Plan International Canada’s Youth Council (YC) comprises 10−12 young people aged 14−24
who are passionate about the rights of children, equality for girls and other global issues facing
young people around the world.
The Youth Council (YC) is a group of young leaders throughout Canada who advocate for change as
advisors, influencers and ambassadors to Plan International Canada. The YC supports the development
of strategic direction and initiatives
and represents the organization at various local and global forums, thus ensuring youth perspectives
are woven into the fabric of our organization.
How the Youth Council works:
As a group, the Youth Council focuses on its members' unique and diverse skill sets. Rather than
dividing into working groups to accomplish tasks, the YC collaborates on all projects. Since each
member brings a different perspective, the
YC functions best when all members have an equal seat at the table. The YC contributes to Plan
International Canada’s goals and collaborates with young people across Plan International’s global
network on global issues and advocacy.
Applications for the 2023/2024 year are closed.
Our YC mandate:
Mobilize young people to learn about and support Plan International Canada’s mission.
Provide recommendations on how to ensure equitable opportunities exist for youth in Canada.
Advise Plan International Canada on effective youth integration in the organization.
Assist in the implementation of youth projects and activities.
Speak with decision-makers and influencers within and outside of Canada to advance the rights of
children and equality for girls globally.
Role and responsibilities of a YC member:
Dedicate approximately 1-3 hours weekly to the council through digital and face-to-face
meetings, independent work, training and event attendance.
Attend all monthly and quarterly meetings held on the first Sunday of each month. Meetings are
either held virtually or in person.
Work collaboratively with fellow YC members to provide input into youth-related projects,
resources and content produced by Plan International Canada and partners.
Provide input to Plan International Canada’s work as an ambassador to your region of Canada.
Help develop the agenda and facilitate workshops at the annual YC orientation.
Initiate, develop, and implement projects focused on youth advocacy through collective ownership
over the YC Annual Workplan.
Plan International Canada covers all expenses related to Youth Council engagement to ensure our
programming is as accessible and barrier-free as possible for all young people in Canada.
Maryam is an accomplished student leader with a proven track record of high standing in academics, sports and music. Maryam is a proud youth member of the New York Academy of Sciences, where she focuses on STEM-related challenges. She has won multiple public speaking contests on topics including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and fast fashion (the journey of a T-shirt made in Bangladesh). At ten years old, Maryam was chosen as a TEDx speaker, where she spoke about closing the gender wage gap in Canada. Maryam is a competitive swimmer and has represented her swim club at provincial-level championships.
Caroline is an aspiring researcher passionate about the intersection of STEM and equitable international development. She believes that providing access to sustainable technology can unlock an individual’s global citizenship in ways that will be pivotal to solving critical problems such as water and sanitation access and maternal health risks around the world. Caroline pursues many community projects, including building a learning platform that received recognition in Forbes as a top 10 winner of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Jr. Caroline is also an intern at Let’s Talk Science.
Ziyaan is the Co-founder and Chief Impact Officer at GreenApple Gives. At only 15, he founded For The Menstruator, reaching over 20,000 people in 10 countries globally. He has worked on the boards of organizations in the Climate, Health, Education and Poverty space that reach over 500,000 people. He is a recognized speaker, and his work has been featured on global platforms, including TED, BBC, DW, Toronto Star, Yahoo News and more. He has won some of the most prestigious accolades, including the Diana Award, Global Teen Leader, Dragons’ Den for Change and Future 25Under25!
Adham is in the in the Health Sciences program at Queen’s University. He passionately advocates for children, education and pressing human rights issues. He is the co-president of Queen’s HanVoice, an organization that focuses on support for Korean refugees. Adham is also an advisor for a start-up company in San Francisco that applies artificial intelligence to lung cancer screening and for a biomedical engineering team at NCSU. He was recently named runner-up at an MIT hackathon for developing a health care app using NFC technology. Adham is excited to put his STEM expertise and passion for advocacy to work as a Plan International Canada Youth Council member.
Charlotte is entering her third year at Acadia University, pursuing a Biology Honours and a minor in Mathematics and Statistics. All of Charlotte’s experiences are grounded in the notion of propelling movements for sustainable, positive change, locally and globally. She is passionate about intersectional gender equality, environmental remediation, youth engagement and empowerment. As a woman in STEM, she hopes to conduct research that results in policy changes to place everyone at the forefront of decision-making. Charlotte’s advocacy efforts include being a Speakers Bureau member, national Change the Birth Story Youth Advocate and Girls Belong Here ambassador with Plan International Canada. She’s also a youth facilitator for numerous NGO youth engagement events, a Women Deliver Young Leader and a member of the YWCA 2022 LSAT.
Alisha is an incoming second-year student at McMaster University, studying health sciences with a specialization in child health. She is passionate about children’s education and supporting equity in children’s health care. She loves working with children and looks forward to participating in children’s rehabilitation and equity research. Alisha is a part of Islamic Relief McMaster and McMaster’s Model United Nations club, which have fostered her interest in international human rights and global health issues. She believes strongly in young people’s voices and agency and is constantly inspired by those around her and their passion to improve their community. Alisha is excited to use her education and experience in STEM and her passion for improving children’s well-being as a youth council member.
Thomas is entering his fourth year at the University of Calgary. He is pursuing his Bachelor of Social Work with minors in Global Development and Gender and Sexuality Studies, alongside a certificate in Pluralism and Global Citizenship. Thomas is incredibly passionate about global issues, particularly those at the intersection of gender, sexuality and migration. This is reflected in his current role as the Co-President of the University of Calgary’s Global Development Society. He’s involved in various research projects on LGBTQ+ migrant safety, integration barriers for refugee youth and COVID-19’s effect on international students. He remains steadfast in his commitment to a lifelong journey of learning and eagerly anticipates further immersion in meaningful advocacy endeavours.
Emmaline is entering her third year in high school with a track record of high standings in academics, volunteering, and leadership. She is a proud fellow of Pineapple Labs, a Gen Z networking app. She is the founder of The Evermore Society, an organization focused on promoting the creativity of young people and their activism work. With a passion for advocacy and leadership from a young age, Emmaline has led many climate change and community-building activities, developing a niche for gender equality vs. equity. As a girl wanting to pursue mechanics, she hopes to promote the unclaimed opportunities for girls in STEM. She’s attended two leadership conferences the Global Student Leadership Summit and the Ontario Student Leadership conference and hopes to continue to find and create spaces to connect with likeminded changemakers.
Donald is a proud member of the Mi’kmaq Nation in the unceded territories of Mi’kma’ki, on the East Coast of Canada/Turtle Island. He is from the community of Membertou, where he sits on the Youth Chief and Council. Their goal is to amplify young people’s voices while developing leadership skills and qualities. Donald has participated in various STEM camps and activities focused on a “two-eyed seeing” approach. This approach combines traditional Indigenous knowledge with European/Western methods of scientific collection. A strong humanitarian and proponent of traditional Indigenous knowledge, Treaty Rights and culture, Donald has begun to examine “two-eyed seeing” as a way of relating to the world. He’s examining the role of men and boys in relation to gender equality and upholding the rights of women, girls and non-binary folks, especially regarding violence and prevention. Through discussions with an esteemed Elder, he recognizes the need to provide support and services to young people who have struggled to stay in school due to the effects of intergenerational trauma.
Muskaan has always been eager to give back to the community while building relationships and connections rooted in empathy. Her research and advocacy focus on accelerating gender equality through an intersectional approach. Intersectionality is a framework for understanding how social identities intersect and interact, shaping how one experiences discrimination and oppression. It’s a tool to ensure no group is left behind when working toward justice, inclusivity and equality. She is a youth advisor for Plan International Canada’s Power Within program and facilitates the Confident Me workshop, speaking to young people about body confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, she co-founded an online student-led platform, Tell Me About It, dedicated to taking action by providing a forum for women and activists of all genders to discuss their experiences and share their stories by listening, learning, connecting and sharing.
Meet Some Youth Council Alumni
Today’s Youth Council would not be what it is without the incredible contributions of our Youth Council Alumni! These remarkable young individuals have embarked on inspiring journeys since their tenure with us, leaving an indelible mark on their communities and beyond. As they continue to thrive and make a positive difference, we highlight their successes and the lasting connections they’ve fostered within our organization.
Adrienne served on the Youth Council from 2021 to 2023. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Relations and Commerce at the University of British Columbia. Her daily work combines her passions for digital communications, international affairs and youth engagement. She has experience working on issues such as gender equality, multiculturalism and access to justice with government, academic institutions and non-profit organizations. Some of her work includes leading communications at the Justice Education Society, being appointed Honorary Reporter for the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Vancouver and serving on the One Girl Can Society board, advancing girls’ education in Kenya. She wrote a series of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) feature interviews for the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation. She was honoured to serve as a youth delegate at the UN High-Level Political Forum and the Commission on the Status of Women.
Breanne was on the Youth Council from 2014 to 2018. She is a Michif/German woman from Red River and Treaty 1 Territory. Her Michif family is from the Métis community of St. Ambroise, Manitoba, located on the southeastern tip of Lake Manitoba. Her German family settled in Beausejour, Manitoba, on Treaty 1 Territory. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights from the University of Winnipeg and a Bachelor of Civil Law and Juris Doctor from McGill University. She is currently the Executive Director of Festival du Voyageur, the largest winter festival of francophone and Indigenous culture in Western Canada. In her community, Breanne is committed to decolonizing understandings of law and governance through the active embodiment of Métis sovereignty. She is a proud member of Red River Echoes, a collective of Métis people across their homeland who are reclaiming culture, laws and languages through land back and abolition. Breanne enjoys writing, spending time with the land and water and laughing with friends and family.
Christina was member of Plan International Canada’s Youth Advisory Council from 2015 to 2020. During this time, she advised on the organization’s global youth advocacy strategy. She was involved in designing and implementing multi-year initiatives, including Girls Belong Here and Youth for Gender Equality, Canada’s first youth-led UN SDG implementation plan. Christina was a youth delegate at the 61st United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and has been a member of UN youth working groups on economic empowerment and gender equality. She works in strategy and operations in financial services and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta.
Austin was on the Youth Council from 2016 to 2019. He is from Salisbury, NB and is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick’s Renaissance College Faculty for Interdisciplinary Leadership. He is currently the first Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Town of Salisbury. Austin has worked for the City of Moncton as the Manager of Strategic Communications and as the Executive Assistant for a Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and la Francophonie. He completed his undergraduate degree as a Lord Beaverbrook Scholar, graduated with the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal for Academic Excellence and was inducted into the Sir Howard Douglas Society. His volunteer work has brought him around the country and the world. He served as Chair of Plan International Canada’s Youth Advisory Council and President of a provincial not-for-profit. He completed an internship at the Deshpande Foundation in Hubli, India. Austin is passionate about local governance and travelling and was a minor hockey official for over ten years.
Are you also a member of Plan International Canada’s Alumni? We’d love to hear from you. Contact Zein Hindawi, Manager, Youth Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.