Early on, Naima discovered her passion for supporting youth empowerment. Her roots lie in community development and social justice work in her hometown of Sarnia, Ontario. Currently, Naima is entering her second year in Public Policy and Urban Studies at the University of Toronto. Naima is interested in how we can use dialogue to build participatory and inclusive spaces that foster both self-awareness and collective community consciousness.
She has been involved in student voice work as a Student Trustee for the Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB), in her gap year as a Studio [Y] Fellow, and as the School Boards Lead for the Toronto Youth Cabinet. Naima works as the Student Voice Coordinator for the LKDSB, where she designs and implements the LKDSB's systems-wide high school student voice program. This summer she is working at the Ontario Ministry of Education.
Director of Engagement & Policy
Nick is currently completing a degree in International Development and the Environment at McGill University, and is just entering his third year as a Loran Scholar. In high school, Nick helped to create a student trustee position for the Vancouver School Board and was the first to serve in the role in the 2013/14 school year. The following year he co-led a 19-school district council and organized sporting events for over 200 students with disabilities. Nick enjoys getting outside as often as he can; between the ages of 14 and 17 he worked as a kayak guide on Vancouver Island during the summer months, and now takes every opportunity he can get to be on the water and in nature.
Director of Operations & Research
Alex is entering his third year of Neuroscience at the University of Alberta. He is passionate about promoting youth engagement in various topics, whether governance structures, important social issues, or within their communities. As Director of Operations and Research for Student Voice Initiative Canada, Alex wants to help meaningful student engagement structures be implemented on school boards across Canada, to democratize student councils and students’ unions, and to empower youth across all socioeconomic statuses, gender identities, and racial or cultural backgrounds to proudly express their voice and to feel comfortable being strong, engaged citizens.
Jing is in her third year of International Relations and Contemporary Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. As a former student trustee and students' council president, Jing's high school career was practically built from her enthusiasm towards student voice and engagement. She believes that as consumers of the education system, students deserve to be placed in ones that have their best interests at heart. Her passion for education, music, dance, politics, and discovery led her to the University of Toronto, making friends and building connections is all part of who she is.
Board of Directors
I have been involved in a variety of projects at the Ontario Ministry of Education including the expansion of co-op, Pathways to Education, Frontier College Homework Clubs, Business Education Councils, Provincial Partnership Council and the Employer Registry. My legacy projects include the OPS Learn and Work program and the Student Engagement Strategy more commonly known as the Student Voice Initiative. Since 2008, more than 8000 student-led SpeakUp projects have been funded, 420 students (7 Cohorts) have been appointed to advise the Minister of Education, and many regional student forums organized. Listening to students has led to new products (e.g. SpeakUp in a Box) and programs including Students as Researchers (StAR) Collaborative Inquiry forums and StAR conferences. In addition to a shift to a more student-centered approach across the ministry, the initiative has helped to encourage the teacher-student role to become one of ‘radical collegiality’ in the words of Michael Fielding.
Board of Advisors
I am a Canadian undergraduate Bachelor of Commerce student at Queen’s University with a specialization in business strategy and technology. Before attending Queen’s, I was awarded over $110,000 in merit-based scholarships including the national TD Scholarship for Community Leadership. I recently completed a four-month summer internship with Cisco Systems as part of their sales and business development team. Key projects include forecasting new revenue opportunities and educating channel partners across the Americas about connectivity technology and its capacity to make economies more productive and businesses more competitive.
Board of Advisors
Jaxson is the co-founder and Executive Director of Young Diplomats of Canada, a national non-partisan, non-profit organization that engages the country's top young professionals in global governance summits. He most recently was an Associate at Prospect Madison, a cross-sector leadership advisory firm aimed at enhancing collaboration across the business, government and non-profit sectors to address society’s most pressing issues. Jaxson was named one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 young leaders, Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum and the first Executive Director and a co-founder of Student Voice Initiative.
Born in Seoul, raised in Vancouver, educated in Toronto, and living in London (UK), I’m a Korean-Canadian millennial constantly on the hunt for my next challenge. I’m passionate about education, startups, politics, and all things digital.
Adam Fletcher’s internationally-renowned work is based upon an award-winning career as a community educator, school administrator, and consultant. The author of 50 books and over 100 published articles, he focuses on personal engagement, youth engagement, student engagement and community engagement. Today, he works with organizations across North America as a student motivation speaker, and provides training for teachers at conferences and through dynamic staff development.
Jackie Plessl is a seven year veteran of Free The Children where she began by speaking to schools and organizations worldwide about how to make a difference personally. She then went on to develop and run the honored guest program for We Day globally and produce some of the largest events across Canada. In her newest adventure as Director of Business Development, Family Giving, she is helping families and individuals create a lasting legacy through domestic and international sustainable development. She has exposed families to the beauty of new cultures, people and ideas and how to build empathy and understanding through volunteer travel to China, India and Kenya. Jackie brings with her a unique story of finding her passion for social justice through every day actions here at home but also some life changing experiences overseas.
Board of Advisors
Marc Lijour is leading the Digitization of Education in Canada. With 20 years of experience in education and innovation, he taught Science, Technology, IT and Mathematics in Canada, Mexico, Portugal and France. He was instrumental in defining and implementing the provincial e-learning strategy and revising the Technological Education Curriculum, among other policies and programs at the Ontario Ministry of Education. Lijour held several roles in the private, public and non-profit sectors, leading technical and process innovation, and aiming to maximize value and student success. Marc Lijour holds an MBA in the Management of Technology and Innovation from Ryerson University, an IT Executive Leadership Certificate from Leaders Beyond (formerly CIO Summit), a BSc in Computer Science from Ryerson University, and a Licence de mathématiques from University of Paris. He is certified to teach in Ontario and in France.
Colin Lynch is the Managing Partner of Velocity Growth Partners, a private equity and management consulting firm that enables organizations to realize significant market growth opportunities.
Previously, Colin was General Manager of Global Strategy at Aimia, the world’s leader in loyalty, Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company based in their Chicago office and an analyst in Morgan Stanley’s Toronto investment banking office. He has also held internships at Procter & Gamble and Monitor Group. Colin received an MBA from Harvard University as well as a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University. All were received with distinction. He was also awarded an ARCT in Piano Teaching (honours) from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Board of Advisors
Drawing experience from various advisory roles to the Alberta Ministry of Education, Rohan Nuttall is active in youth engagement solutions. Heavily involved in promoting intergenerational collaboration within the education system, Rohan is a Contributor to the Globe and Mail, co-founder of the Alberta Youth Council on the Environment, a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and TD Scholar. Rohan is currently in his fourth year of studies in Honours Physics at the University of British Columbia.