Youth Advisory Council

2021-2022 Youth & Innovation Project's Youth Advisory Council

The Youth & Innovation Project's Youth Advisory Council advises the Project on its activities and ensures young people’s perspectives are infused throughout the Project's work.

Aniqah Zowmi


Aniqah has a passion for mainstreaming diversity and inclusion at all levels of government and civic organization. She is currently a National Gender Youth Activist for the United Nations' Generation Equality; Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Leading Change Canada; a Regional Focal Point for the United Nations Major Group of Children and Youth (MGCY); a Youth Advisor to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO); and a Board Member for Girl's Action Foundation. She recently completed a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies at Brock University.

David Pugh


David is a student at York University. Over three years, David dedicated 800 hours of service to 14 non-profit organizations, including Ontario Nature and Enabling Accessibility Fund. He supports Syrian refugee families in their resettlements; championed youth development with RCMP and led Brantford Public Library’s Accessibility Initiative. David is also a Vimy Pilgrimage Award Alumnus and has done internationally recognized historical research with The Vimy Foundation. His  current work involves combating mental health stigma and increasing visibility for differently abled people. 

Twitter: @DavidQPugh

Elaina Cox


Elaina is pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Waterloo in Sustainability Management and is a graduate from the University of Guelph with a degree in Honours Environmental Governance. She is involved in efforts regarding Indigenous rights, LGBTQ+ and the environment, and works with well-known groups such as Ontario Nature, World Wildlife Fund and The Climate Reality Project. She has experience with TD Insurance on the UNEP FI disclosures, sustainability goals and works with a research team on Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas. 

Find Elaina on LinkedIn

Emran AlNahhas


Originally from Syria, Emran is an MSc student in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa. A devoted member of the immigrant community, he is driven to support all Canadian newcomers and immigrants. Emran has taken on multiple roles to engage and empower newcomer youth in academia. He is the founder of Catalysts Canada; a Youth Advisor to Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants; an executive member of Enayble Health; and a member of Nobody's Born A Racist 2.0 Editorial Board.

Karen Liu


Karen is a first-year undergraduate business student at the University of British Columbia, having recently graduated from an accelerated early admissions program. As a member of various environmental and social organizations, she has co-organized and co-lead many conferences, events, and initiatives centered around engaging youth across Canada. Highly involved in her community, Karen is dedicated to empowering youth to take meaningful action and create positive change.

Kimberly Bélisle-Lawless


Kimberly (she/her) is a strategic planning consultant for the Québec Revenu Agency and is a coordinator for Indigenous Affairs. Kimberly graduated with honours from the School of Community and Public Affairs from Concordia University and was the recipient of the Vince Sirois prize, awarded to the most outstanding graduating student of the program. Kimberly is involved in sustainability movements and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. She is from the unceded land of Tiohtià:ke/Montréal.

Kristen Grey


Kristen Grey, a 17-year-old girl in grade 12, living in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She was born in Jamaica, and has since lived in three other countries which include: Saint Lucia, Barbados, and Canada. Last summer, Kristen traveled to Toronto with Experiences Canada on a Diversity and Inclusion Forum, where she attended lessons on things like youth homelessness, Islamophobia and the Islam religion and immigrant communities. Kristen has volunteered with Food Bank and Fort York. She is also currently on the Selection Committee for a festival called Folk on the Rocks.

Alyssa MacKinnon


Alyssa is an alumna of the University of Prince Edward Island, where she obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration. Alyssa has extensive experience in developing and conducting policy, training, & education at the organizational and Provincial levels. Alyssa is a former assistant to 32nd Premier of PEI and former assistant to Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the Province. She is an Executive of the Young Voters of PEI, a member of the PEI Coalition of Women in Government, and currently works within the Department of Finance of PEI.

Daniel Wang


Daniel is a 17 year old high school student from Markham, Ontario. He is actively involved in his community through volunteering and participating in various not-for-profit organizations. Having co-founded his own non-profit, FOCUS Youth, he works to create positive change in his community by tacking various global issues as well as providing opportunities for his fellow youth. Through his past experiences, he has developed a strong grasp of various aspects affecting youth, and has strived to be the change to make youth the changemakers in today’s society.

Raffela Mancuso


Raffela recently graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. They are a mental health activist who wants to use their lived experience to try to help others. They also use social media  to raise awareness of social justice issues, destigmatize mental illness and body image issues.

Maddi Scott


Madd.I was born in Vancouver BC and graduated school at 16, then worked as a manager in the for-profit sector. They are a support worker at a local charity working with neurodiverse individuals. In the six months they have worked for Inclusion Yukon and created and delivered a curriculum about healthy interpersonal relationships for neurodiverse youth. They coordinate a project dedicated to finding neurodiverse high school students internships and paid employment in fields they are passionate about. They strive to increase their capacity to advocate for marginalized people.  

Sana Khaliq


Sana (she/her/hers) is a first generation Pakistani-Canadian Settler who is continuously learning and unlearning. She utilizes social research to advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion in the community and within higher education. With an MA in Sociology and Legal Studies from the University of Waterloo, Sana is always thinking critically about and working towards social justice with a focus on intersectionality, decolonization, systems-change, and human-centered design.

Youth Advisory Council alumni are: Nathan Hood (2020-2022), Leah Davidson (2020-2022), Eric Muellejans (2020-2022), Lucas Moffitt (2020-2022), Olivia Dey (2020-2022), Apefa Adjivon (2019-2020) and Jessi Pascal (2019-2020).