Jessica Fisher is a young woman with a commitment to positively impacting and meaningfully engaging young people. She convocated with her B.A in Psychology from the U of S in October 2011. Since then she was the Youth Coordinator in Martensville for the Martensville Community Access Centre (MCAC), until a lack of funding cut the program short. Currently she is working in sales at Richardson Lighting.
She became interested in social change while working as the Youth Coordinator for MCAC. There she formed a summer youth project that involved youth giving back to their community through doing volunteer landscaping, development and maintenance of the local flower beds, parks and tree nursery. Jessica is excited to be in Next Up to expand her knowledge, become exposed to different social justice issues, learn new skills and challenge herself toward a life involving social justice. She wants to make a difference in the world we live in and feels Next Up is the starting point to do just that!
Haley was born in South East Saskatchewan where she grew up on a small mixed, cattle and grain farm. She grew up being surrounded by progressive philosophies as her family was involved with the NFU and NDP, and there were frequently issues of Briarpatch lying around, as well as the chorus of CBC radio which could frequently be found echoing throughout the house. This led Haley to start asking “Why?”. For example, why are there social and economic injustices in the world and what are the root causes? To begin this journey of understanding, Haley attended the University of Regina where she convocated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with distinction.
Haley loves to learn and travel and she tries to find ways to do them together. For example, she participated in a youth tour with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to Honduras; she went to Cuba on a 50th Anniversary of the Revolution Tour; in El Salvador she visited prisons where she met members of the MS-13 and the 18th Street gangs; and she participated in an intensive food sovereignty course in Mexico. Haley has found her travel experiences have increased her desire to work towards building a more just world.
Haley has also traveled extensively within Canada. She has traveled from Coast to Coast and spent a lot of time in the Rocky Mountains as a competitive downhill ski racer with the Ochapowace Ski Club and the Saskatchewan Provincial Downhill Ski Team. Haley has just returned to Saskatchewan after living and working in Victoria, BC for the past 2 1/2 years. Haley loves the outdoors and living on Vancouver Island with easy access to the ocean, the rainforest and the mountains suited her active lifestyle. For example, this past June Haley ran her first half-marathon in Ucluelet, BC.
One of Haley’s main interests is food and agriculture, which no doubt stems from growing up on a farm, being involved in 4-H, and helping her parent’s grow and process their own food. Also, growing up on a small mixed farm in the 1980s and 1990s, she has seen the effects of neo-liberal agricultural policies; such as, the loss of The Crow Rate and the free trade agreement. Haley recognizes that these policies coupled with globalization have not benefited the farmer, rural Saskatchewan or the consumer. She sees the recent XL beef recall as a sympton of the sickness of a globalized food system. And then there is the recent undemocratic elimination of the Canadian Wheat Board…Haley could go on!
In her free time, Haley enjoys traveling, learning Spanish, yoga, gardening, hiking and reading. She has a soft spot for animals, and enjoys working with rescued animals. She is trying to live in the moment as her grandpa did until he passed away at 103 years of age.
Many things in this world inspire Grace Schenher, including music, poetry, the changing seasons and the people in her life. As a student studying Linguistics and Political Studies at the U of S, Grace is interested in formulating a better communication network between the different groups on campus that would connect and inspire people to be more engaged. She has been involved in the Saskatoon Anarchist Bookfair, Cinema Politica, and other various movements. A primary social justice issue that concerns Grace involves economic inequality and the prejudices that stem from it. She believes in the notion of thinking globally and acting locally, especially since she sees there is a lot of work to be done in her own community of Saskatoon. Grace admits she has a long way to go and much to learn, but leapt at the opportunity to apply for the Next Up program. She stated, “As soon as I heard about Next Up, I felt like I would be disrespecting myself if I didn’t apply.” Also, if Grace were a piece of furniture she would be rocking chair. Her grandmotherly old soul lends well to her tendencies to knit, sew, play cribbage and partake in other “golden age” activities.
Dan is very passionate about the well being of persons and the natural environment. He thinks that economic justice is a necessary condition for human well being. Dan is committed to prophetic Christianity with its understanding of the inherent value of all persons, the sacredness of the earth, and the need to critique empire and unjust systems of oppression.
Dan is studying law at the University of Saskatchewan. He hopes to use his degree to work at the intersection of human rights and land rights – arguing for “right to use” easements for nomadic persons and groups in East Africa, and for the right to property ownership for women and lower-socioeconomic class persons the world over. He hopes to be a strong advocate for those oppressed by unjust systems such as patriarchy and capitalism. He also hopes to work for progressive human rights and environmental legislation.
Dan is currently involved with numerous activist projects, including advocating for tuition freezes or reductions with Make Tuition History, and seeking to arrange sponsorship for two men from East Africa with the refugee committee at Redeemer Lutheran Church. He is a member of the Socialist Students Association, Green Legal, Canadian Lawyers Abroad, Aboriginal Law Students Association, and Interfaith Ambassadors.
He also really likes grilled cheese.
Chelsea is a leader in the community and a risk taker who lets her heart take the lead. With a juxtaposition of love and action, she is a force to be reckoned with. She brings with her, a knowledge of community resources, creativity, and years of experience doing front line work with vulnerable youth in our city. She believes that youth who have support to step up in their community and around the globe are going to shape the future, and that it is important for them to find their path in their own terms. She is currently a Practicum Supervisor through Lethbridge College and on the Advisory Committee at SIAST for their Child and Youth Care Worker Programs, union steward, member of Saskatoon Hoop Community, Cinema Politica, and volunteer with the Canadian Mental Health Association art program. Chelsea has been a youth outreach worker, a crisis counsellor, and a family activity coordinator just to name a few. Her parent’s home is a therapeutic foster family and she credits her mother for deeply instilling in her, the importance of community and compassion. Chelsea is passionate about building a stronger community and dreams of grassroots cooperative workspaces, social enterprise and collaborating to make ideas unfold into reality. Occupy Saskatoon was an amazing connector to link with others, her desire to be a revolutionary. You’re likely to find Chelsea cooking and hanging with friends in her kitchen, renovating her home DIY style, screen printing in her basement with a women’s printing collective, sharing her home as a community hub, and getting people into a hoop. By teaching others to hula hoop, she has learned that teaching is often just guiding and encouraging people to find their natural rhythm, and she has said that the positive energy created by encouraging people to be vulnerable and fearless is amazing.
Amy is 32 years old and has been a nurse and a member of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses for almost 8 years. As a nurse, Amy has worked with people of all ages and from many walks of life, but she has found her niche working in the Street Health department with clients who face many adversities such as stigma and discrimination. In her words, “it just seems like there’s so much to be done, the work is always important, there is never a dull moment and often times I find myself having fascinating conversations with genuinely amazing people late into the night.” The things she is most passionate about in her work are breaking down barriers, empowering people and communities, sharing and gaining knowledge, and advocating for harm reduction approaches. On top of her duties as a nurse, she has also been involved with Friends of CBC, AIDS Saskatoon, and worked on various NDP election campaigns in the past couple of years.
In her personal life, Amy lives by the mantra of “living simply, so others may simply live”. Her hobbies include biking, soup making and eating, watching documentaries, gardening, and sleeping in. She has great respect for her family and lives in an ever-evolving household with her 17 year old sister , her partner, and his two boys. Overall, Amy is a humble, grounded, caring individual with a passion for helping people– a great addition to the Next Up team
Sarah Winstanley dreams of a world that is non-hierarchal and safe for everyone. She is a feminist and a social worker and is part of the Women’s Centre community…or maybe the community is a part of her. She became a social worker because she feels like the world has a lot of big problems and those problems need a lot of people with a lot of love to give working on them. Inequality makes her angry. Community organizing makes her excited. Working with young gals to change the world makes her happy. Being in the woods gives her some necessary healing. Riding her bike makes her feel badass. Sarah grew up in Calgary. She loves to travel, but this is where her community is.
Sarah was a participant in Next Up Calgary (2013 - 2014) and is a current participant of the Climate Leadership Program.Read more
If you are looking to track down Ryan, more often than not, you can find him exploring one of Alberta’s rivers in his canoe. Ryan has a deep-seeded sense of adventure and passion for connecting people with wilderness places. Recently, he graduated from Memorial University, Newfoundland where his research focused on the ethic of risk-taking.
Kristina is a passionate educator who is dedicated to community building, sharing stories, and supporting people (especially young people) to contribute and connect! She is a white Settler and first generation Irish-Canadian from Northern Alberta - Dene and Cree Territory under Treaty 6 - and has made a home in Lethbridge, in Blackfoot Territory under Treaty 7, over the last 10 years. While she desperately misses her northern trees, she loves the connection to the land and people she has built under Southern Alberta's "big sky."
Kristina participates with many community organizations and collectives working in areas such as youth, feminism, and food security, while saving time to enjoy her bicycle and sunflowers. Some of her notable work in recent years has including serving as Acting Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club, founding a community garden in her neighbourhood, running for Public School Trustee, and making really delicious vegan cheese.
She has big dreams of growing a front yard full of vegetables and contributing to increased community capacity and action for positive social change.
Kristin’s big love is the environment (next to her husband Nic). As the youngest of four children she was practically raised by the family dog while her parents were busy running after her three older, spirited brothers. Although other cultures always fascinated her she didn’t get far after high school; exactly 60km from her parents’ home she pursued a degree in media studies and marketing. She also worked as a journalist throughout her studies portraying people in a way they couldn’t see themselves. She also volunteered for the students’ association where she met her husband (you can only talk about school for so long).
But honestly, the exciting times began after school when she gave into her curiosity to explore other countries. (It didn’t take much persuasion, they had her with Calgary lying “at the foot of the Rocky Mountains”.) Culture shock and the first unemployment tested her love for Canada but the progressive and collaborative spirit of Calgary’s non-profit community was stronger. Today, Kristin practically lives in the Old Y Centre building. She promotes active and healthy transportation as coordinator of the national Commuter Challenge and is the president of the board of the CommunityWise Resource Centre. She lives out her passion for the environment as chair of the Sierra Club Chinook Group and truly enjoys the challenge of rebuilding the group after a two-year hibernation.
Outside of the Old Y Centre Kristin enjoys hiking in the mountains, running, cycling, container gardening and exploring more of Canada. Listening to other people’s stories still puts her under a spell. She dreams about becoming a psychologist, starting a community practice with nature-based therapy that helps people to overcome or live with mental illness.