which she hopes to transfer to the role of Equity and Employment Lead to advocate for equitable and sustainable forms of youth mobilization, civic engagement, and conscious citizenship.

Princesa prefers she/her pronouns and is currently completing a combined honours Political Science and Communication Studies degree at McMaster University. Her academic interests are rooted at the intersection of race, class, gender and capitalism – which greatly informs her passion for alternative policy frameworks which operate on anti-oppressive, and anti-colonial axes. She is passionate about human rights, political engagement, and de- colonial frameworks, and hopes to contribute impactful work to mobilize youth engagement. Throughout her undergraduate experience, Princesa has held student leadership roles dedicated to improving the experiences of youth. She has acted as a community organizer facilitating inclusive spaces, and raising awareness to various forms of oppression. Her educational background has exposed her to a multitude of theoretical frameworks which she hopes to transfer to the role of Equity and Employment Lead to advocate for equitable and sustainable forms of youth mobilization, civic engagement, and conscious citizenship.

Aminata Mageraga | Housing Lead

Aminata Mageraga is a writer and researcher interested in how the process of racialization excludes certain groups from participating in social life, thus adversely affecting health outcomes. Aminata has worked as a research intern with the organization For Youth Initiative, conducting a participatory action research project studying the factors that preclude young women’s involvement in youth programming at the organization. More recently, Aminata has served as the Social and Political Advocacy coordinator for the McMaster Student Union’s Women and Gender Network, facilitating programming and developing educational resources relevant to women, trans and non-binary folks, as well as survivors of gender-based violence. Currently, she is employed in the public sector working in a social service capacity, and is a regular volunteer with her local mosque’s fundraising events. In her spare time, Aminata can be found reading a book, or stuck in TTC gridlock on Eglinton Ave.

Aminata Mageraga is a writer and researcher interested in how the process of racialization excludes certain groups from participating in social life, thus adversely affecting health outcomes. Aminata has worked as a research intern with the organization For Youth Initiative, conducting a participatory action research project studying the factors that preclude young women’s involvement in youth programming at the organization. More recently, Aminata has served as the Social and Political Advocacy coordinator for the McMaster Student Union’s Women and Gender Network, facilitating programming and developing educational resources relevant to women, trans and non-binary folks, as well as survivors of gender-based violence. Currently, she is employed in the public sector working in a social service capacity, and is a regular volunteer with her local mosque’s fundraising events. In her spare time, Aminata can be found reading a book, or stuck in TTC gridlock on Eglinton Ave.

Naeema Hassan | Arts, Community, Development and Culture Lead

Naeema is a Black Muslim woman who is very passionate about civic engagement, organizing, poetry, community organizing, but most importantly mentoring. With years of volunteering in her local community center, today she stands as a project manager of youth projects that has allowed her to facilitate multiple events and programs for young Black Muslims from basketball to mental health workshops. Overtime, this has led her to gain access to spaces that motivated her to actively create more projects to help raise awareness around the injustices the youth are experiencing today through research or spoken word. She is currently going into her 4th year at York studying Global Health specializing in health policy.

William Pham | Transit Lead

William lives in Willowdale and is currently a high school student at Earl Haig Secondary School. From a young age, he has been fascinated by public transit, and can be considered a transit nerd. Over the past year, he has volunteered with many organizations such as TTC Riders and Progress Toronto to spread awareness about the shortfalls and lack of funding to the TTC. He has worked on city council campaigns helping to explain to others in his community about public transportation. In my spare time, he does a lot of "subwaying" (which is a term he coined with his friends) in which they just ride the subway for fun, and currently William is in the process of collecting transfers from every single subway station on the TTC. He hopes to get youth from all across Toronto to understand and contribute to the circulatory system of our beautiful city.

William lives in Willowdale and is currently a high school student at Earl Haig Secondary School. From a young age, he has been fascinated by public transit, and can be considered a transit nerd. Over the past year, he has volunteered with many organizations such as TTC Riders and Progress Toronto to spread awareness about the shortfalls and lack of funding to the TTC. He has worked on city council campaigns helping to explain to others in his community about public transportation. In my spare time, he does a lot of "subwaying" (which is a term he coined with his friends) in which they just ride the subway for fun, and currently William is in the process of collecting transfers from every single subway station on the TTC. He hopes to get youth from all across Toronto to understand and contribute to the circulatory system of our beautiful city.

Michael Manu | Executive Director

Michael is very much interested in the role that finance plays in city governance. He is a graduate of the Master of Accounting program at the University of Waterloo, and recently completed the CPA program in 2018. He is now working at a federal government agency to obtain practical experience while also conducting research in urban planning.  Michael's interest in city-building brought him to the TYC in January 2018. During his stint as the Budget Lead for the 2018-2019 term, he led advocacy work around the 2019 City Budget, and actively encouraged youth participate in the budget process. Michael is looking forward in his role as Executive Director to facilitate continued collaboration between working groups.  Michael was born and raised in Scarborough. When he is not working, Michael loves to play soccer and be at BMO Field to support Toronto FC.

Michael is very much interested in the role that finance plays in city governance. He is a graduate of the Master of Accounting program at the University of Waterloo, and recently completed the CPA program in 2018. He is now working at a federal government agency to obtain practical experience while also conducting research in urban planning.

Michael's interest in city-building brought him to the TYC in January 2018. During his stint as the Budget Lead for the 2018-2019 term, he led advocacy work around the 2019 City Budget, and actively encouraged youth participate in the budget process. Michael is looking forward in his role as Executive Director to facilitate continued collaboration between working groups.

Michael was born and raised in Scarborough. When he is not working, Michael loves to play soccer and be at BMO Field to support Toronto FC.