Sele Akioyamen is a second year medical student at the University of Toronto in the Mississauga Academy of Medicine. Before attending medical school, Sele graduated summa cum laude from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at McMaster University and attended high school at the Mary Ward Centre for Self-Directed Learning.
In addition to serving as a social representative for the Class of 2019, Sele is a CREMS Research Scholar at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, a Junior Fellow at Massey College, an Associate Editor at the University of Toronto Medical Journal, and as a Co-Director of the Black Medical Students Association for the 2016-2017 school year. He has a special interest in initiatives promoting youth newcomer and queer health as engagement in civil and health systems and has received awards from the province of Ontario and the Faculty of Medicine in recognition of his efforts advancing these causes.
Sele is a native of Scarborough. For fun, he enjoys reading, volleyball, singing and eating large amounts of breakfast food. Sele is honoured to be a part of the Young Canadians’ Roundtable on Health.
Stephanie Bertolo, chair
Stephanie Bertolo is from Hamilton, Ontario and currently studying Arts and Science at McMaster University. Stephanie's passion for health and community drives her work with the YCRH, the Hamilton Community Foundation and several groups on McMaster’s campus.
Madeleine C. Bondy
Madeleine C. Bondy graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton, with a Bachelor of Arts and Science (Honours). She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health program at the University of Toronto with a specialization in Health Promotion. Her primary research interests focus on interdisciplinary qualitative health research examining community food security, particularly community gardening. She is also very interested in research on the health of Indigenous Canadians, strategies to promote health equity at the local level, and the relationship between green space and health. She is currently working at the Evaluation Centre for Complex Health Interventions (TECCHI) at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Madeleine has been part the YCRH for the last three years and looks forward to continuing her involvement to contribute to building a healthier future for Canadian youth.
Akosua Tiwaah Bonsu
Akosua Tiwaah Bonsu is currently a legislative intern at the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. She recently completed her Bachelor of Arts in global political economy, but has passion for healthcare and working with youth. As a member of the YCRH, Akosua blends these two passions and makes every effort to ensure Canada is the healthiest country for children and youth to grow up in.
Melissa Fairey is a 25-year-old from Toronto, Ontario who is passionate about youth rights and women's health. Her background is in Gender and Development. She has worked in Indonesia, Chile and Georgia on women's health and youth-led initiatives focusing on community development and sustainability. Melissa is currently the Canadian Country Coordinator for the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network (CYPAN) and a Women Deliver Young Leader fellow.
Alyssa is the Project Lead on the YCRH's Health Rights and Responsibilities project. She works to ensure youth inclusion and co-creation for projects that relate to youth, and aims to better adolescent health through advocacy and policy change. Alyssa speaks about the stigma surrounding “at-risk” young people, and the importance of youth inclusion. You can find her on Twitter, @alyframpton.
April Haggart is the founder of the My Story Movement on Facebook to raise awareness about mental health through storytelling. She likes to combine her recreation background and passion for mental health awareness, and hopes to inspire youth about the impact their own stories can have on others.
Jacob Hill is a former business student of Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador and is currently completing a massage therapy program in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Growing up with hockey as an integral part of his life, Jacob uses his passion for activity to engage youth and have them experience the power of sport. Jacob sits on the Growing Healthy Bodies expert advisory committee, in partner with the Canadian Institute of Child Health, and also hosts individual events to raise both funds and awareness for various events in his hometown.
Victoria Kaulback, 21, is from Hamilton, Ontario. Currently in her third year of university, she is pursuing a psychology degree from Queen’s University. Victoria is a daughter, student, sister, feminist, public speaker and activist. She is passionate about changing the face of poverty and mental health across Canada. Victoria has firsthand experience with the healthcare system in Ontario and after being hospitalized at McMaster Children’s Hospital when she was 17 to 18 years old, she knew she had to use her voice to help others going through similar situations. Victoria is eager to increase the amount of supports Canada has for children and youth with eating disorders and other mental health disorders.
Kane Alexander McIntyre
Kane Alexander McIntyre is a seeker, seer and scribe. Abiding in the self, he means to discover what others have not known before and as his endeavor, seeks new ways of living wholly. To encourage inner autonomy in those who desire unique ways to think deeply on matters as we lead our youth into a higher awareness. He provides insightful information to the public as a Report Writer at the London Youth Advisory Council.
Kane hopes as a messenger at the YCRH his creative writings will speak for who he is. He believes the best use of knowing how to care for other’s needs is the greatest of efforts. As long as people are willing to come to connect with novelty in their heart – a unique goodness that one can only come to on their own accord, they will thrive. This world is made for everyone in it, it takes time to see how others learn and grow. Some don't always get the chance to be whole, but we all receive the equal opportunity to change. If that is the world he can come to see and know, then it will be enough.
Danielle Pellerine, 26, lives in Nova Scotia. She recently completed the Nova Scotia Community College’s Library Information Technology program, and is now working as a library technician. As a person with disability who uses a wheelchair, she is interested in advocating for people with disabilities, especially in the area of accessibility. Danielle enjoys playing adapted sports, including sledge hockey and wheelchair basketball, among other hobbies.
Maree Rodriguez is a speaker, writer, spoken word poet, mental health and bullying awareness advocate. She has facilitated health-related workshops to thousands of youth across Winnipeg and currently facilitates No Means No workshops. These workshops cover topics such as power, rights and consent. She enjoys the outdoors, baking, singing in the shower and languages. Currently, Maree is studying psychology at the University of Winnipeg.
Deana Ruston is passionate about mental health and addictions issues. Deana loves cooking, baking and the trampoline.
Maverick Smith has always been interested in health equity. A registered social service worker who will be starting their Master of Education program in 2017, they are eager to contribute to YRCH.
Sabrina Tang is currently a medical student at Dalhousie University. Previously, she studied clinical engineering and industrial engineering at the University of Toronto. With a longstanding passion for entrepreneurship and healthcare, she was Studio [Y] Fellow at MaRS Discovery District and began developing Otter Health (@OtterHealth), a mental health peer support mobile application. Since Studio [Y], she was a policy analyst for Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, consulted for iamsick.ca, and participated in Singularity University's Global Solutions Program. Sabrina hopes to continue improving healthcare through technology, entrepreneurship and evidence-based policy.
Dylan Thompson-MacKay joined the YCRH because it provides the opportunity to connect with other young people who are passionate about social change, and allows him to do his part to make Canada the best place in the world for youth to live in. Dylan enjoys working with youth from across Canada.
Dylan is an aspiring social entrepreneur – the owner of Elwood Pens. He handcrafts and sells wooden pens and mechanical pencils, hoping to make a portion of his sales go to non-profits in the near future. Check out some of Dylan’s work on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ElwoodPens.
Spiros Zygouras is from Vancouver, BC and is currently studying Sports Sciences and Education. His passion is around health and wellness, as well as, the mental health benefits of sport and physical activity. Spiros’s background is in personal training and nutrition, and he currently works as a coordinator for settlement youth in Canada.