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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...

Alex

Alex

Youth Facilitator

“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...

Jie

Jie

Youth Facilitator

“One mentor away from feeling alone, a mentor away from being understood… I went through the lack of consistent role models/mentors that I could confide in and truly inspire me to be better. It took quite a lot of confidence, courage, and a belief system for me to discover what I was lacking and the root of it all. From constant conflicts in my home...

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...

Quinton

Quinton

Youth Facilitator

“My journey is one of self-discovery and self-actualization. Growing up as a marginalized youth who struggled with identity, self-acceptance and mental health, it soon became apparent to me that I would have to rebuild my self-esteem and values from within. Though I often struggled on my journey to self-acceptance, eventually it became as natural as breathing. Now I try to aid others as best as...

Serwaa

Serwaa

Youth Facilitator

“Growing up I was always the shy little girl that didn’t like to talk much due to that a lot of people trying to take advantage of my kindness. As well, they would talk down to me. As a result of that, I started to look down on myself as well because I started to believe everything others use to tell me. I would hear...

Shaina

Shaina

Youth Facilitator

“Your are the medicine, your story full of living teachings only you carry… The journey from constantly questioning my self-worth to being in compassionate self-love has been a long road. Since I could remember, I found myself in a chronic state of self-judgment and anxiety that would impact my capacity to maintain healthy relationships. Hyper self-criticism led to a chronic sense of disconnect and disassociation...

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...

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...

Asma

Asma

Youth Speaker

“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...

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...

Emma

Emma

Speaker

“The most painful parts of your story will be the most powerful parts of your testimony”…Growing up I had always felt like my skin was too tight for me.  I had a challenging upbringing and never felt good enough, which fueled an eating disorder and self harm.  These issues progressively worsened over the years, especially when I added drugs and alcohol into the mix.  I...

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...

Varinder

Varinder

Speaker

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh. The voice within me was my worst enemy. I would see my emotions as a weakness and I would run and hide from them, essentially from myself, never really going anywhere. Standing still was the only thing that really...

Yael

Yael

Speaker

“It gets better…My goal is to make people feel less alone, and more understood. I have experienced physical disability, depression, and bullying. But also, adversity, strength and today I am my best self because of all I’ve overcome.”

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

For Volunteer Opportunities, please click here.