Richard was born and raised in Winnipeg’s West End, a place that taught him the value of a strong and diverse community. Richard graduated from the University of Manitoba in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Political Studies and History. While at the U of M, he explored a range of topics, including global governance in the Arctic, international development, and Indigenous politics. He pursued these topics through research positions, volunteer work, and an international development internship in Malawi. Since graduating, Richard has worked as a management intern with the Government of Manitoba. He is passionate about the natural world and likes to spend his leisure time exploring Manitoba’s backcountry.
New to Winnipeg having moved from Iowa where he studied at Dordt College, a small liberal arts university. He graduated with a bachelors degree in political science and a minor in Spanish. Currently works at a restaurant as well as for a small wine agent. He has a desire to become more involved politically and communally in his new city and is looking for opportunities in public policy and elsewhere.
Although currently living and working in Winnipeg, Mitch’s roots come from rural Manitoba. He was fortunate enough to grow up on-site at a summer camp which his parents managed, near Riding Mountain National Park.
Living and working at the summer camp (Camp Wannakumbac) gave him a strong set of values rooted in education and opportunities for youth. However, his passion for design and communication led him to the Graphic Design program at Red River College. After three years of school, he was hired at a small design studio who works with clients in the Arts & Culture sector.
Mitch is always looking for new challenges. He is passionate about using his talent as a communicator to convey his core values. Dedicating three years towards coaching a youth basketball team for Spence Neighbourhood Association is one example of this. An active freelancer outside his full-time job, he’s done some work for clients such as his home municipality of Clanwilliam–Erickson, Manitoba Camping Association, Manitoba Cooperative Association, and so on. It was his work with one of these clients that lead him to Next Up.
Through Next Up, Mitch hopes to become connected with the national network of current participants and alumni. He would like to get involved with short and long term projects aimed at key issues such as climate change.
Katina Cochrane is from Peguis First Nation. In 2009, she graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a bachelors degree, in Political Science and Indigenous Governance.
"I think the most valuable tools I've gained has come from my parents, elders and community members, in understanding the importance in who I am, where I come from and where I need to go in life to ultimately contribute to the betterment of my community."
Katina has dedicated her career choices to working with people with harsh realities in the Justice system as a Community Justice worker, as well as a Program Family Enhancement Facilitator dedicated to strengthening First Nation families. Katina spends her time facilitating meaningful workshops and presentations to young people aspiring to make positive changes in their lives.
Katina has a strong connection to her community and culture; she is a Jingle Dress dancer, enjoys sewing, and spending time with her two daughters and husband.
Julia Lawler completed a B.ES at the University of Waterloo in Environment and Resource Studies, and is currently an M.Sc. candidate in the Bioscience, Technology, and Public Policy Program at The University of Winnipeg. Her research interests include community-based resource management, and social and environmental sustainability.
My name is Fabian Suárez-Amaya. I am Ontario-born, Winnipeg-raised with family roots in Medellín and Cali, Colombia. I work as a middle-years teacher in Seven Oaks School Division. I graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 2015 and spent the final year of my degree teaching kindergarten in Thailand. I have a variety of personal and political interests, and enjoy finding areas where those interests intersect.
Dana Connolly is a proud Anishinaabe women and mother of two. She is a member of Peguis First Nation and was raised in the inner-city of Winnipeg. Dana is currently employed as the Team Lead of the Employment and Training Programs at Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. This is where she discovered her passion for social justice issues that affect the Indigenous community. It was her personal experiences growing up in the North End that fostered her desire for supporting and empowering Indigenous people to identify their gifts, achieve their goals and create a sustainable future for the community.
Chelsea King was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba but has spent the last decade living and working between her hometown and Brisbane, Australia where her family now resides.
Chelsea has a passion for social justice and women's community advocacy. After completing an Advanced BA in Global Political Economy at University of Manitoba, she has worked in the financial and non-profit sector. Chelsea is now the Mentorship Coordinator at West Central Women's Resource Centre, where she works in leadership and empowerment programming, in addition to coordinating volunteers and internship participants.
Chelsea is involved in Community Economic Development as a staff person, board member and volunteer and hopes to continue contributing to the development of Winnipeg’s inner city.
Christopher Clacio Born and Raised in Winnipeg, Mb. He is an up and coming community helper in the North End of Winnipeg. You can always find him every Friday's at 470 Selkirk Avenue helping the young people set up and organize Meet Me at the Bell Tower at 6pm. Another place you can often find him every week is at Neechi Commons at 865 Main St. at noon. Where he hangs out with fellow Aboriginal Youth Opportunities leaders to talk system and political literacy at what they call PolitixBS which stands for “BrainStorms” and not the other word you thought it was.
He is also apart of the AYO team and you can find his biography on the Ayomovement website as proof of his efforts helping in the North End. He helps with community outreach for AYO! He helps faciltate at various community meetings, welcome guests, create partnerships and positiviely represents the movement from a voice that is not First Nations, Metis or Inuit. His heritage is of filipino decent making him the one of the first non-indigenous youth to be recognized as part of the team.
Anny is an educator and coordinator at the University of Manitoba, running experiential programs that get students involved in the community and thinking about their role in positive social change. After a stint teaching middle-schoolers, Anny found her true love in community education – first in settlement and language instruction for newcomers, and more recently in alternative youth programming and grassroots organizing around food, education, civic engagement, leadership, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations. When she’s not in a 9pm meeting with Red Rising Magazine or 13 Fires, you can find Anny relaxing with a good, ol’ 90s rerun. Full House, anyone?