Join us for Youth Expo 2019!

The 2019 Youth Expo will be an inclusive space for youth to connect and learn across various areas. This conference will provide newcomer youth with a platform to make new friends, share experiences and build resiliency to inspire future success in their schools and in their local communities.

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Youth Expo Workshops

Understanding Financial Aid

This workshop is designed to educate and outline the OSAP process and applications while also exploring scholarships and bursaries.

Kassi Wicke is an Outreach and Transition Student Specialist from George Brown College. Kassi works with community organizations and Toronto District School Board (TDSB) high schools to open up the dialog about students pursuing a Post-Secondary Education. Kassi often does community presentations and one-on-one appointments, connecting with students, helping to develop a realist strategy and pathway to their educational goals. Kassi will be doing a break off session, discussing the Ontario Student Loan Program (OSAP) application, process and changes being made. During this workshop, Kassi will also be discussing scholarships, bursaries and alternative financial aid support offered to students wishing to attend a Post-Secondary institution.

DIY Bath Bomb Workshop

This interactive workshop teaches participants the science behind the everyday household item, bath bombs. After leaving this workshop, participants will discuss how bath bombs are made, their environmental impact, and social implications.

Dilesha Stelmach is a group benefits underwriter/benefits analyst with a passion for analytics and social advocacy. As a Math advocate, Dilesha uses her skills daily in her career in finance, analytics, and predictive mathematics. As Founder/CEO of Oui STEM Academy, she serves the community through this Toronto-based not-for-profit that encourages marginalized youth to pursue STEM-based careers and promotes stakeholders’ involvement in the support of STEM education in Canada. Dilesha’s passion and work have led Oui STEM Academy to win the 2018 UN SDG Leadership Award, Numerous personal awards, and speaking engagement. These include recurrent spots at the Metamorphosis Conference (Toronto’s first Girls focused STEM Conference), recurrent spots at the Global Status of Women and Girl’s Conference and Christopher Newport University, Guest lectures at Howard University to name a few.

Chill N Do Art

This workshop was created to encourage youth to come together and create as a form of self-care. This workshop is not geared toward visual artist specifically but rather to use creation as another form of expression.

Alia Ettienne is a theatre writer, actor, performer and facilitator who was born and raised in Toronto, ON. Ettienne is of Afro Caribbean descent which often influences her performances and writing. She has attended Sheridan College and University of Toronto studying both performance and creative writing. Ettienne aims to create art for social change and has worked with companies such as Buddies in Bad Times, Canadian Stage and The Paprika Festival. Her first solo piece YellowZoned dealt with times such as mental health, racism and ageism in society. It premiered in The 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival and was then remounted as apart of Hamilton premiere mental health theatre festival MindPlay. Currently, Ettienne is a Community Artist at SKETCH Arts and is now working on her second full-length piece Xiety.

Managing Stress

This workshop is designed to help youth develop proactive responses to stressful situations. Use coping tips for managing stress while learning to manage stress through diet, sleep and other lifestyle factors.

Rekha Taff is a Settlement Outreach Worker from Skills for Change. Rekha is an experienced Community Service Worker with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organizations. Rekha develops, promotes and delivers information sessions and workshops for newcomers. Rekha is passionate about supporting and providing the community with the support and tools needed to flourish.

Improving Conversation Skills using Spoken-Word

This interactive workshop is designed to provide the youth with the skills to create impactful and personal spoken word pieces. The aim is to inspire young spoken word artists to use their lived experiences and develop the confidence to share their masterpieces.

Abdifatah Hussein is a Youth Program Facilitator from the Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough. Abdi is a spoken word artist who is able to actualize the realities on first-generation Somali youth experiences in Toronto. His distinct approach to spoken word, whereby he blends narrative, visuals and beats, afford him the opportunity to reach audiences across various ages, backgrounds and beliefs.

Business Idea Generator

The Rise Business Idea Generator workshop explores considering initial viability of a business idea, and will also consider areas of business planning that support the launch of a business.

Kimber works as Rise Asset Development’s Youth Small Business Program Manager, designing programming for young people who are interested in starting a small business or side gig. Kimber has a BFA, Specialization in Education from Concordia University and has been working in the non-profit industry for the past 10 years. She is passionate about community programming that supports social inclusion and wellness. During her spare time, Kimber likes to cook and play hockey.

Steven Cope is a Business Advisor with Rise Asset Development, a not-for-profit organization that provides micro-financing, business development programs, and mentorship to entrepreneurs living with mental health and addiction challenges. Since 2015, he has supported entrepreneurs in launching and growing their business across various sectors, and has assisted them in securing financing from Rise.

Steven has a Bachelor of Commerce from the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. He is passionate about furthering positive conversation and outcomes in mental health and personal development. Steven is also an avid fan of music, film, and sports.’

Youth Expo Panelists

Rolla Tahir is a filmmaker and director of photography based in Toronto. She’s lensed short, narrative and experimental films, which screened across Canada and internationally. She graduated in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. Currently, Rolla manages Education, Outreach, and Special Projects at the Liaison of Independent Filmmaking of Toronto. She is also the Co-Founder of the Toronto Arab Film.

Shashi Lavanya is a Data Analytics professional in CPPIB. She moved to Canada 2 years ago and found her first job in her field of interest after a struggle of 6-7 months. She has an Engineering and an MBA Degree both from India and she worked as a Software Quality Analyst before switching to the field of Data Analytics. She’s a strong believer in Hard work and Perseverance.

Le Khanh Nguyen is a first-year student at the University of Toronto, majoring in Political Science. She came to Canada two years ago and since then, has been devoting herself in supporting newcomers and advocating for immigrants and refugees. She was a mentor for YMCA Newcomer Youth Leadership Development Program, which has supported more than 500 newcomer youth. Some of Le’s accomplishments include: being the National Finalist for LORAN, Canada’s biggest undergraduate scholarship and was appointed to be the student advisor for Ontario Ministry of Education

Ninar Fawal is a second-year student at the University of Toronto, majoring in political science and international relations. She is passionate about political engagement, civil rights, human rights, and democracy. She is the Newcomer Lead for the Toronto Youth Cabinet, the official youth advisory body for the city of Toronto, where she advocates for newcomer youth issues with her working group. She is on the Advisory Council for the Young Women’s Leadership Network, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the civic and political leadership of young women.