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Youth Advisory Council

Plan International Canada’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is comprised of 10 young people aged 15 to 24 who are passionate about international development issues, and who want to make a lasting difference at Plan International Canada. Youth Advisors support us in a governance and advisory capacity by offering a unique youth perspective on Plan’s organizational activities – including everything from youth engagement to marketing to finance to human resources to programming. The YAC meets monthly (via Google Hangout ). Youth Advisors are not expected to represent the voice of all Canadian youth, and instead are encouraged to communicate their own opinions as a young person, as well as those of their community to the best of their ability.

Purpose of the YAC:

  • Enable young people to learn about and support Plan International Canada’s mission
  • Provide insight on innovative, diverse youth engagement and outreach strategies and opportunities across Canada
  • Advise Plan International Canada on effective youth integration into the organization
  • Assist in the implementation of youth programs and activities
  • Ensure the voice of youth is heard by decision makers at Plan International Canada and elsewhere
  • Connect youth nationwide; encouraging personal network building and personal friendships
  • Receive mentorship opportunities through our Public Engagement team and Board of Directors

How the YAC works:

  • One Chair of the Council – responsible for leading the Council
  • Two Board Advisors – act as the liaison and voice of the Council to the Board of Directors
  • Seven General Members – help deliver on the Council’s responsibilities

Role and Responsibilities of a YAC Member:

  • Work closely with fellow YAC members and Plan staff to provide input into youth-related resources and web content produced by Plan International Canada’s Youth Engagement team
  • May be expected to meet outside of the monthly YAC meetings (in person/via Google Hangout) to advise on or participate in Plan Youth projects, or projects which Plan supports
  • Participate in ad hoc working groups on special projects as they arise
  • Provide input towards Plan’s work as an ambassador of your region of Canada
  • Help develop the agenda and facilitate workshops at the annual YAC orientation
  • Attend all monthly meetings
  • Required to participate in a semi-annual evaluation

How to apply

Thank you for your interest in Plan International Canada’s Youth Advisory Council. Applications for 2016/17 are now closed. Please check back Spring 2017 to apply to the YAC 2017/18.

Want to join the YAC? Here’s what we’re looking for:

YAC Qualifications:

  • Must be 15 to 21 years old at the time of application
  • Previous involvement with Plan International Canada, other international development organizations, or other charities / local community programs
  • Demonstrated interest in at least one area of Plan’s departmental work (i.e. fundraising, finance, community engagement, marketing, brand, etc.)
  • Experience and interest in program development and management, international development, advocacy, and especially governance
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Resides in Canada
  • Available to participate in the YAC annual orientation in Toronto being held August 18 to 21, 2016. Note: Plan International Canada will cover any travel and accommodation costs within Canada deemed necessary to attend the orientation.

Required commitment of each YAC member:

The purpose of the Youth Advisory Council is to provide young people in Canada with an opportunity to participate in decision making at Plan International Canada. The YAC will be active members in promoting youth participation at a governing level for the organization. For this reason, all members must have demonstrated experience in a governing position (i.e. student council, student parliament). The expectation for members of the YAC is a minimum three year commitment. Members are divided into working groups to address specific challenges identified by Plan International Canada and are responsible for recommending solutions. To reach the YAC’s goals, all members must commit to one monthly meeting and one quarterly meeting with Plan International Canada staff members (in person/via Google Hangouts). All members of the YAC must commit to submitting one e-mail update bi-weekly to the Chair to help support communication and transparency within the Council.

The YAC is connected to the Global Youth Advisory Panel, Plan International’s youth governing body. The YAC will contribute not only to Plan International Canada’s goals but will also correlate with young people on Youth Advisory Councils across Plan International’s network.

Applications for the 2016/17 Youth Advisory Council are now closed. Interview invitations will be extended via email the first week of June and interviews will take place late-June 2016. Individuals invited to join the YAC must be available to attend our three-day orientation event being held August 18 to 21, 2016.

If you have any questions please reach out to Michelle DeJardine, Plan International Canada's YAC Manager at mdejardine@plancanada.ca

Thank you for your interest in joining Plan International Canada’s Youth Advisory Council!

Meet the 2015/2016 Youth Advisory Council

Ashley

Ashley

Ashley is an International Baccalaureate graduate attending McGill University in the Faculty of Arts and Science. She is passionate about international relations, international development, and women's issues. Ashley is a Founding Member of the Young Women's Advisory Council (YWCA Hamilton) and served as Co-Chair of the Youth Advisory Council (Hamilton Community Foundation) from 2013/14. She facilitates meetings, workshops, and conferences for young women to empower them through civic engagement. In May 2015, Ashley began her humanitarian efforts by launching a crowd funding site for the UNHCR Nepal relief fund after learning about sex trafficking rates after the April 2015 earthquake. This initiative helped three families in Kathmandu find solace and shelter, whilst raising awareness about gender inequality in humanitarian efforts. As a Member of Plan Canada's Youth Advisory Council, Ashley seeks to engage Canadian youth about global issues from the lens of gender equality.

Position: Member
Fun fact: Ashley’s personal goal for 2015/16 is to learn how to ride a (periwinkle) bike so she can conveniently carry her cockapoo puppy in its basket in Old Montréal.

Breanne

Breanne

Breanne is completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Winnipeg, majoring in human rights and minoring in political science. After graduation next year, she is applying to various law schools across Canada. Breanne is a strong advocate for social justice and believes in the importance of lived rights, and especially the lived rights of the child. In her community, Breanne is actively involved as a mentor to girls in middle and high schools. Since 2010, Breanne has facilitated several Because I am a Girl clubs in multiple schools. She also coordinates and facilitates various day programs and retreats designed for girls. Breanne is passionate about mobilizing the girls in her community to be globally conscious young women. In her spare time, Breanne enjoys practicing hot yoga, watching movies, and laughing with friends and family.

Position: Chair
Fun Fact: Breanne works with pre-school children, and has made everything from a whale to a car wash for community events.

Cara

Cara

Cara completed her Hon. B.A. in Economics and Asia-Pacific Studies at Trinity College at the University of Toronto. She currently works at TD Securities as a Global Operations Leadership Associate. Cara became involved with Plan Canada in high school, and since then has had the privilege of participating in child rights conferences, as well as representing Plan at the 20th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in Geneva, Switzerland. Cara is fluent in French and was awarded the Chinese Government Scholarship to pursue her Mandarin studies in Beijing, China for one year. She is currently co-leading a research initiative with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and has conducted research at the Munk School of Global Affairs. Most recently, her team was awarded a grant to study the democratization process in Yangon, Burma. Outside of academic life, Cara enjoys traveling and running marathons.

Position: Member

Fun Fact: Not crazy about sweets, but loves chips!

Chris

Chris

Christopher is currently in his 1st year of the Engineering Science program at the University of Toronto. Christopher was immersed in equality and international development when he attended Jackman Elementary School. In high school, he continued to explore his passion for change by joining several school-wide clubs and by becoming a member of Plan Canada’s Youth Advisory Council. Further, he has explored this passion through various other leadership opportunities, namely: the KAKEHASHI project and the Student Administrative Council. As president of the Student Council in his final year of secondary school, Christopher initiated many different projects aimed at improving the coordination of the school, such as the Presidents’ Council and the Student Forum. As an engineering student, Christopher has always been extremely interested in the sciences and math. He has competed in various competitions and plans to continue immersing himself in these subject areas by joining design teams and clubs at University. Christopher plans to continue promoting and initiating Plan For Change clubs. With the skills that Christopher has gained, he also strives to represent the youth voice in Canada at the board level. Christopher will also continue athletics by swimming and playing table tennis.

Position: Board Advisor
Fun Facts: Christopher enjoys sushi, any meaty foods. He doesn’t enjoy sweets unless it’s honey or mangoes. He is an avid swimmer and soccer player, and cannot function properly on less than 8 hours of sleep. Christopher ALWAYS (well almost) eats the crust first. Christopher’s ancestry contains several Chinese high-ranking officials, one of which had the Chinese version of the saying “speak of the devil” based off of him.

Christina

Christina

Christina is a first year undergraduate student studying Economics at the University of Alberta. She is actively involved in youth engagement programs in her community and believes that a lack of response to an issue highlights room for advancement through education and social entrepreneurship. Christina has served as President of her high school Rotary Interact Club, where she helped organize numerous school and community-wide fundraisers. Through Rotary, she had the opportunity to take part in a three year partnership with the Belize Literacy Program to promote literacy, safe child play, and community rejuvenation through playground builds. After her trip to Belize, she was inspired to research how early childhood literacy impacted crime rates and poverty in Canada. Her involvement as a Page at the Alberta Legislature helped her gain an insight on how public voice shapes sustainable policy making.

She is excited to collaborate with the members of the YAC to bring interdisciplinary approaches to initiatives on health, education, and gender equality in both the local and international community. .

Position: Member

Fun Fact: Christina had the chance to work with four Premiers during her time as a Legislative Page.

Gurbir

Gurbir

Gurbir is a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia having majored both in International Relations and Geography, with a focus on international development. He has recently completed an internship with the BC Council for International Cooperation where he worked to facilitate discussion regarding the UN’s post-2015 sustainable development agenda and the importance of youth therein. Gurbir has now begun to pursue his professional life as an educational programming coordinator and public speaker, promoting social justice and global studies education in the Greater Vancouver area and regularly speaking to young students about the importance of leadership and advocacy. Gurbir is excited to utilize his role in the Youth Advisory Council as an avenue to expand the opportunities available to young people through Plan both in Canada and abroad!

Position: Member

Isabel

Isabel

Isabel is an undergraduate student at the Schulich School of Business at York University. Isabel first got involved with Plan during her last year of high school where she worked in the youth engagement sector as part of her cooperative-program. After her internship was over, she continued her involvement by joining the Girls Speakers Bureau and finally the Youth Advisory Council. Throughout her time at Plan Isabel has been fortunate enough to be a part of the first International Day of the Girl and even had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania to learn more about the micro-finance and vocational training programs. Isabel is also the co-founder of her own non-profit organization called 1Focus, which aims to help both international and local causes each year.

Position: Board Advis
Fun fact: Ever since I was a kid, I loved mushrooms…I love them so much my family believes I’m smart because I eat so many of them.

Jessica

Jessica

Jessica is from New Brunswick and a returning member of Plan Canada’s Youth Advisory Council. She recently completed her undergraduate degree in philosophy in interdisciplinary leadership with a minor in Psychology at Renaissance College, University of New Brunswick. This year she will pursue a Masters of International Business at Hult International School of Business. She dedicates her time to her business ventures and volunteering/leading a variety of organizations, committees, and initiatives. She has developed a particular interest in international development since coming back from her 10-week humanitarian aid trip to Haiti. In, Haiti she experienced the real need for sustainable intervention and feels positive changes can be made if youth are empowered. With her experiences, passion, education, and leadership skills her goal is to help represent youth so their voices are heard and to demonstrate the importance of empowering youth on a national and international scale.

Position: Alternate Chair

Fun Fact: She spends every Christmas in Costa Rica!

Ruth

Ruth

Ruth is a university student pursing a major in biochemistry. Her passions include humanitarian work, the arts, short story writing and theatre. She loves advocating for girls, minorities and indigenous peoples, especially when it comes to the involvement in STEM and theatre. Besides being heavily involved in her city and being an avid volunteer she also sits on multiple national councils. Her most beloved organization is the one she founded; AC For AC. AC For AC is an organization that promotes unity and leadership teaching to its Afro-Caribbean community by offering workshops that train youth leaders so that they can then go and implement change. When she isn't volunteering or facilitating she is playing the African drums and performing her traditional Eritrean dances.

Position: Member

Fun Fact: She loves spicy food!

Shrida

Shrida

Shrida is a first year Master of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences student at the University of Alberta. An avid volunteer since the age of thirteen, she has immense passion for issues concerning health, education and gender inequality, at both the domestic and international levels. Her involvement with Plan Canada started when she was on the Because I am a Girl Speakers’ Bureau, where she was inspired to engage and learn more about gender inequality issues. A huge proponent of health-based initiatives, she co-founded the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation Initiative at the University of Alberta, a student group that strived to advocate for digestive health research and preventative measures as well as raise awareness on the importance of digestive health. She was also on the executive team for the University of Alberta’s Women in Science and Engineering student group that supports women and men in underrepresented fields including science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With her involvement with the YAC, she looks forward to ignite and inspire new conversations amongst youth on international development issues that involve so many young lives worldwide.

Position: Member