YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE (YAC) SANT SINGH – PRESIDENT Brampton, ON My name is Sant Singh and I am 16 years old. I was originally born in Punjab, India, however my family and I immigrated to Canada in 2008. I was given the extremely wonderful opportunity to partake in my schools first exchange program, between Brampton, Ontario and Hay River, NWT. It was a life-changing and breathtaking experience, and it truly was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Being part of this exchange opened my eyes to a whole other side of Canada, as it taught me about new cultures and traditions, while removing some of the stigmas and assumptions that I had from my youth. Growing up in Brampton, I have always been part of an extremely large and multicultural community, and going to a small first nations reserve was an experience like no other. Although this exchange trip was educational, it was very fun as well. I went dog-sledding, tobogganing, ice fishing, went to trapping camps, and even drove snowmobiles! The whole point of an exchange is to learn about other cultures, and I believe that we achieved this goal successfully. I will never forget the memories that I made, and I hope that through the YAC, I can be part of inspiring more youth to partake in these life-changing exchange trips. TAYLOR REIMER – VICE PRESIDENT Brandon, MB I am currently a grade 11 student enrolled at Vincent Massey High School located in Brandon, Manitoba. I am very active within the school community by playing a significant roll on the T.A.D.D (teens against destructive driving) committee as well as being a leader on the variety rugby team. Currently I volunteer at Westmans Communication Group where I am a sports photographer at hockey games. In November of 2016, I had the opportunity to be a part of an exchange trip with kids from Vancouver, British Columbia. The one major thing I enjoyed about this trip was learning about the different cultures from the kids involved within the program as well as being in their shoes and living in a whole other environment. I am looking forward to being a part of the YAC and giving these types of opportunities to kids just like us. KIARA GAMROTH – SECRETARY Halkirk, AB I live on a farm near the small town of Halkirk, Alberta. I had the privilege of going to Napanee, Ontario on my exchange in May of 2017. It was a wonderful experience and it helped me develop my leadership skills. The exchange showed me how diverse Canada really is. I made several lifelong friends that I have visited since the exchange. My passions are playing sports, reading, and spending time with my family. Coaching volleyball, basketball, and ski racing are some of the things I like to do in my spare time. I’m really excited to give back to this extraordinary program. NATHANIAL VINCENT Steadybrook, NL In April 2016, through Experiences Canada, I travelled to Toronto, London, Stratford, Hamilton, and Niagara Falls, with the Atlantic Boychoir from Newfoundland and Labrador. I believe that the most valuable outcome of my Experiences Canada exchange was the chance to meet, collaborate, learn, and perform with world renowned and very knowledgeable choral conductors and singers in Canada. This experience has increased my confidence in my leadership and musical abilities and has made me a more responsible and independent individual. I really wanted to be more involved with Experiences Canada, so I joined the Youth Advisory Committee. What I am hoping to gain from the YAC is the experience of spending time with youth of my age who also want to expand their leadership skills and are passionate about their interests and abilities. I also want to advise and inspire other youth in their communities about the Experiences Canada program, so they also have the chance to travel and take part in what great opportunities and experiences our Country has to offer. MIKAELLE SIMARD Alma, QC Hi! I am 16 years old and I come from a small town from northern Quebec. I am a Secondary IV student. I am also fortunate to be bilingual. The exchange I did last year took me to Toronto, where I got to know the city, but also the people who live there and the culture around them. I have always been someone who loves to get actively involved in the different events and opportunities available to me. I have gained a lot of experience from being on various committees, but I am sure that the YAC will teach me even more! I love music, winter, writing, the phenomenon of mental health and much more. I consider myself to be someone who is motivated, persevering and a leader. I hope to be useful in the years to come! CÉDRIK LESAGE Trois-Rivieres, QC I am 15 years old and I live in Quebec. Last year, when I found out that I would part of the student exchange, I was super excited. We were twinned with the school in Sparwood, a small town in southern British Columbia. It was an amazing experience and if I could, I would do it again without hesitation. Later, my teacher told me about the YAC and I thought it might be a good experience. I am someone with strong leadership and who likes to give his opinion. What I liked about my experience was meeting new people and being able to make strong friendships, as well as being able to learn about new cultures. KAILYN SHERREN Cornwall, PEI My name is Kailyn Sherren and I’m from Prince Edward Island! I’m in my final year at Bluefield High School where I keep active within my school’s community. I’m a member of the Student Council, and a member of the school’s rugby and soccer teams. Since 2016 I’ve been a volunteer at my local hospital where I interact with patients and medical teams. Following this I attended the Canadian Student Leadership Conference. During my grade ten year, I travelled to Vegreville, Alberta with 20 of my classmates through Experiences Canada. This was one of my best experiences, getting to make new friendships and experiencing what life is like on the other side of our country. I applied for the Youth Advisory Committee because I want other Canadian students to experience what I did. I want to build on future exchanges and promote the value of Experiences Canada. My experience left a lasting impact on my life and I want to spread this joy throughout Canada. TRINITY THIBAULT-LATTIE Truro, Nova Scotia I am an activist for Global Change, Social Justice and Women’s Rights. My name is Trinity Thibault-Lattie, I am 16 years old and I am from Truro, Nova Scotia. Last year, I attended my first Social Justice Youth camp along with 49 other youth all across Atlantic Canada. We got to engage in conversation about many ideas and issues in our local community and in Canada. After the camp, I fell in love with being an activist and an ally for many reasons. It made me feel powerful and as if I was helping someone, somewhere, no matter how little. Shortly after the camp ended, an opportunity arose for a youth conference on Global Change. I was accepted, and I met some amazing people from some amazing organisations such as World Vision Canada and many others. After this conference, I wanted to become more and more involved which eventually lead me to Experiences Canada, who have forever changed my perspective and my life. I attended their Forum on Diversity and Inclusion along with youth from Nova Scotia all the way to British Columbia. I have met some lifelong friends by having conversations and having an open mind about any topic. On November 13th, I have an amazing opportunity to meet former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. It is very easy to see that activism has changed my life for the better, and I am more than excited to be on the Youth Advisory Committee for Experiences Canada! KANAV MADURA Markham, Ontario I am 17 years old and was born in Markham, ON. From June 29th to July 6th of this year, I attended the Diversity and Inclusion forum. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I met so many people from all over Canada, and made many friends. I feel like I learned a lot of new perspectives, which was very valuable to me as I believe that in order to become a better person, you must understand others. As for my future, I think I would like to do something related to math or science. I am very concerned about climate change so I want to help fix that. OLIVIA DRAGON Yellowknife, Northwest Territories I am 16 years old and I am from Yellowknife, NWT. Before I moved to Yellowknife, I lived in Ottawa for most of my life. I believe the most valuable outcome of an Experiences Canada exchange is experiencing a new place in your own country and meeting new people. By going on my exchange trip, I was able to meet new friends and learn more about Vancouver Island and the culture. I like to play soccer, hang out with my friends, and paint. In the future, I want to go to university and hopefully obtain a job as an elementary teacher. LAUREN COGAN Winnipeg, Manitoba I am a grade 12 student from Winnipeg. This past summer I had the opportunity to travel to Toronto for the Experiences Canada Diversity & Inclusion forum. At this forum, I made friends from all across Canada and I also gained a better appreciation for the effect privilege can have on someone’s life and how to work towards a more inclusive country. This eye-opening experience inspired me to be a part of the YAC. In addition to being on the YAC I enjoy going on adventures far and close to home, journaling, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and volunteering in my community. I am currently a basketball coach and referee. I began learning how to play the trumpet this year. I am super pumped to be on the YAC and promote Experiences Canada to other youth so they can experience all the beauty in our country. LIAM YEADON Yorkton, Saskatchewan I was born on April 19, 2005. There are four of us in my family, five if you count my dog! I have a 17, soon to be an 18-year-old brother named Andrew. He goes to university in Saskatoon. My mom, Lisa, is a teacher. My dad’s name is Ken, he is the manager of a Kaltire. My dog is a mix between a toy poodle and a miniature poodle. His name is Bear, as in Teddy Bear. Some of my interests include playing sledge hockey and acting at the same studio where I take “Free My Muse” acting classes. I am also an assistant teacher. When it comes to winter activities, because Saskatchewan gets lots of snow, I like to go snowmobiling with my dad. I have my snowmobile license, which means I can drive my machine as long as there is someone with me even though I do not have a driver’s license. When it comes to school, I’m someone who would say he is a science nerd, I love anything to do with science or math. At school, I am involved with SADD, Debate, Chef’s Club, Junior boys’ Volleyball and am part of the grade 9 leadership team. ADDISON SHYLUK Saskatoon, Saskatchewan I am from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. When my class travelled to Ottawa in May 2019, it changed the way I thought about my culture. As a Fransaskoise who goes to a small and only francophone high school in the city, it opened my eyes to the beauty of my language and encouraged me to become more actively engaged in my community. My exchange gave me the confidence to run for class representative and to share my ideas for my school. Some of my passions include rock climbing, biking, music and living my life to the fullest. SAMUEL BOUTIN Beauceville, Quebec I am 13 years old and I live in Beauceville. I am passionate about provincial politics and communications. I’ve even met the Prime Minister of Quebec, François Legault. I have also been on the show Salut Bonjour because they were recruiting youth during spring break. I have done several interviews for local television in the region, for example for the grande finale of Secondaire en Spectacle, for the regional finale of Secondaire en Spectable, and for an episode of D’Hier à Aujourd’hui which was presented throughout Beauce. I love taking photos and doing interviews. In the future, I would love to be a Member of Provincial Parliament, but beforehand, to get acquainted with the rest of Quebec, I’d like to be a political analyst on TVA like Mario Dumont! AISLYN OMILGOETOK Cambridge, Nunavut I am 16 years old. I live in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut and enjoy being active. I am involved with basketball, and wrestling. I enjoy politics and I am able to engage with it. Art is something I have had interest in. I enjoy being around people, and enjoy learning. I am passionate when it comes to my culture and language, and learning others cultures and languages. I am a very busy person, and love traveling and learning different things. JESSANA AKEHURST Delta, British Columbia Jessana is a student in grade 12 currently living in Delta, British Columbia. She had the privilege of attending the Experiences Canada Diversity and Inclusion Forum in 2019 and loved it. Jessana is involved in many things such as leading her school’s student council, volunteering in her community, fighting for climate action and in politics. She also spends her time in musical theatre, with British Columbia Youth Parliament and on her city’s youth council. She plans on attending university and studying political science once graduated so that she can go on to work in government and help people across the country. Her passion in life is to help create a better future for the world, and Experiences Canada provided her with the opportunity to meet other youth who feel the same way. Jessana joined YAC so that she could help other youth have the same amazing experiences that she was able to have and looks forward to the coming year!