Almuni Next Up BC 2010-2011

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Meet the current Next Up BC Year 4 group (2010-2011)!

Amanda Adams // Vancouver, BC

Amanda is an environmentalist and outdoor enthusiast who grew up on the prairies and has since migrated west to the majestic mountains of BC. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan with a BSc in biology and a BA in anthropology she recognizes the complexity with which environmental and social issues are intertwined. Just as comfortable in a sleeping bag under the stars as in a bed under a roof (perhaps even more so), working in the field of wildlife and conservation ecology has allowed Amanda to live and work in a vast array of environments from the Great Bear Rainforest to Grasslands National Park, often alongside members of the local communities. She has strived to share these experiences and the appreciation she has gained from them with others. Her love of teaching has led her to organize Bioscan at the UofS, public education events with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan and deliver workshops with the Child Hunger and Education Program. Amanda has also worked on a number of environmental campaigns including Say No to Nuclear in SK and most recently for a tanker ban on the west coast. She currently works as a member of a research team at the Centre for Applied Conservation Research Sciences within the Faculty of Forestry at UBC and is an interpreter at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.


Brad Olson // Vancouver, BC

Brad is a migrant to Vancouver from the not-so-flatlands of Saskatchewan. The deep roots of the cooperative movement and progressive politics of the Prairies, as well as the blatant disparity of Aboriginal people, have led him to constantly question the power structures within society. Through this questioning, he was led to Social Work and Vancouver, where he obtained a Bachelors of Social Work degree in 2009 from UBC. He has consistently been involved in work towards social justice, in both his day job, and activism. This has included being involved in a Theatre of the Oppressed troupe though YouthCO, work with Aboriginal and HIV organizations, student politics at UBC, and his current work on housing issues in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. He has worked for Vancouver Coastal Health, Healing Our Spirit, the School of Social Work at UBC, and currently BC Housing. He is passionate about community health, urban development issues, and poverty.


Britney Kerr // Vancouver, BC

Brittney lives by the credo, qui tacet consentire vidétur. Brittney is currently in the Masters of Public Policy program at Simon Fraser University and holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of British Columbia. Brittney’s work experience is primarily in communications and outreach with the Liberal Party of Canada and Vancouver Foundation. Brittney is passionate about tax and health policy – particularly surrounding mental health, addiction, and children and families – and values economic perspectives that support social equality. Brittney is actively involved with the Liberal Party of Canada and on an international level with her sorority, Delta Gamma. She also believes that “the time is now” for a poverty reduction strategy in our province. In her spare time, Brittney can be found reading, tweeting, and cycling with her fiancé.


Carlos Carvalho // Vancouver, BC

I am currently an executive at large for CUPE 402. I chair the political action, and apprenticeship and trades committees, I also co-chair the young workers committee and the social justice committee.

I recently became an executive member for the surrey-newton NDP and the surrey civic coalition. I help coordinate social media and outreach programs for both of these groups.

Christine Boyle // Vancouver, BC

Christine is a born-and-raised Vancouverite, who has never stopped being awed by the geograpy of this place. She has an BSc in Urban Agriculture and First Nations Studies from UBC, and an MA in Religion and Justice from Berkeley, CA. Over the years she’s worked for the Vancouver School Board, Vancouver Coastal Health, and the United Church of Canada, among others. She’s coordinated local community gardens, facilitated community kitchens, taught yoga, led youth retreats, ran workshops on environmental and social justice issues, spent lots of time chatting with people about their feelings, and fed hundreds of people at conferences, workshops, and in her home. Right now she is most excited about doing multi-faith community organizing, and amplifying progressive religious voices in our Canadian political discourse. In her free time she rides her bicycle, and enjoys the company of courageous people.


Deanna Rogers // Vancouver, BC

Born on Cape Breton Island, raised on subtle landscapes and wild imagination, Deanna Rogers now finds excitement and comfort in the City of Vancouver. Here, Deanna has carved strong footholds and remains an active member in her community. She believes in fostering meaningful connections between academia, community and self; making space for education to be meaningful rather then routine. She is currently employed by Simon Fraser University with the mandate of expanding and growing the experiential learning culture of the university. She has also organized the first community consultation for the BC Walking the Talk’s new United Nations R.C.E. on Sustainability Education and designed and implemented a Community Zero Waste model for Metro Vancouver. No matter the venue common threads carry through Deanna’s work: creating space for dialogue, focusing on the larger picture and promoting alternative thought. Deanna will soon graduate from Simon Fraser University with a BA in Anthropology, a minor in Dialogue and a Certificate in Sustainable Community Development.


Imrahn Mitha // Vancouver, BC

Imrahn is an economics enthusiast, political aficionado and a lifelong., die-hard fan of the Chicago Bulls.   Born and raised in Kisumu, Kenya,  Imrahn grew up  immersed in a broad and diverse base of cultures, ethnicities and world views.  From a young age he  was taught to appreciate the strength of diversity, pluralism and meritocracy in a society. Passionate about  addressing the issues of poverty alleviation and youth leadership,  Imrahn was selected to coordinate the Enhanced Learning Centre,  a leadership program geared toward the recent Afghan immigrants to Canada.  This experience brought about an appreciation for women’s issues, specifically the need for education and open dialogue. Imrahn was also recently invited by Global Vision and the Department of Foreign Affairs to serve as a Junior Canadian Ambassador.  In this role, he spent the summer in discussion and debate with the All China Youth Federation, over key issues such as  Economic policy, Food Security and the Environment.  Imrahn is also currently completing his degree at SFU,  majoring in Economics and English.  When he is not engaged in community projects or travelling,  Imrahn can be found shooting hoops at Ambleside beach, and playing the Ngoma at the Stanley park Drum circle.


Jeremy Carlson // Vancouver, BC

Jeremy is from Manitoba were he chose to study business administration at Red River College. He continued his scholarly endeavours at the University of Manitoba, where he majored in Psychology (Behavioural) and minored in Philosophy. Has plans to continue his education for a masters in Applied Behavioural Analysis. He chose to move West to pursue a different avenue then school for a while and became a member of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Union. He is a third year apprentice, the youth coordinator for Local 118, a member of the following :BC Federation of Labours’ youth committee/task force, the Vancouver District Labour Council, and BC Federation of Labours’ Occupational Health & Safety and Labour Education facilitator program (educating high school students on rights). Jeremy volunteers time to the Earn campaign (Employee Action & Rights Network) and with the $10 now Campaign which helps to raise the minimum wage in BC. On his spare time, he likes to go hiking, biking, read, volunteer and go to a good concert with friends. Jeremy likes to be around people who stand up for what they believe in and take action in their communities.


Jocelyn Anderson // Vancouver, BC

Jocelyn was raised in a small sunny town on the BC coast.  Her parents exposed her early on to diverse cultures and ecosystems which led to her passion of ecology and community building.  After gaining an undergraduate degree in biology at UBC she travelled to Bolivia, SA where she co-founded a volunteer program working with a local village to co-create health education and infrastructure projects. Her passion for creating strong community ties, innovative educational tools and infrastructure around safe drinking water was integral to the success and sustainability of the project. This time was one of transformation and lit the path to working on many more community projects with the YMCA, Envirothon, Be the Change Earth Alliance and Canadians Advocating Political Participation (CAPP).  She currently works as a gift planner with the non-profit legal society Ecojustice and has enjoyed event planning as part of this role.  Her goal for Next Up is to shape her 5 year plan/vision and gain experience in facilitation and workshop creation.


Natasha Robillard // Vancouver, BC

Natasha is a born and raised British Columbian francophone. Feeling at home both on the West Coast where she grew up and Quebec where her family lives has taught her to reflect on at an early age how our connections with community and place shapes our histories and sense of belonging. She studied at the University of British Columbia and graduated with a BS in Global Resource Systems and First Nations Studies. Her studies provided her with the opportunity and tools to reflect on colonial history through a critical lense. Her deeply rooted passion for supporting Aboriginal rights, community empowerment, and health through community-based initiatives has been the focus of most of her work, student research, and volunteerism. She has worked for various Aboriginal organizations, groups, and First Nations communities, including the Native Friendship Centre of Montreal, Native Brotherhood of British Columbia, the UBC Aboriginal Strategic Plan Committee, and the Wilderness Committee in partnership with the St’at’imc Nation and Tla-o-qui-aht Nation. She is currently working for the Provincial Health Services Authority Aboriginal Health Centre as the Project Coordinator for the Chronic Disease Prevention in Aboriginal Communities through Youth-Elder Engagement Project. She is passionate about supporting food sovereignty, learning about local histories, and enjoying a good deer stew!


Neelam Kham // Vancouver, BC

Neelam is a youth passionate about creating change through grassroots movements. She went to Windermere Secondary School where she led the Organic Garden and ACTION Sustainability Club, is apart of Youth Made where she delivers anti-oppression workshops, is apart of Condomania as a Youth Educator on Sexual Health and HIV and AIDS, is a Global Citizens Coordinator with the Vancouver School Board, and went across Canada to film a documentary on Social Justice and Environmental issues. For Neelam, Next Up gives her the opportunity to amplify her voice & speak out about the injustices she sees & experiences within our system. Her hope is to create allies with peers and to create a ripple effect that will reach communities, countries and the world.


Stephanie Gatto // Vancouver, BC

Stephanie is a born and raised British Columbian who continues to be humbled by the natural world and our lives within it. Before finding the language to describe it, she became curious about people and the ways
in which we interact and, ultimately, shape one another. Early on, she was heavily influenced by sports; this led to an athletic scholarship to the States, which she soon escaped for something different. Following a conversation with a stranger, Stephanie was inspired to learn more about health and the factors that determine it: This led to a BHK from UBC and a Master in Public Health from SFU. She has a range of research experience including, work in an applied physiology lab at UBC, research in rural Malawi, and research with the CCPA’s climate justice project. Currently, she’s working with the Children’s Health Policy Centre at SFU. Stephanie is passionate about contributing to research that aims to deconstruct social inequities with the goal of reducing health disparities. In the spirit of full disclosure, she believes that a more equitable society will enable us to connect more meaningfully with others and the world around us. Outside of work, Stephanie can be found exploring the beautiful BC mountains, dabbling in music, and sparking up conversations about the mystery of life.


Wade Lifton // Vancouver, BC

Wade is completing a masters degree at Vancouver School of Theology and hopes to be ordained in the United Church of Canada.  He is interested in the relationship between our inner lives, cultural norms and societal structures.  Wade co-founded, an NGO developing rainwater harvesting with Ghanian villages, and worked for over ten years in children, youth and young adult ministry.  He holds certificates in performing arts and in youth ministry, and is defenseless against the power of chocolate chip cookies.

More bios coming soon!



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