Christina grew up on a farm not far from Saskatoon where her curiosity about the world & love for the Saskatchewan prairies began. Since Next Up, she has been employed with Mental Health & Addiction Services as a Social Worker & is nearing the completion of a Master’s of Social Work degree. During this time she also began to pursue a passion for photography & videography & has had the honour of documenting many engagements, weddings & births. Inspiration & motivation for all this is, of course, her two young sons & supportive husband.
Max FineDay was born and raised in the Nutana neighbourhood of Saskatoon, and is a citizen of Sweetgrass First Nation.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and has also studied in the Arctic Circle at the University of Nordland in Bodø, Norway.
Max has worked in student advocacy, national politics, and most recently as a leader in the not-for-profit sector.
He has contributed to the Globe and Mail, CBC, Briarpatch, Academica, and is regularly asked to comment on reconciliation, youth, and Indigenous issues.
When Max isn’t rabble-rousing you can find him learning nêhiyawewin (Cree language), tweeting, and laughing at his own jokes.
Taylor-Anne Yee is a Chinese-Canadian who grew up in Saskatchewan. She loves this province a lot and does everything she can to help make this place better for everyone. Her educational background is in politics and law with a focus on the environment and poverty-related issues. Tay is an introvert that never thought she could be a leader, but Next Up showed her that everyone has their own style, and she is incredibly thankful for everything this program has given her. She likes video games, sci-fi, playing piano and guitar, rabbits, cookies, and graphic design. Tay is not very good at writing bios about herself.
Born and raised prairie girl from Saskatoon. Fond memories of public transit, the local music scene, community events, volunteering and photography. Recent successes include a BA Honours in International Studies, more home cooked meals and a great partnership with her spouse. Curious about different cultures, community development, equality and global health.
Will try most things in life once and all the fun things twice.
“The Great Law of Peace from the Great Spirit is perfect, balanced, true and just in every way. Only when each person has the Living Laws of Peace within their heart, thoughts, words and actions will there be lasting peace among the Nations of the Earth.” – Deganawideh, The Peacemaker
I took this quote from a book that I gave a teenage boy. A teenage boy that is trying to make sense of life, and of all the situations that were put upon him. Some of these situations were made with little thought, some with great thought, but almost all of them were made without his input or consent. A great deal of them stem from generations of hurt, destruction, and prejudices. A great deal of them occurred because society chooses over and over again to look away or force, instead of hearing, respecting, and loving unconditionally. I choose to write about this teenager because as I hear his story, learn from his forgotten wisdom, and walk alongside his path of healing, I am motivated.
Societies are made up of intertwined individuals. Each individual has a sacred story that needs to be respected and deserves to be heard. I believe that if we take the time to know who we are, and connect with our own hearts, than we can then honestly connect to others without judgment, we can begin to feel other hearts, feel different truths, and build community. I believe that social change stems from one heart opening at a time. Cliché, maybe, but I’ve felt it to be true, and it is part of my story and my struggle. My name is Roanne Kosokowsky, and I believe that this is what sustainable social and environmental justice looks like. Honesty, humility, respect, courage, wisdom, truth, love.
A thousand thank yous and a satchel of love to all of you Next Uppers for having the courage to follow your own truth, embracing life, and holding onto hope.
Kathleen graduated with a degree in International Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and has since built capacity as a non-profit worker. Kathleen is a fundraiser in Saskatoon, working with charities on large-scale capital campaigns. Her work is as diverse as it is rewarding and she looks forward to building capacity as a community development advocate. Kathleen has worked for charities such as Heifer International, Habitat for Humanity, One Change, and with the Christchurch City Council in New Zealand.
Believing that volunteerism is key to the health and success of every community, she is active on many fronts and is currently involved primarily with PAVED Arts and Nuit Blanche Saskatoon. Kathleen is passionate about living sustainably and enjoys everything that life on the prairies has to offer. Her interests are reading, cycling, cross country skiing, visiting art galleries, live concerts, and traveling.
There once was a young nurse named Karen
Whose life was anything but barren.
She applied for Next Up,
Said “Life, fill my cup!”
Once accepted, her enthusiasm was rarin’.
Passionate about health, politics and international development,
She strives to find ways to make these issues relevant.
Outdoorsy and svelte,
She is a black belt;
And also, (apparently), eloquent.
By day, Christine is a graduate student working on her MA in Medical Anthropology at the University of Saskatchewan; by night, she is a sneaky ninja of an activist. Her research involves studying peer-run harm reduction models regarding their impact on community and structural change. As an advocate for human rights – particularly in the areas of attaining well-being and having equitable access to health services, she volunteers at Sexual Health Centre Saskatoon and at AIDS Saskatoon, and is currently serving as a board member for AIDS Saskatoon. According to fellow NU participant Taylor, a descriptive word that represents Christine is “swesian” (sweet + Asian).
Christina grew up on a farm where her curiosity about the world & love for the Saskatchewan prairies began. Her interests include: red wine, cold beer, all-you-can-eat sushi, loud, live music, photography, astrology, vagabonding, tattoos, laughing & learning. She is passionate about social & environmental justice, human rights violations & poverty elimination efforts and is incredibly empowered by mass demonstrations & the strong, beautiful people all over the world that continue to fight for a better world The most inspiring place she’s ever been was among 15,000 others on the streets of Detroit for U.S. Social Forum’s Opening March! Christina recently completed a Social Work degree and is currently employed with Mental Health and Addictions Services. She’s glad she took a risk and embarked on this degree, because it truly led her to the place she needs to be. Her future career & research ambitions include both local & international social policy research & working amongst sustainable social development. Christina also considers herself lucky for finding such a wonderful partner & looks forward to finding the time, $, and energy to eventually plan a wedding! For the time being, she is enjoying life’s journey…