Mardi Ennis-Gregory graduated from the CYW program, class of 1997, at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario. She also completed a BA in Women’s Studies and Psychology at York University in 2007. Mardi has worked in several aspects as a CYC in residential, intake, counselling, day treatment, group facilitation, and private practice. Mardi’s passion lies in supporting families and currently is the Coordinator of Family Service for Toronto and Peel at Bartimaeus. In this role, she coordinates and consults with other CYC’s to provide in-home family support, provides a solution focused, brief counselling service called Parent Help, and facilitates workshops and trainings to families and professionals promoting positive mental health. Mardi also teaches as part time faculty at Humber College in the CYC Diploma Program teaching courses specific to family support and engagement. Mardi has lived in Toronto for the past 20 years, has two young children and is even married to a CYC. Mardi is passionate about the promotion and articulation of our work as CYC’s and believes strongly in the need for legislation and professionalization. She is very excited to join the OACYC Board of Directors and has been a member for several years.
Aurrora De Monte graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor’s in Child and Youth Care and a minor in Indigenous Studies in 2008 and has been a member of the OACYC since moving back to Ontario. Aurrora’s practice has involved a variety of community and school based programs/agencies. Currently, Aurrora is full time faculty in the Child and Youth Care program at Fleming College, and supports young women and families involved in the justice system, as well as works as an independent practitioner within a private practice. Aurrora is completing her MSc in Child and Youth Care Studies at the University of Strathclyde and their dissertation explores relational teaching in Child and Youth Care. Aurrora is passionate about advocacy as it relates to Child and Youth Care practice, including legislation and professionalization.
Rachelle Coleman is a 2006 graduate of the Child & Youth Worker program at Lambton College and has been a member of the OACYC since she was a student. Rachelle loves working with children, youth and their families and has a special interest in empowering the next generation of young leaders in her community. She has worked in many different areas of Child and Youth Care including the non-profit sector, community-based programs, residential services, youth justice, youth employment, individual and in-home counselling as well as the education sector. Rachelle currently works full-time as the Executive Director of the Northwest London Resource Centre, supporting children, youth and their families and is a part-time Faculty in the Child and Youth Care program at Lambton College. In addition to her work in the field, she is currently working towards her Masters of Education. She is excited to join the OACYC Board of Directors, building a stronger connection to the London community and assisting with promotion of membership.
Coura Niang is a Child and Youth Care Practitioner who has worked in the public school system, private clinical settings, public clinical settings, residential homes and community centers. She currently works at Humber College in the Child and Youth Care Diploma Program.
Hangama is a graduate of the CYC program from Ryerson University. She also holds a CYW diploma from Mohawk College and an MSc in Anthropology, Cross-Cultural Studies of Children, Child Development and Youth from Brunel University in the UK. She has over 20 years of experience working in many different CYC milieus both nationally and internationally such as residential, school-based programs, counselling, advocacy, community-based programs, youth employment, newcomer settlement, community outreach, non-profit sector, new immigrant youth, Children’s Aid Society and foster care. Currently, Hangama is a Contract Lecturer at Ryerson University and Part-time Faculty at Sheridan College. She also provides consultancy services and has her own private practice. Her passion in the field includes the lived experiences and co-ethnic identities of racialized youth, new immigrant youth and refugee youth. She has been a member since she was a student and is very honoured to be part of the OACYC board.
Patrick is a graduate of George Brown College in Toronto, where he completed his diploma in Child and Youth Care. In addition, Patrick holds a BA degree in Child and Youth Care, obtained through Ryerson University. It is both these academic attainments, and passion that have allowed him to utilize skills in an education setting, within the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). While employed by the Board, Patrick has worked in a variety of school-based program, supporting children and youth with varying degreases of abilities, and diagnosis. A common thread throughout his professional practice has been a collaborative, strength based approach, aimed at supporting and priming clients for success both within, and outside of school. A further professional pursuit has allowed Patrick the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals in supporting those diagnosed with Autism, as a centrally assigned member of a professional team within the TDSB. Currently working in Attendance Services, Patrick holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work, obtained through the Windsor University. Patrick hopes to augment the profession through active involvement in legislative initiatives, focusing on better serving the most vulnerable.
Lasburn Gordon completed the Child and Youth Worker diploma program in 1997. Prior to that, Lasburn spent some time in the Caribbean completing a Certificate in Counselling and in 2009 completed the CYC program at Ryerson. Lasburn has used his acquired knowledge to work in Group homes, Hospitals, Day treatment programs, Foster Care, Education and as an Adjunct professor. Lasburn currently works with the Caring and Safe Schools department within Toronto District School Board. Lasburn’s passion in the field is to develop quantitative evidence-based measures that give credence to work being done within the field. Lasburn has a desire to see the OACYC increase its relevancy to CYC’s across Ontario. However, in order to do so, he understands that this effort requires an insistent and tenacious push towards Legislation. Likewise, Lasburn would like to see a deliberate effort to have various individuals from diverse communities involved in the process of steering the OACYC into its next chapter.
Krysteli Needham has been working in the field of Child and Youth Care for 10 years in the Ottawa area and has been a member of the OACYC since 2012. She received her Child and Youth Work Diploma from Algonquin College, before obtaining her Bachelor of Social Work from Carleton University. Krysteli further studied Play Therapy through the Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy and is working on completing certification as a Play Therapy Associate. She is currently working on her Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology. She works for Stepping Stones Foster Care which operates in the Ottawa region, where she oversees the work completed by the CYC’s of the agency and provides clinical consultation. Krysteli is the practicum supervisor for Stepping Stones and has supervised over 25 students from local Colleges and Universities as they complete their practicum placements. She is passionate about the work completed by CYC’s and is excited to join the Board of Directors.
Brittany Parsons graduated from Fleming College with her Advanced Diploma in Child and Youth Care in 2018 and was named the Justice and Community Development Valedictorian. Brittany completed her final practicum with the OACYC, making her the first-ever placement student. Recently, Brittany has become open about her learning disability, which she identifies as her superpower and enjoys using the motto "It's time to learn your learning disability" when sharing experiences. She has been working with children and youth since 2011, and over time has worked in a variety of different setting such as residential and community. Brittany is passionate about legislation as it will ensure our young people receive the high-quality care they are entitled to. Brittany seeks all professional development opportunities to further grow as a practitioner and has a desire to obtain a Ph.D. in CYC in the future. A traveler in her free time, Brittany lived in a village in the mountains of Fiji, where she discovered her love for working and being with children, youth and families across our world. She is currently working in school-based settings as a CYCP in Toronto and is excited to join the Board of Directors, to connect CYCP's across our province.
Are you interested in joining the Board of Directors of the OACYC? Please send us an email to express your interest or give us a call to find out about the activities of our board.