Team

Home / Team
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,...

Kobby

Kobby

Youth Facilitator

“Never let someone’s opinion on you become your reality…Through life I have always been stuck in a victim’s mentality. I would always allow people’s thoughts and opinions control my life. I had a lot of self-hate in me and I never truly knew who I was. In high school, I lost one of my closest friends and from there I would bottle up any bad...

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...

Sara

Sara

Youth Facilitator

“I have accepted my past and am ambitiously looking forward to helping others understand that they can be who they want to be, and live the life they want to live. You are enough and will always be enough… Growing up was confusing for me. I struggled with a family life where addiction was present. I learned to bottle up my feelings and constantly strived...

Mallory

Mallory

YOUTH TRAINER

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”. –Anne Frank…Having the opportunity to interact with youth speakers and students, I have observed the power in sharing personal stories. As a registered social worker, this passage has always resonated as it reminds me that while life is full of challenges, life is also full of overcoming. Small...

Adam

Adam

Speaker

“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

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...

Alison

Alison

Speaker

“It costs nothing to be kind.” As a child and adolescent, my challenges at home continuously followed me into the classroom. Not only did this stress influence my academics, but the lack of knowing how to cope with life’s challenges left me feeling anxious, afraid, and insecure about who I was. I knew I needed to do something but I didn’t know what. It was...

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...

Dave

Dave

Speaker

“Be your true self and seek your own approval and acceptance above anyone else’s…Growing up, I experienced a lot of negativity which prompted me to form negative views of myself and the world. While trying to find how I fit in and searching for acceptance from peers, I pursued substances which led me to feeling like I had to hide certain parts of myself or...

David

David

Speaker

“At the end of the day, it’s you who has to live with yourself, so it’s important to be happy with who you are… I was never completely sure about my identity and once I reached a certain age, I started to experience depression and anxiety because of it. This lead to me isolating myself and using negative coping tools as attempts to feel better....

Hibba

Hibba

Speaker

“You have brains in your head, feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. ” – Dr. Seuss “Sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But if you keep going, eventually you’ll reach it. A lot of events have transpired throughout my life that have shaped me into who I am today. Having gone through...

Jacqueline

Jacqueline

Speaker

I was a victim of bullying and cyberbullying throughout elementary school just because I learn differently. This resulted in painful, long-lasting consequences that cannot be ignored. For many years I was embarrassed and thought I was the only one who experienced bullying. I began to believe the terrible words that were said about me and I lost my self-confidence. Now, I refuse to let others...

Josh

Josh

Speaker

“Always stay true to yourself and uplift others who need help along the way…I was diagnosed with the conditions Tourette Syndrome and OCD entering my first year of high school. As a result, I endured insurmountable bullying, which triggered the onset of early stage depression. I started getting bullied really bad in high school and people called me names. I was a bit heavier too,...

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...

Michael

Michael

Speaker

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...

Nayoung

Nayoung

Speaker

“Getting the right help at the right time is the key to the mental health wellness…starting my Canadian life as an immigrant, when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders however, it was very hard to do so. I was faced with many obstacles and stigma that typically challenges the patients of mental disorders, and those obstacles sadly included members from my own community....

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...

Trish

Trish

Speaker

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. – Bernard M. Baruch. “I grew up in a small community which was great but everyone knew each other. So anything you did didn’t ever leave your side. Over the last 18 years, I’ve faced bullying, body image issues and been very anxiety prone...

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...

Training Youth speakers training includes leadership and speaking skills, SafeTalk, and various self-regulation tools such as Brain Fitness, Body/Brain, Emotional Freedom Technique.

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