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Youth Advisory Council

Plan International Canada’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is comprised of 10 young people aged 14 to 24 who are passionate about international development issues, and who want to make a lasting difference in both Plan International Canada and the world.

YAC members support Plan International Canada in a governance and advisory capacity, by offering a youth perspective regarding Plan’s organizational activities – including everything from youth engagement to marketing to finance to human resources and programming. YAC members are not expected to represent the voice of all Canadian youth, and instead are encouraged to communicate their own opinions as a young person and that of their perception of their community.

Purpose of the YAC:

In alignment with Plan International Canada’s commitment to improving the lives of children and youth, and rooted in the principles of youth advocacy and governance, the Youth Advisory Council’s purpose is to provide Plan International Canada with insight on diverse outreach strategies in order to represent and mobilize a national network of youth.

Our Mandate:

  • 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 in the organization
  • Assist in the implementation of youth projects and activities
  • Ensure the voice of youth is heard by decision makers at Plan International Canada and elsewhere
  • Connect youth across Canada by encouraging personal network building and personal friendships
  • Receive mentorship opportunities through the Youth Engagement team

How the YAC works:

As a group, the YAC focuses on the unique and diverse skill-sets of its members. Rather than dividing into working groups to accomplish tasks, the YAC collaborates together on all projects. Since each YAC member brings a different perspective, the YAC functions best when all members have an equal seat at the table. 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 collaborate with young people on Youth Advisory Council’s across Plan International’s global network.

Role and Responsibilities of a YAC Member:

  • Works 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
  • Attend all monthly and quarterly meetings
  • 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 special projects as they arise
  • Provide input to Plan’s work as an ambassador to your region of Canada
  • Help develop the agenda and facilitate workshops at the annual YAC orientation

JOIN THE YOUTH ADVISORY COUNCIL

Applications for the YAC 2018/19 year are now closed. We thank all applicants for their interest in our Youth Advisory Council!

For more ways to get involved with Plan International Canada check out the Youth Engagement section of our website.

Austin

Austin is in his final year at the University of New Brunswick’s Renaissance College Faculty pursuing a Bachelor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Leadership and a minor in International Development as a Lord Beaverbrook Scholar. He has recently completed an internship at the Deshpande Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in Hubli, India working on an upcoming early childhood education project. He serves as the Vice-President for Canadian Parents for French New Brunswick and is completing a senior research project related to the attraction, retention, and integration of newcomer youth to New Brunswick. He was named the New Brunswick Young Humanitarian of the Year for 2018, is currently the Chair of the Youth Advisory Council, and works for his local Member of Parliament. Amongst other things, he is passionate about global affairs, politics, leadership, traveling, and taking on plenty of challenges as long as he has enough coffee.

Aliya

Aliya is a recent graduate from McGill University. She is passionate about health equity and gender equality, and believes that empowering women and youth is pivotal to achieving a more just world. Through her position on the Youth Advisory Council, Aliya has been granted the opportunity to speak out about the importance of health equity and gender equality. Throughout the course of her university career, she was granted the invaluable opportunity to research inequalities in global health systems during her third year of university.

In the future, Aliya hopes to pursue a career in which she is able to create and reform health care systems and policies on a regional level. She hopes to use her position as a member of Plan International Canada's Youth Advisory Council to inform youth of the benefits of becoming involved in advocacy work in order to promote sustainable development and to highlight the intersection that exists between youth, gender, and health.

Amy

Amy is a third-year International Relations and Political Science student at the University of Toronto. Her greatest passions lie in international development and global affairs. Amy became a Youth Ambassador for Plan International Canada in 2013 and continues to advocate for quality education, healthcare and equal rights for all. Within Plan, Amy is a speaker and workshop facilitator for the Because I Am A Girl Initiative, and a Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Advocate Mentor. In July of 2018, Amy had the opportunity to visit Plan’s #ChangetheBirthStory project sites in Ghana which strengthened her passion for the campaign and the value of cross-cultural learning. She was a member of the Conference Youth Council for the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health where she was able to utilize her knowledge of and experience with international development initiatives, public speaking, and social media platforms. Amy is currently a member of the Women Deliver Canadian Mobilization Consortium and has recently been placed on the Board of Directors at Women’s Health Environment Network by Girls(20). Amy credits her love for social activism, public speaking, and volunteerism as encouragement to step out of her comfort zone every day.

Amelia

Amelia is a second year student at the University Toronto, studying Political Science and Ethics, Society & Law. She has seen the power of youth advocacy in implementing change for a better world, and continues to be involved in advocating for mental health policy reform across Canadian university campuses. She serves as Mental Health Director for her college’s student association at U of T, and strives to connect with students to understand and work toward eliminating barriers in higher education. She believes youth advocacy and youth governance are essential pillars in social justice and equity work. She is excited to be entering her first year on the YAC and work with other passionate youth toward realizing the goal of gender equality in Canada.

Reina

Reina is from Lac Seul First Nation, an Ojibway community located in Treaty #3 (Northwestern Ontario). Reina has a diverse youth leadership background that stems from being the former Lac Seul Youth Chief. As a continuous local leader, Reina contributed to the renaming of the new high school in Sioux Lookout, as well as contributing to the new high school logo. She has provincial experience with youth advocacy by being heavily involved with Feathers of Hope, a First Nations youth initiative within the Ontario Child Advocate’s office. At a national level, Reina was a Youth Ambassador for the first Girls Belong Here Campaign by Plan International Canada. In October 2016, she shadowed the Honourable Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs for a day, creating a new step for First Nations youth. At a global level, Reina was on board the Canadian Partnership for Women’s and Children’s Health: Conference Youth Council. At the May 2017 Global Health Conference, Reina advocated for Indigenous Mental Health on the topic of First Nations Youth Suicides. This is only the beginning of Reina’s youth advocacy career. With dreams of being a worker for justice and law, she is currently employed at a law firm. Reina is passionate about her culture, loved ones, and igniting change.

Rohsni

Rohsni has completed her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from York University and is currently a first year student at Osgoode Hall Law School. In addition to being a member of the YAC, Roshni was an inaugural participant in the Girls Belong Here initiative having taken over the role of Plan’s CEO on International Day of the Girl 2016, and she had the unique opportunity to be employed by Plan in 2018 as a Summer Associate of Youth Advocacy. With a particular interest in grassroots organizing, as a former President of her Amnesty International campus group, Roshni also currently sits on Amnesty’s National Youth Action and Advisory Committee to help identify new and creative ways to engage and work with young people in the areas of campaigning, activism and engagement. She hopes to channel her passion and experience with youth engagement, human rights, social justice and gender equality to her new chapter in legal advocacy. When not engrossed in advocacy and leather-bound law books, Roshni can be found taking long walks in nature, pausing to pick up sticks and flourishing them in the hope of discovering that she is in fact a witch and her Hogwarts letter simply got lost in the mail.

Rohan

Rohan is a second-year student pursuing a dual degree in Business and Political Science at the University of Western Ontario’s Huron College. Born in India and raised in the ethnically diverse city of Mississauga, Rohan is a vocal advocate for multiculturalism, immigration and visible minority rights in Canada. Aside from his involvement with Plan Canada’s Youth Advisory Council, he holds a position as a Junior Analyst at the Competition Bureau where he has worked on important files such as the market studies into Broadband Internet and Financial Technologies (FinTech) in Canada. He is also a member of the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health’s Youth Action Committee and the Academic Commissioner on his College’s Student Council. Entering his third year on the YAC, Rohan wants to continue to engage more young men in the gender equality conversation.

Christina

Christina is a fourth-year Business student at the University of Alberta and pursuing a Certificate in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies at the Peter Lougheed Leadership College. 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. Along with a group of students, she has been working on bringing free menstrual products on campus to remove barriers to equal and full access to education for girls and women. Christina has attended the 61st Youth Commission on the Status of Women as a delegate with Plan International Canada and participated in Girls Belong Here during Day of the Girl as a Business Developer at Snapchat. Her favorite part of being part of the Youth Advisory Council is collaborating with youth across Canada on interdisciplinary approaches to achieving gender equality initiatives in both the local and international community.

Daman

Daman Damanpreet is currently in her fifth-year of the at Kwantlen Polytechnic University completing the Marketing Management Bachelor of Business Administration program along with the Cooperative Education program. Her passions include philanthropy, event planning, volunteering and marketing communications. She has been involved with Plan International Canada since high school where she first learned about her passion for women’s rights and education equality. Through her years involved with Plan International Canada, she has started two Because I Am Girl Clubs (one currently at KPU), and planned and initiated a fundraiser that collected over 22,600 pencils to donate to Plan International’s school partners! Damanpreet is excited to continue to utilize her role as a member and secretary of the YAC as she embarks on her third year in the role. Her mantra when it comes to volunteering is Margaret Mead's famous quote, "Never doubt that a small group of passionate like-minded individuals can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has." And Damanpreet has a strong feeling that the Youth Advisory Council will be no different.

Tony

Tony is a third-year student at Western University, studying medical sciences and financial economics. He firmly believes that youth have immense potential to impact their communities, but recognizes a lack of equality in resource allocation related to gender, social class, and age. With this mindset, Tony has worked extensively on providing opportunities for youth of all backgrounds, by engaging locally with community centers, nationally with girls in the Special Olympics Program, and internationally at youth and development centers and orphanages in China. Tony ran in the 2018 Ontario Provincial Election as the youngest candidate in the history of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, traveling 2000+km to meet with prominent community leaders. Alongside youth empowerment, Tony also advocates for sustainable development, having extensively researched alternative food-sources such as entomophagy, cultured meat, and biotechnology. Tony sits on the Board of Directors of LEADS Employment Services and the Western University Students' Council, advocates for equality for all demographics. Tony enjoys public speaking and has served as a master of ceremonies for events such as panels for indigenous affairs and political debates, fundraisers for natural disasters and more. Tony is very passionate about music, playing many instruments, and enjoys making music covers on YouTube in his free time [TonyLiMusic].

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

YAC Qualifications:

The following is a list of criteria we’re looking for in YAC members.

  • Must be 14 to 21 years old at the time of application
  • Must commit to a three year term
  • Previous involvement or interest with Plan International Canada, other international development organizations, or other charities/local community programs
  • Demonstrates interest in at least one area of Plan’s departmental work (i.e. fundraising, finance, community/youth engagement, marketing, communications, brand, etc.).
  • Experience and/or interest in program development and management, international development, advocacy, and especially governance
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Resides in Canada

Have questions about Plan International Canada’s Youth Advisory Council? Connect with the Youth Engagement team at youth@plancanada.ca or check out the YAC’s Instagram @plancanadayac