Youth Advisory Council

2022-2023 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.

Eki Okungbowa

Eki standing in a black sweater and white shirt.

Eki has extensive experience in youth engagement, community advocacy and empowerment, and working directly with marginalized communities. She is incredibly passionate about bridging research, education, and policy and leveraging these as advocacy tools for marginalized communities. Eki advocates for the incorporation of diverse lived experiences in research, decision-making, program and service delivery, policies, and practices. Her community service experience is vast, as she is a longstanding volunteer for grassroots initiatives, community organizations, and federal government advisory committees. Eki holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Alberta, and an honours bachelor’s degree in psychology from York University.

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.

Ellen Tam

Ellen in a white sweater.

Ellen is an immigrant from Hong Kong who is passionate about woman empowerment and advocating for justice in social inequities around the world. In her efforts to make a change in our society, she founded a social justice club called PEGASI that raises awareness for underrepresented tragedies that are ignored by western media. Additionally, she is an outreach and design manager for Girl Up Edmonton, a workshop organizer for Thrive Like A Girl, and a representative for Girl to Girl. Within these organizations, she aims to help young girls pursue leadership roles and dismantle the patriarchal system we live in. She is also a Shad alumni and female athlete. Currently, she is a grade 12 student who aspires to be a human rights lawyer and plans to study political sciences at university.

Ian Korovinsky

Ian standing on a green lawn.

Ian is a motivated student passionately working towards making education accessible for all youth across Canada. As the president of Opportunify, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing opportunities to youth all across Canada, he is actively working towards empowering students with accessible education. He is also a Branding and Communications Officer at Ontario DECA, where he works with sponsors to provide opportunities for youth. Finally, he volunteers his time to assist international research teams on Zooniverse - an online research platform. He has classified over 6,200+ datasets over 9 projects and hopes to get involved in emerging research in the future!

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 travelled 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.

Mishika Khurana

Mishika smiling.

Mishika (she/her/hers) is a third-year undergraduate student studying Geographic Analysis at Toronto Metropolitan University. She has always had a strong passion for urban development and food security. She is committed to getting involved in the various communities she’s a part of to create change. Using her life experience, she aspires to continue creating safe places for youth to express their thoughts and share their voices.

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: Aniqah Zowmi (2019-2022), David Pugh (2020-2022), Elaina Cox (2020-2022), Madeline Scott (2021-2022), Raffela Mancuso (2021-2022), Kimberly Bélisle-Lawless (2019-2022), Karen Liu (2019-2022), Olivia Dey (2019-2022), Nathan Hood (2019-2021), Leah Davidson (2019-2021), Eric Muellejans (2019-2021), Lucas Moffitt (2019-2021), Apefa Adjivon (2019-2020) and Jessi Pascal (2019-2020).