Experiences Canada knows providing the best possible experience for young people is impossible without their input! The Experiences Canada Youth Advisory Committee, known as the “YAC”, is made up of youth from across Canada who provide us with their perspective on how we can improve our exchange programs and forums. The YAC helps to raise awareness for Experiences Canada and undertakes a variety of activities to help us offer a better experience for our participants!


Yorkton, Saskatchewan

I was born in April, 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.


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.

Namirembe Afatsawo

The Pas, Manitoba

I am 15 years old and I am from The Pas, Manitoba. I enjoy travelling, music, politics, and discussing matters relating to equity and social justice. I believe the most valuable outcomes of an Experiences Canada exchange are experiencing different cultures, seeing new places and making new friends! In January 2020, I had the opportunity to go on a language exchange to Quebec. While there, I strengthened my French skills by using it in various settings. I aspire to be a lawyer and work for the United Nations so that I can advocate for equity and social justice for all humankind.

Kiera Yeomans

Vancouver, British Columbia

My name is Kiera Yeomans, I am 17 years old. I am from the Tsimshian Nation on my mother’s side and Nisga’a on my dad’s side. In grade 9 I joined my school’s student council as junior Indigenous Representative, in grade 10 as sports and finally in grades 11 and 12 as Co-Indigenous. I am also part of my school’s BIPOC club. I play on my school’s basketball team and run for the school’s cross-country team. Then with all the stuff I do I tend to avoid bigger roles and responsibilities so with the help of the Experiences Canada YAC, I hope to learn to lean into the bigger roles on my own.

Nakita Russ

Vancouver, British Columbia

My name is Nakita. I’m from Haida Gwaii. The most valuable thing that I gained from Experiences Canada’s exchange was gaining new friendships. It affected my outlook because on this trip, we learned so much about Ottawa that I didn’t know before. In the future, I want to be a lawyer.

Mehul Madhura

Markham, Ontario

I’m from Markham, Ontario and I’ve lived there my entire life. I think the most valuable outcome of Experiences Canada and the forum I attended was seeing all of the youth who contributed to the whole event. I learned so much from the guest speakers and learned about what I can do to enforce Truth and Reconciliation in my community. Personally, it has given me a new sense of purpose and a broader perspective in terms of what actually matters. It has also made me want to continue to be part of more activism as I get older.


Cornwall, Prince Edward Island

My name is Connor DeRoche. I’m 17 years old and I am a Prince Edward Islander. Hockey has always been a big part of my life. I love to both play and watch games. I even got see an NHL game on my Experiences Canada exchange. I believe that the most important outcome for an Exchanges Canada exchange is meeting new people and being able to experience life in a different part of the country. My exchange showed me that life in Calgary is way busier and faster paced than here in P.E.I. In the future, I would like to be a chemist and work here on the island if possible.

Regan Sentner

Emyvale, Prince Edward Island

My name is Regan Sentner, and I am from Prince Edward Island. I am currently a grade 12 student, planning on taking Kinesiology in university. I participated in an Experiences Canada exchange in 2019 to Airdrie, Alberta, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was one of the first times that I had been able to travel within Canada and to be able to do that with a group of my peers was amazing. The exchange also provoked me to take a step outside of my comfort zone, as I had to live with a family of strangers in a new province for 7 days. I think that point right there is one of the most valuable outcomes of an exchange. It allows students to take that big step while still having the support of their chaperone, fellow students and everyone at Experiences Canada. Overall, I have no regrets about doing the exchange and I cannot wait to see where this new opportunity will take me.

Jessie Chen

Toronto, Ontario

Hi, I am Jessie, a student at the University of Toronto Schools! When I’m not doing Indigenous-related work, you can find me at my fencing club, studying French, creative writing, or baking. I participated in an Experiences Canada forum in October 2021, and it’s helped me learn so much more about the experiences of Indigenous people (both historical, like residential schools, and in the modern world of today) and immerse myself in their cultures.


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