Organizational Partners

Organization support

Marla Pender - City of Kitchener
Downtown Community Centre, 35 Weber St. W, Kitchener ON, N2H3Z1

Ms. Pender, Youth Services Coordinator at the City of Kitchener, has been involved with the Centre for many years, working at Youth Launch and the Students Commission as well as with Dr. Pancer and the Students Commission for her graduate work. Her graduate work contributed significantly to our understanding of the long-term outcomes of youth engagement in contexts of youth conferences. As coordinator of the City’s Youth Engagement Project Team, she brings an important and complex municipal context to explore in this project, and the wide reach of their work at the City will be important for knowledge mobilization within the project. Ms. Pender brings significant expertise and experience of fostering youth-adult partnerships, youth facilitation training, and research collaborations. She will support the youth co-researcher team to undertake an exploration of youth-adult partnerships in this municipal leadership context.

Dave Farthing - YOUCAN

Dave Farthing – YOUCAN
c/o St. Paul University, 223 Main St. Ottawa, ON. K1S1C4

YOUCAN, a national youth-driven organization specializing in youth-led methods of non-violent conflict resolution, has been an informal partner with the Students Commission for several years. YOUCAN brings a unique context of youth-adult partnerships, focused on peace building, including youth-adult partnerships within custody settings. YOUCAN contributes significant expertise in the area of youth leadership and will support youth co-researchers to engage in an exploration of youth-adult partnerships in their context. As one of the National Youth Serving Agencies, along with the Students Commission, YOUCAN will have a role in mobilizing knowledge from this project to other national youth serving agencies.

Organization support

Maria Cain – Heartwood: Centre for Community Youth Development
Suite 202 5516 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, NS B3J1G6

Heartwood Centre for Community Youth Development is a charitable organization whose mission is youth engagement for positive community change. As a previous core partner of the Centre and an ongoing relationship that is fostered by the Centre’s open door partner policy, Heartwood has a history of working closely with the Centre’s partners. Heartwood brings valuable experience of integrating research and community youth development practice, and providing training for adults to become meaningful partners with youth.

Organization support

Sylvia Caissie - Population Growth Secretariat (NB)
520 King Street, Fredericton, NB. E3B 6G3

Sylvia is a Policy Advisor for the Retention Branch of the Population Growth Division of the Government of New Brunswick. Her work involves researching and developing programs that will help create connections for young people in New Brunswick, so that they may have the opportunity to choose a fulfilling life in their home province. She has also worked directly with a number of youth organizations over her working and volunteering life, both in government and community settings. What she loves most about her work, is working with groups of young people who are making things happen for themselves in their communities and their province and being able to connect them with the resources needed and the people who can help them achieve their goals. "I love the energy that exists when young people are driving the bus on projects that matter to them!" A little bit to describe Sylvia: She is a big fan of CBC; and she believes that skipping is a highly underrated form of transportation.

Organization support

Dan Khimasia - Frontier College
35 Jackes Avenue, Toronto, ON. M4T 1E2

Frontier College is a literacy organization with a network of over 3500 volunteers across the country. Frontier College will provide access to a mentoring context, the Aboriginal Summer Literacy Camp, which has an alumni of 350 camp counselors. They will facilitate working with a team made up of counselors within the Northern communities and those from the South that volunteer in those communities, as well as youth participants in the program. Frontier College brings significant experience and networks working with various northern Aboriginal communities, as well as knowledge about youth-adult relationships in volunteer contexts.

Moira McDougall – YMCA GTA

Moira McDougall – YMCA GTA
42 Charles Street East, Toronto, ON. M4Y 1T4

The YMCA GTA has an ongoing partnership with the Students Commission and the Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement, having recently collaborated on a 3-year study conducting formative evaluations of several Y programs. Currently, we are working together to apply the findings of the evaluations, translating knowledge to action throughout the process. The Y has identified an experienced staff member to work with a small team of youth co-researchers to explore youth-adult partnerships in Y leadership contexts.

Bonnie HeilmanBonnie Heilman - Youth Launch
c/o Nutana Collegiate, 411 11th Street East, Saskatoon, SK. S7N 0E9

Youth Launch, located in Nutana Collegiate, a community high school, has been a core partner of the Centre since its inception. Youth Launch has significant expertise and experience engaging youth in schools and community organizations across Saskatchewan, as well as implementing youth engagement projects for various municipal, provincial and federal government departments. They bring a very interesting context of youth-adult partnerships within a community alternative school setting and experience in supporting collaborations of youth and academics. The team at Youth Launch developed the Adult Ally training that has been a key component of the Centre’s work in supporting the development of youth-adult partnerships. They have provided training for various multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral audiences and so are key to mobilizing the knowledge from this project to their extensive provincial networks. Their provincial reputation and ongoing collaboration with academic partners in the Centre, position them as a strong hub in Saskatchewan.

Sue O'Neill

Susan O’Neill - John Howard (NB)
68 Carleton Street, Saint John, NB. E2L 2Z4

The John Howard Society of New Brunswick will build upon a longstanding partnership with co-investigator Dr. Susan Reid at the Centre for Research on Youth at Risk at St. Thomas University to explore the key indicators of success related to the complex nature of adult –youth relationships for multiple-barriered youth. Using focus groups and one-on–one interviews, key issues will be identified in teams of adult-youth co-researchers among youth at risk, young offenders and youth transitioning out of state systems of care and protection. An annual assembly of youth at risk and more traditional youth leaders will provide an opportunity for further exploration of the relationship between youth-adults in the various contexts that youth populate.

Janath Vesna - Boys and Girls Club of Canada

Janath Vesna - Boys and Girls Club of Canada
204 7100 Woodbine Avenue, Markham, ON. L3R 5J2

Janath Vesna: Jan has worked with youth since she was 19 and a youth herself (although she still considers herself ‘youthful’ – even if the numbers don’t allow it!) Primarily working in youth employment for several national and local youth-serving agencies, she has also served as a youth leadership program mentor, Girl Guide leader and softball coach for youth. In her current role with Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, where she has been for a little over a year, she works very closely with the National Youth Council and just completed planning and running (with the youth!) the BGCC 2011 National Youth Conference in Toronto and is looking forward to the Ontario Provincial Youth Conference in August!!

Description: The Boys and Girls Club of Canada is a leading provider of quality programs to children and youth that support the healthy physical, educational and social development of more than 200,000 young people and their families each year with over 100 clubs located in 700 community service locations across Canada. The Boys and Girls Club has been involved with the Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement-Students Commission through its affiliation with the NYSA and has been involved in the drafting of the Building a Better Canada document. The National Youth Council has been involved in dialogue and discussion with academic partners regarding their Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarship initiative. They will facilitate the exploration of youth-adult partnerships within the context of their National Youth Council.

Moffat Makuto

Moffat Makuto – Regional Multicultural Youth Council
511 Victoria Avenue East, Thunder Bay, ON P7C 1A8

The Regional Multicultural Youth Council (RMYC) in Thunder Bay is an inclusive group linking young people in small and isolated communities of Northwestern Ontario. The RMYC is a dynamic organization promoting youth involvement in positive activities to foster the well-being of children and youth, and developing proactive programs to enhance the quality of life and improve social conditions in our communities. The RMYC has a long history working with the Students Commission and will be involved in exploring youth-adult partnerships in a context within their youth-to-youth multicultural work in rural communities.


The Students Commission