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Youth Advisory Council

Plan International Canada’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is comprised of 10-12 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 2019/2020 year are now closed.
We look forward to your application next year.

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.

Amelia

Amelia is a third-year student at the University of Toronto, studying Ethics, Society & Law with minors in Political Science and Philosophy. She believes youth advocacy and youth governance are essential pillars in social justice and equity work. 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 is excited to be entering her second year on the YAC, and to continue working with incredible young people from around Canada toward realizing gender equality. She aspires to become a lawyer and is passionate about improving access to justice for all people in Canada.

Ashley

Ashley recently received her certification as a participant in the 2018 Leading Change Program from the University of Cambridge that designed specifically for those who have been recognized by the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. Ashley is a passionate advocate for youth rights and involvement, mental health, diversity and gender equality. She is an alumni member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council and a current member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Youth Advisory Council. She strives to ensure that the voices of young people are actively heard throughout the decision-making process at any level of government or organization through a symbiotic relationship. Ashley enjoys organizing and attending youth-centered community events at schools, youth groups, organizations, and government that profiles issues important to young people in her province and throughout Canada. Her biggest takeaway from events like these are the conversations (even if it is tough) with diverse people and what matters to them and what actionable steps can be taken after the conversation. Ashley also values spending time with her family, friends’ pets, drinking coffee, volunteering and developing her business. She also loves exploring her own city (especially the River Valley) and traveling whenever possible while trying new things that push her outside of her comfort zone.

Amy

Amy is a fourth-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.

Christina

Christina 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. She is Co-Chair of the Youth Working Group on Gender Equality with the Department for Women and Gender Equality. She has been working to bring free menstrual products on campus with the goal to remove barriers to equal 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 YAC is collaborating with youth around Canada on interdisciplinary approaches to achieving gender equality in both the local and international community.

Emma

Emma is currently in her third year of pursuing a major in kinesiology and minor in psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Emma aspires to become an allied health professional, likely in occupational therapy. Although Emma goes to school in Newfoundland, Emma recognizes growing up in the small rural town of Sussex, New Brunswick, gives her a unique voice on the YAC. Emma is passionate about making sustainable healthcare accessible and affordable to all people, no matter where they are located in the world. Emma has been lucky to grow up around three very strong-minded, powerful, determined and accomplished women: her mom, nana and great-aunt. To Emma, these women exemplify what advocacy means and they have inspired her to follow in their footsteps. In her spare time, you may find Emma travelling, knitting, brewing a cup of coffee, spending precious time with her dog Molly or relaxing at home with her loved ones..

Jennifer

Jennifer is from Saskatchewan and has recently completed her high school studies. She is taking a year off to further her passion of activism and travel. Jennifer believes in the power of human connection and storytelling in order to create change within the world. She has been involved in Plan International Canada through the Speaker’s Bureau, Champions of Change, and the Youth for Gender Equality initiative. Jenn is also the co-founder of South Sudanese Youth of Canada (SSYC), a non-profit youth led organization, whilst also serving as her regional community director.

In the future Jenn hopes to study International Business and Global Studies. With her career and travel, she hopes to learn new languages, try new foods, and learn about new cultures. Through her role on the advisory council she hopes to increase youth engagement, create connections, while learning and interacting with new perspectives to advance gender equality.

Rohan

Rohan is entering his third year at Western University pursuing a combined degree in Political Science (Huron College) and Business Administration (Ivey). Born in India and brought up in the diverse city of Mississauga, he is a strong advocate for multiculturalism, Immigration and Visible minority rights. He is also passionate about the importance of breaking down silos and promoting cross-sectoral collaboration. This is not surprising given he has interned with both the federal & provincial government as well as one of the biggest financial institutions in Canada. Aside from his position on the YAC, Rohan also serves as one of 7 global youth on Plan International’s Global Youth Advisory Panel and has his own business where he consults social enterprises on their public engagement and business strategy. To date he has worked with clients from all around the world including in India, Ireland, Jamaica, and of course Canada. His most recent adventure was getting the opportunity to visit Rwanda to study the reconciliation and peace building process, focusing on the role of youth. Entering his fourth year on the YAC, Rohan hopes to get more young men involved in the gender equality conversation.

Tony

Tonyis a first-year medical student at Queen's University and recently graduated from Western University where he studied life sciences and 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, socioeconomic status, 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 over 2000 km for debates, canvassing, and discussions with local 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, where he 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].

Patricia

Patricia has recently completed a four-year degree in Human Rights and a three-year degree in Political Science at the University of Winnipeg. Patricia has interned with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission specifically analyzing sexual harassment complaints. Last summer, Patricia was selected to join the ‘Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Scholar’ community to partake in an international internship encompassing cross-cultural, educational, and professional experiences in a Commonwealth country. She spent three months interning at the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law, HIV/AIDS. This past spring Patricia interned at the United Nations Headquarters in New York working in the Department of Management, Strategy, Policy, and Compliance. Whilst at the UN Patricia worked specifically with gender parity and sexual harassment within the organization. With her passions for the lived rights of women and gender equality, it has led her to attend the 60th, 62nd & 63rd Commission on the Status of Women at the UN. Currently, Patricia is studying her masters at the first Masters of Human Rights in Canada at the University of Manitoba. Furthermore, Patricia has participated in the first ‘Girls Belong Here’ initiative with Plan Canada International. Patricia is trilingual and is culturally enriched by traveling to numerous countries around the world. In her spare time, Patricia relishes gastronomy and traveling the world when the opportunity arises!

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 Grand Council Treaty #3 as a Community Justice Coordinator. Reina is passionate about her culture, loved ones, and igniting change.


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