A little bit about ourselves...
Students Commission Full-time Staff
The Students Commission is a national charitable organization committed to youth engagement and youth voice. It has led the Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement, which is a non-incorporated, ongoing network of collaborators since 2000, and is therefore ideally, and uniquely suited to leading a connection stream, partnership development project. It has existing strong partnerships with Brock University, St. Mary’s University and Wilfrid Laurier University, the YMCA, Youth Launch, and many others. These organizations have been research partners for ten years, successfully acquired research funding, and completed many research projects. The project is lead by Stoney McCart, who is the Executive Director of the Students Commission and the Director of the Centre for Excellence in Youth Engagement.
Christa is an adventurous and energetic person, with a love of the outdoors, reading and traveling. She has been to Australia, Southeast Asia, Africa and has extensively traveled North America; in many of these contexts she was working with children and youth. In fact, Christa has been working with children and youth for over 15 years: designing, implementing and supervising programs in various capacities and with diverse populations. She has spent the last 6 years supporting youth leadership and youth engagement in Canada, through organizational and personal mentorship, research and evaluation, and systems change projects, like Students Commission Collective Impact Toronto Youth.
Hafsa was doing her monthly check through her emails when she came across a job call out for a Youth Facilitator. As she read more about the position, she came to love the job. Then she saw the application was due the next day. Hafsa pulled an all nighter to get her application and resume done and the rest is history. Hafsa’s current position is Youth Facilitator. Hafsa once drove all the way to Montreal to eat at a dessert place, Juliette et Chocolat, and drove back the same day. She love desserts...it's a problem. If Hafsa had a warning label it would say “Caution, highly flammable”, if she had a superpower she would want to have telekinesis! As well that getting tickled is what makes her laugh the most.
Mr. Nishad Khanna has worked with the Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement since 2002, having grown up in the youth facilitation program at Youth Launch, a core partner of the Centre. He has been involved in developing and implementing various youth programs, events and youth-engaged research with the Students Commission, organizational partners and academic partners. As research coordinator of the Centre of Excellence, he has a long history with the community-university partnerships we have developed over the past 10 years, as well as experience facilitating and coordinating youth participatory action research.
Sharif in 2010 was a young adult member of a provincial youth engagement advisory committee for the Ministry of Health Promotion. The SC also had a few representatives on the committee. Sharif was so impressed by the contribution from the SC team that he went up to the reps and asked “How could I become involved with the organization?” The rest is history. Sharif’s current position is Associate Director. Sharif has been with the SC since 2010 and he supports the coordination of the organization's local, provincial, national and international projects. Sharif has an Honors Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Western Ontario. As well he is currently completing his Masters of Arts in Leadership degree at Royal Roads University. Sharif also loves canoeing, being in the outdoors, dancing like no one's watching, working out and hanging out with his cat Zoey! If Sharif had a warning label it would say “Extrovert ALERT!”, if he had a superpower he would want to be able to fly!
Todd started working with Today's Generation – the youth magazine run by Stoney McCart in the late 1980's. So, he predates the founding of the Students Commission. Todd was hooked from the very first SC conference by the young participants' energy and the many talents they shared. The experience reaffirmed his belief that the world is a better place for all when we value each other's contributions and work together for positive change. Since 1991 he has had the good fortune of working alongside passionate youth, committed adults and caring organizations to ensure that the youth engagement experience is shared with other young people. Todd’s current position is Art Director. Todd was a military kid who moved every couple of years so he grew up being the new kid on the block in every community he had moved to. Todd has always felt that respect and acceptance of others is so important. Having always found people to welcome him no matter where his family settled has engendered it him a sense of how important it is to accept people for who they are. He have always found that good things come out of this trust. If Todd had a warning label/Tagline it would say “Grey is the new silver”, if he had a superpower he would want to be able to time travel! As well that Universal jokes are what makes him laugh the most.
Jordi Jordi heard about all the SC's great work and he was asked to get involved. Jordi is a big fan of cake. If Jordi had a warning label it would say “Warning! Puts pineapple on pizza.”, if he had a superpower he would want telekinesis! As well that being awkward is what makes him laugh the most.
Angie started as Stoney's assistant in 2005 and is now a Sharing the Stories Coordinator. Her educational background was in social work, but did not finish her degree. She knew a few years later that she wanted to finish it and the first step was to try to find employment in a charitable/"helping" sector where she could gain experience and knowledge. A mutual person connected to Stoney and myself who was aware of her goals introduced them and it turned out Stoney wanted to try out an assistant. A great conversation turned into a contract position and my roles have continued to evolve ever since. Angie 100% credits the SC for the completion of my BSW. Only child, first-generation Canadian, mother to Sadie and Katniss (dog and cat, respectively), lover of feathered and four-legged friends, enjoyer of paddle boarding and being anywhere close to the water, climber of Sydney Harbor Bridge. If Angie had a warning label it would say “Caution: Prone to accidental self-injury and loss of words.”, if she were a superhero she would be “Hyperbole Girl”! As well that dry humor and animals being jerks are what makes her laugh the most!
Kwaku got involved with the SC by attending the Top Left Conference. He is an actor/radio personality/ Youth Advocate, he loves working with people, networking and mentoring my peers. If Kwaku had a warning label it would say “DON’T BE NEGATIVE! I don’t work well with negative people. Positivity is the best way to get along.”, if he had a superpower he would want to be able to change the weather, if you’ve lived in Toronto.. you will understand! As well that inside jokes are what makes Kwaku laugh the most. The joke in itself and the fact that others don’t get it!
Mike is the founder of Blue Canoe Productions, a youth run non-profit arts group in Kingston he started when he was 18, that has been providing arts opportunities for youth for the past 10 years. Mike is a former Queen's University Student who has had a long history in the arts working for Theatre Kingston as an Associate Producer, the Kick & Push Festival as the General Manager, the Kingston Arts Council as the Administrator and the City of Kingston's Cultural Services Department as an Youth Arts Programmer. Mike's current position as Project Manager in Kingston, Ontario has him working alongside Youth and Adult Partners with Y2K (Youth 2 Kingston) a movement to make Kingston a more youth friendly city.
Maddy has been involved with the Students Commission for the past 5 years through the Youth 2 Kingston (Y2K) project. She is currently doing her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, and is excited to have joined the SC Team at the Toronto Office. From 2013-2016, Maddy served as the Vice-Chair of the Premier's Council on Youth Opportunities, in which she advised the Premier of Ontario and Cabinet Ministers on provincial youth policy and initiatives. In this role, she helped shape the Ontario Youth Action Plan, the Stepping Up framework for improving youth outcomes, and met with diverse populations of young people across the province. Maddy is passionate about amplifying youth voice and increasing the capacity of adults and young people to work together. When she's not studying or working, she can be found going dancing, cooking or watching cute puppy videos for hours on end.
Mr. Pytor Hodgson has worked with the Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement since its inception and has been involved in developing and executing over 150 youth conferences and projects with at least six other major youth organizations. It is a priority of the Students Commission and the partnering agencies to empower youth to become involved in research.