The Youth Wing of the Passages Canada Speakers Bureau engages speakers under 40 to share their generation’s perspectives on identity, immigration and citizenship. Their stories explore the experiences of being a young Canadian; immigrating and adjusting to Canadian society at a young age; and; growing up in a family of immigrants and in a multicultural society.
These young leaders will act as liaisons in their regions to help grow the Passages Canada program. Please note that additional ambassadors will be added in the coming months. If you are interested in this opportunity, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
SOULAFA Al-Abbasi is a Syrian-born Canadian who has lived in Halifax since 2003. Her first name means “the best sip of ancient wine” in Arabic.
She is a published author and graduate of Dalhousie University’s Master of Development Economics program. In addition to her job as Employment Specialist at Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services, Soulafa is also the Director of Immigration and Diversity at FUSION Halifax.
Soulafa is excited to be a Youth Ambassador because she believes in the power of storytelling. In fact, “tell me a story” is one of her favourite lines.
NIKKI Jafari is the Operations Manager at Ariana Developments and is involved in many community events. She organizes the annual IB Trade Show as well as many other events such us fundraisers, concerts and community events.
Nikki was born in Iran, but was raised in Turkey and moved to Canada when she was 10. She considers herself Iranian, Turkish and also Canadian but she tries not to define herself by borders.
Nikki is excited about being a Youth Ambassador because, she says, “For any real change to occur in a society, you need everyone on board. You can never underestimate the power that youth have in making change in our society. As much as kids learn from their parents, parents also learn a thing or two from their kids.”
ANTHONY Morgan is due to be called to the Bar of Ontario in June 2013. Anthony is passionately committed to social justice, equity, civic engagement, and multiculturalism. He has worked as a research assistant for both a sitting judge of the Court of Quebec and McGill Law professor, Adelle Blackett. He has also worked as a civil-rights advocate at the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations in Montreal. In 2009-2010, he served as president of the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada.
Anthony is actively interested in Black Canadian social and political affairs, and Caribbean diaspora politics. In February 2012, he was one of 12 people to be recognized as a Black History Month Laureate by Quebec’s Roundtable on Black History Month.
MILDRED Jean-Paul is a consultant with Investors Group Financial Services, specializing in financial planning for individuals and small business owners. Originally from Montreal, she came to Toronto to complete an internship and chose to remain and pursue her career when an exciting opportunity was presented to her.
She is a Board member for the Toronto Haitian Professionals Association (GPHT), and the Collège Boréal. In her spare time, she volunteers at her local YMCA for the martial arts program: she is currently training to obtain her first dan in Taekwondo.
Mildred is thrilled to be a Youth Ambassador because she wants to promote diversity, and engage young immigrants and first generation Canadians.
ANIQAH Zowmi - Aniqah’s parents left behind everything in their native Sri Lanka to give her and her two younger siblings the best chance at life. Aniqah struggled to incorporate both her Sri Lankan and Canadian identities. She found it was rare that a South Asian was featured in the media as a role model. As a result, she resolved to become the role model for which she had been searching for so many years.
Aniqah is active both at Brock University in St Catharines where she studies neuroscience, as well as in her local community. She founded BrockTalks, a youth speaker series that focuses on exceptional youth leaders in the community, helped organize a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society of Niagara Region that raised over $7500, volunteers as a Crisis Worker for Distress Centre Niagara, and is currently working on a community leadership and mentorship program to work with incarcerated youth and women leaving domestic abuse conditions. Her dedication and commitment to excellence has led to her recognition as one of the Brock Leaders Citizenship Society Members, an award given to 10 to 15 students internationally per year. She was also awarded the prestigious NSERC USRA for the summer of 2014, with which she will be investigating the effect of antioxidants on humans.
MIGUEL-IVAN Barradas was a journalist and defender of human rights in Mexico. He went through difficult times such that he was forced to leave his country. He arrived in Canada with a temporary status, but he finally became a permanent resident.
Miguel-Iván has just created his own company in Montreal that focuses on promoting the art and culture of Quebec and the First Nations of Canada in Latin America. He recently earned his Master’s in Hispanic Studies. Check out the filmed interview he did for Passages Canada in October 2012.
Prairies and Territories
OLA Mohajer immigrated to Canada with her parents from Lebanon when she was very young. As a student at the University of Calgary, Ola was a strong student leader on campus. She is the founder of an online company, The Art of Islam. She served as the Vice President for the United Nations Association in Canada, Calgary until 2013, and worked for United Way of Calgary and Area and the United Nations
For her contributions to her community, Ola was recently awarded the University of Calgary’s Women’s Resource Centre’s Distinguished Student Award as well as the Interfaith Award of Excellence for Alumni in 2012. Ola is honoured to be a Youth Ambassador as she is passionate about empowerment and intercultural understanding. She believes that this is a great way to contribute further and deepen her connection to her community.
SAMUEL Ramos is currently a writer and editor. He holds an English Literature degree from McMaster University and a graduate degree in Journalism from the University of King’s College. He works with The Source Newspaper, a community newspaper published in English and French, that focuses on promoting diversity and interculturalism by bridging the many cultures and ethnic communities in Vancouver. He also works with the YWCA to promote their vision of empowering women and building better futures for them and their families.
He is excited to be a Youth Ambassador because telling stories comes naturally to him, and Canada’s history is an ever-developing one—a story worth telling and listening to. Samuel is eager to encourage people of all ages to contribute, not only to the nourishment of their own tale, but to the betterment of Canadian society.