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Una

Una

Founder / Executive Director

“My personal mission is to seek out, notice and give a voice to the beauty, strength and potential that is often less obvious… YouthSpeak was inspired by lived experience within my own family. My son, Gavin was one of our first youth speakers sharing his story during our inaugural year; until he died on his 19th birthday in a weather-related car accident – July 18th,...

Adam

Adam

Youth Facilitator

“Be yourself; Everyone else is taken… Going through my early adolescents experiencing depression and anxiety I never really thought that I would ever feel normal. I engaged in a lot of negative self-talk making it hard for me to be myself. Feeling like I was alone in my feelings I looked to negative coping strategies to deal with these troubling thoughts and feelings. I was...

Asma

Asma

Youth Facilitator

“Sometimes something so bone-shaking happens to us that it creates a timestamp on our lives. We might see it as, ‘my life before x,’ and, ‘my life after x’. Unfortunately, I experienced quite a few of these moments in my life; Trauma after trauma, for what felt like years on end. After escaping from a dangerous situation in my youth, I began my journey of...

Lolita

Lolita

Youth Facilitator

“Self love is the greatest medicine…A lot of my early years I was exposed to toxic relationships and unhealthy communication styles. Not having the proper support and guidance ultimately led me to start unhealthy relationships of my own and using unhealthy coping mechanisms. The difficulties I faced during high school caused me to dive deeper into these toxic relationship and allowed me to develop unhealthy...

Michael

Michael

Youth Facilitator

You are one decision away from a totally different life. – Mel Robbins…”My journey through depression started in high school. I spent years feeling hopeless, suffering from low self-esteem, and looking to others for approval because I couldn’t find it within myself. It got worse as time went on. My life changed forever when my biology professor convinced me that it’s ok to not be...

Sumaira

Sumaira

Youth Facilitator

’There is no one alive who is youer than you’– Dr. Suess… Growing up in different countries, I’ve always strived to do one thing—fit in. I tried to adapt to the people around me slowly changing bits and pieces of myself. However, as I began fading away these parts, I felt empty inside. This affected me as I struggled with depression, anxiety and body image...

Alex

Alex

Speaker

“If I have learned one thing throughout my journey, it’s that anyone can draw strength through adversity. I spent most of my life living with a different name, a different appearance and a different gender. I realised that I was transgender (female transitioning to male or FTM) when I was in my late teens, and it was a revelation that changed my life. Most of...

Angelica

Angelica

Speaker

“Be the rainbow of someone’s cloudy day…growing up, I was never the person that fit in with my peers and because of that, I found myself constantly being a target of bullying. Due to these experiences, my mental health was greatly affected, and I grew up as someone who lacked any confidence and self-love throughout most of my life. It took me a very long...

Bianca

Bianca

Speaker

“Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems…Growing up I always felt different. I struggled with major anxiety and low self esteem. I was bullied in school and went through different forms of sexual trauma throughout my life, so I turned to substances in order to escape. This only led me to attract more negative experiences and made my life very unmanageable. It took...

Danie

Danie

Speaker

“I am who I am with all my faults and my mistake” – Rm (BTS)…I really connect with this message because in the beginning of it all, I hated that life was hard and I made so many mistakes constantly. I was a small town girl, feeling like I am really living in a lonely world with problems like depression, anxiety, and discovering my gender...

Kade

Kade

Speaker

“I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned, through life’s disappointments and countless rewards, is the cruciality of knowing one’s self…The notion of seeing yourself as a best friend or an ally of sorts, is as difficult as it is worthwhile. In my experience, most of what makes life meaningful tends to be just that; Worthy of every ounce of struggle. Still, when I look at...

Shabnam

Shabnam

Speaker

‘Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.’…Thomas Edison…Throughout the big moments of adversity in our lives there are hidden moments that exist to inspire us, to awaken us and give us a chance to persevere for what we truly deserve. The struggle is that not everyone has the coping tools to understand/to acknowledge these moments. Many of us do not understand the significance of being...

Shawn

Shawn

Speaker

“A smile can hide so many feelings, fear, sadness heartbreak, but it also shows one other thing strength… After going through anxiety, in grade 4 being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and depression due to bullying i was afraid to talk to other about my feelings and wanting to drop out of school. Now I can say being thankful from all the support systems that i...

Varahi

Varahi

Speaker

“My whole life I always thought my self worth was determined by others. I never learned about the importance of mental health. At the age of four I worried about getting a job and making money. A child shouldn’t worry about this, but I did. I felt the way my brain worked was different and since everyone’s brain works differently and talking about emotions is...

Youth speakers training includes leadership and speaking skills, SafeTalk, and program delivery-related trainings such as Neurobiology (Body/Brain); Trauma and Equity training.

We Are Currently Recruiting Youth Speakers

If you know someone or are someone who may a have a personal story and message to share with other youth:

Interested In Becoming A Youth Speaker

Speaker Application

We Are Currently Recruiting Volunteers

Our volunteers are a valued and integral part of the organization. Current volunteer opportunities include:

  • Board of Directors
  • Event planning
  • Marketing/social media support
  • Student hours at events
  • Administrative support
  • Sharing special skills with team of youth speakers
  • Proposal-writing

Volunteer Application

If you would like to chat more about volunteering with YouthSpeak, please contact Una Wright at 905-967-0604 or una@youthspeak.ca