|Lisa Carter, Board Chair
I have been a resident of Newmarket for over 30 yrs. I have spent my career working in the food industry, as a National Customer Service Manager. As a single mother of 3 for over 20 years, I fully understand the challenges our youth face today. It has always been a passion of mine to support local non-profit organizations, so I have always made time to volunteer. Last year I was lucky enough to be part of the first annual YouthSpeak fundraiser. Spending time getting to know the people involved and learning about our speakers and their stories has been so inspiring. Giving youth a voice and allowing them to share their stories, and experiences to other youth in such a transparent and open way is so powerful, and inimitable. We are making a difference.
|Andrew Boyd, Past Chair
As a retired teacher/Chaplain in the York Catholic District School Board, I have been involved in student leadership for thirty years of teaching. With teenagers and young adults of my own, I put great worth on the need for mentoring, guidance, and meaningful programs for all youth. YouthSpeak fulfills a valuable calling for youth who may be struggling for self-acceptance.
|Alicia Bavelaar, Vice Chair
Alicia has been a Chartered General Accountant & Chartered Professional Accountant for the past 16 years. She lives in York Region with her extended family of 6. “Supporting youth who have faced challenges is important to me as I have friends and family that have been and are dealing with challenges every day; these challenges can range from physical to mental health challenges. I was inspired to get involved in this organization because I see the amount of children that are facing such pressures today that we, as kids, never had to face and I want them to be able to get the help and support that they need to succeed in today’s world.
|Samuel Chan, Treasurer
Samuel is a Chartered Professional Accountant working at a Public Accounting Firm in Toronto. Throughout his career, Sam has been involved with several volunteering initiatives relating to youth mentorship and education. He was inspired to volunteer with YouthSpeak because it provides a unique opportunity to open the conversation and raise awareness about mental health among youths.
|Ahmed Hafez, Director
I am a Professional Engineer with a Ph.D. degree from Ryerson University. My work experience, of more than 22 years, is in the area of design, constructions, project management, and research; I am currently working at a public firm. I am also currently involved, as a volunteer, with numerus non-for-profit and charitable organizations. I was privileged to come across YouthSpeak, their admirable mission of supporting the youth has inspired me and it also resonates with my goals of supporting and giving back to our community, especially to our youth.
|Andrea Joseph, Director
Andrea is a graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, Master of Social Work; Aboriginal Field of Study program. She also holds two degrees from Laurentian University; where she served as President of the Indigenous Social Work Student Council. Currently, she is the Aboriginal Continuing Education Coordinator for Native Child and Family Services of Toronto.
A long-time volunteer in the areas of community development and youth outreach, Andrea wants to give back to the sector that she believes has given so much to her. She is passionate about working with youth who share in the struggles she experienced, believing that it is our struggles that will give us the greatest strength if we allow them to.
|Grace Cantarutti, Director
Grace Cantarutti has been in the Ontario Education system for over 30 years. During this time, she has been a teacher, department head of Modern Languages, guidance counsellor, department head of Guidance and Career Education and has assumed numerous leadership / mentorship roles alongside our youth. “I have gained a thorough understanding of the struggles that many of our youth experience. It has been my privilege to foster relationships with our youth and to help them gain the confidence to voice their challenges. The goal being to not only gain resilience personally, but also to raise awareness around wellness for others. Fortunately, I believe YouthSpeak shares this common goal and vision.
|Donna Pignataro, Director
Over the past 30 years, I have worked with children & youth, families and community partners, in mental health, sexual abuse, private practice and educational settings.
To serve others has always been a priority. YouthSpeak offers the opportunity to promote strength, encouragement and hope, through the courageous voices of those with lived experience. “Being challenged in life is inevitable….Being defeated is optional”
|Jeremy Anderson, Director
My past work experience includes project management and business consulting, and I am now pursuing an entrepreneurial venture in the food industry. Looking for a way to give back to my community, I came across YouthSpeak. I could not have been more on-board with its mission to empower youth and its unique approach to creating awareness around mental and social well-being through storytelling. I am grateful for the opportunity to join this tremendous organization and support this valuable cause.
We value youth as an integral part of a healthy society where their potential is nurtured and supported and their voice is heard; when youth speak, youth listen
We embrace opportunities that encourage youth and strengthen resilience and self-worth
We offer a continuum of high quality programs that embrace accessibility, inclusivity and diversity as a catalyst that provides meaning to the lived experience of youth
We work collaboratively with our community partners to build upon resources, experience and expertise in order to provide evidence-based programs that are empowering and meaningful to youth
Diversity and Inclusivity
We acknowledge the unique aspects of all people and promote greater self-acceptance
We greatly appreciate our sponsors and donors who are helping us to support youth facing challenges with mental health, bullying and addiction.
(please note: if you have donated and do not see your name/logo on the list, we are continually updating this list)
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
Please help us make a difference, reach out and give hope by making a financial contribution, booking our programs, volunteering and/or Liking us on Facebook.