Board of Directors

andrew-boyd Andrew Boyd, Board 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.


lisa Lisa Carter, Vice 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.


alicia Alicia Bavelaar, Director
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.


Andrea 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.


leslie Leslie Persaud, Director
Leslie has worked in the software industry for 20 years with 15 years of product management, marketing, and sales operation experience. He enjoys bring clarity and structure to ambiguous and complex spaces, and to inspire teams to release amazing experiences and deliver big results. With 2 boys of my own, I’m passionate about sharing my life experiences with youth to help them achieve success. WORK HARD. DREAM BIG.


Donna 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”


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.


una Una Wright, Founder/Team Coach
I love coaching this team of youth. I thoroughly enjoy watching the whole process unfold as we train new speakers, seasoned speakers embrace the new ones and they support each other in being the best they can be out there sharing their stories and messages in the community.


Board Members Positions Available Click Here



  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

Youth engagement

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

Financial Statements YouthSpeak 2016

2015-2016 ANNUAL REPORT 

Our Donors

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)



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.