Born in New Jersey, Nathan has lived in Ottawa since he was three. As a person with multiple disabilities, he knows the value of public health care, and appreciates the opportunities the healthcare system has afforded him.
Nathan first got involved in his community by coordinating a support group for LGBT youth in Ottawa. Through this experience, he learned the power of social change, and how a common goal can unite people to overcome challenges. He has since been involved with the Canadian Federation of Students, as well as the disability and labour movements. Now, it is neoliberal austerity measures and discourses that strike the ire of Nathan’s calm demeanor. Nathan understands the importance of taxation in promoting fairness and prosperity, thus he works with others in his community towards implementing progressive policies and building a progressive future.
Nathan received his Bachelor of Humanities in Humanities and Political Science and a Master’s in Political Science from Carleton University. He is currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Health Policy.
Paul was born in Victoria, B.C, and is passionate about working with children and youth. He has over ten years of experience working with trauma survivors, individuals living with special needs, young offenders, and those in youth protection. He specializes in working with youth with severe behavioural issues.
Paul is an advocate for Indigenous rights, and supports the development of decolonizing, anti-oppressive, culturally relevant and community specific approaches to child welfare. Paul has worked for the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services at Ulluriaq Adolescent Center, a specialized residential program for Inuit youth. Additionally, Paul has taught crisis intervention in the Special Care Counseling program at LaSalle College.
Paul has a B.A. in Psychology from Concordia University, a Graduate Certificate in Leadership from McGill University, and is currently studying Social Work at the University of Manitoba. Paul believes that crisis should be viewed as an opportunity for change. He currently resides in Montreal.
Sebastian Ronderos-Morgan could not be more British Columbian. A native of Vancouver, BC, he is also the son of a British immigrant father and a Colombian immigrant mother. After a childhood and adolescence spent in and around the intertidal zones of the Salish Sea, Sebastian left the West Coast for travels, followed by a six year stint in Montreal, Québec.
Sebastian completed an undergrad at McGill University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Economics and Urban Systems. During his 5 years at McGill, he became actively involved in progressive causes and student politics. First, he served on the boards of the faculty of arts and the undergraduate student associations, and later he was elected to the executive of the Students’ Society of McGill University as Vice-President (External). During his term, he focused on two key areas within his mandate: local community relations and building the capacity of student organizing across Québec. In his last year at McGill, Sebastian served on the board of the McGill chapter of the progressive Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), and dedicated himself to defending the organization against attacks from an onslaught of conservative groups. For two years he has served as Legislative Assistant to NDP MP Charmaine Borg.
Sebastian currently balances his political career with community volunteering and his new role as a father.
Adam is a rock-climbing, Judaism-influenced, socially and environmentally conscious veterinarian currently studying disease in northern Canada’s bison population through the University of Saskatchewan. Adam has always appreciated animals and nature, adventuring outdoors using many modes. He sees his wildlife-focused vet career as a means to influence the environment on a large scale.
After growing up in Edmonton with his parents, sisters and brother, Adam spent a year in Israel volunteering and living in a kibbutz when he was seventeen. He studied in Calgary, where he was involved in environmental and feminist groups on campus. Adam’s time in Tanzania doing veterinarian and development-related work with the Maasai people has also influenced his career and activism.
Adam’s family is important to him; he is an uncle to three nieces and two nephews! His significant other lives in Calgary, and his charming canine, Scout, lives in Saskatoon with Adam.
Adam’s FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) keeps him active enough to be tired, but his involvement is rewarding. In conversations, Adam’s balance is striking. He has a unique ability to see multiple sides of an issue, and to cooperate with those who hold views contrary to his own in a respectful way.
Alyssa Scott grew up in Regina with her parents and older brother. Near the end of high school she became deeply interested in climate change and environmental issues. After considering several universities, she moved to Saskatoon to pursue environmental studies. At the same time, she got involved with social justice groups on campus; taking on leadership roles with WUSC and Amnesty. Through WUSC, she has helped sponsor many international refugees to come study at the U of S. Through Amnesty, she has held innumerable letter writing campaigns and raised awareness about how resource extraction is linked to human rights abuses around the world.
Today, Alyssa is near to finishing her Environment & Society degree and assisting with research on environmental governance and water security. She plans to get her masters in environmental policy, and continue exploring the intersection of environmental and social issues throughout her life.
When it comes to learning new things, Arisha Nazir is your gal! Arisha was raised in a house of over 10 people. Some family values are self-growth, family and education. Arisha believes that in order to help others, she must be best she can. Arisha also believes in equal education for all, especially for youth. Loving kids and their energy, Arisha knows how important it is for younger people to have an education. Passed down from generations, education definitely runs in her family.
Arisha loves to volunteer. Her most recent experience was participating in Folk Fest. She was a Youth Ambassador for Pakistan. Arisha also enjoys reading. Her favorite book is “Tiger Hills”. She enjoys the imagery which is located in Southern India, that describes beautiful landscapes, which inspires Arisha to travel and explore the world. Arisha knows that she will continue to be enthusiastic towards learning new things.
Arisha will continue to be brave and challenge herself, while maintaining her positive, bubbly personality that will help her grow into tomorrows strong leader. A life long goal in her own words is to leave the world in a better place then how she found it.
Erica Moir lives a busy life as a registered nurse at Wadena Hospital and as a home and community care nurse working with on Fishing Lake First Nation. A northerner originally from La Ronge, Erica grew up alongside friends and family who taught her the importance of listening and being open to the richness of diversity. As a nurse, Erica works on issues of community health empowerment and health education. Her co-workers and clients inspire her daily and teach her about resilience and the power of humour. Erica has travelled the world (to Mexico, Cuba, New Zealand, China, and all over Europe) and soaks up opportunities to learn about cultures and the outdoors. Her interest in cultures is reflected in her enthusiasm for listening to Cuban radio stations over her shortwave radio and her involvement with her own Christian faith tradition (as well as learning about others). Her love of nature, which was cemented when she was growing up amidst abundant trees and lakes in Northern Saskatchewan, has sparked her interest in photography. In the summer, Erica is an avid gardener (with a soft spot for peas) and in the winter, she plays hockey and sometimes curls. In all seasons, Erica is married to her husband Chad.
Halena Seiferling (Saskatoon, 2013-2014) was born and raised in Regina before moving to Saskatoon in 2013. Participating in Next Up allowed her to become part of the social change community in Saskatoon, and after moving to Vancouver in 2014 the Next Up network was similarly comforting. Halena now holds a Masters in Public Policy from Simon Fraser University and is currently working in climate change adaptation policy, and is also passionate about electoral reform and gender inequality issues.
Hilary Gough was born and raised in Saskatoon along with her identical twin sister and two older siblings.
Hilary studied physical anthropology at the University of Saskatchewan and is now completing her Master’s degree, which looks into migration of medieval peoples in Denmark by studying their dental chemistry.
Speaking of migration, Hilary loves biking, and is currently part of the group Saskatoon Cycles which is advocating for better bike lanes and support for cycling. She is also very interested in women’s rights issues, and is currently the Secretary for the Saskatchewan chapter of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. Other hobbies include knitting, spending time with her family, and making fake taxidermy (and you should ask her about this).
Hilary is excited to learn from others in the Next Up program about what their passions are in seeking social justice, and she hopes to learn more about what she is passionate about as well.
Julie Maxwell’s roots are firmly planted in the farm on which she grew up. It has produced in her a passion for guerilla gardening, permaculture and fruit forestry as well as well as inspired her to work at the Floating Gardens in Osler, SK.When questioned on her obsessive commitment to plants and plant-like things Julie replied “It’s true. It’s all I do.”
When Julie leaves tending to her plants she is involved with Amnesty International and the SPIRG campaign on campus, often can be found being an aficionado of soup or making music, as well as likely confused about her general location. Naturally her aspirations stem from her fixation as Julie hopes to make a career in horticulture. But for now Julie sees herself turning a new leaf while being a part of Next Up.