Kaelin Koufogiannakis (Chair)
Kaelin Koufogiannakis is proud to have grown up in Edmonton and is excited to have the opportunity to make positive change in the city she loves. She is serving her third term with CEYC, previously having co-chaired the Urban Planning Subcommittee. A third year Urban Planning student at the University of Alberta, Kaelin is currently on a co-op term, working as a Planning Intern at Stantec. She is passionate about sustainability, urban design, and celebrating the diverse landscapes and people of Edmonton. She enjoys exploring Edmonton’s various festivals and has been involved behind the scenes of the Folk Music Festival, Freewill Shakespeare Festival, and the Fringe. Kaelin believes that communities grow most strongly when people of all different backgrounds, including youth, come together to drive change, and is excited to work to allow the voice of the diverse youth of our city to be heard.
Logan Fechter (Vice-Chair)
Community and urbanism have been and will continue to be defining principles in my personal and professional development, in conjunction with an enduring sense of pride and optimism related to the City of Edmonton and what it's certain to become in the near future. I've learned that wishing to enable those we find directly in relation to ourselves is the noblest aspiration in the professional world, and facilitating moments to enable or inspire those in your immediate reach has a profound impact on your productivity and collective outcomes.I’m a third year Human Geography student at the University of Alberta, while also serving my second term as VP Human Geography for my department association ‘GAPSS’. I have been a member of the City of Edmonton Youth Council for four years, first as a youth at large on the Urban Planning sub-committee, in the 2016/17 term chairing that same sub-committee, and this year co-chairing on Urban Planning once again. I’ve co-founded UAlberta’s “The World Mosaic Project”, and founded CEYC’s own “Ticket to Ride” fundraiser, which has since raised $11,000 in transit tickets for youth at risk.
Hania is a science student entering her second year at the University of Alberta. Serving as a Youth- At-Large member for the past two terms, Hania gained invaluable insight into decision making processes. As vice chair on the Arts Committee and acting Chair on the Engagement and Outreach committee in past years, Hania has become actively involved with the CEYC and its mission to educate and empower youth. Hania describes herself as a curious individual who loves new challenges, is never content with the status quo, and strives for continuous improvement. She coaches debate at Grandview Heights School and Tempo School and by doing so, pushes her peers to make a positive impact in the community. She hopes to help Edmonton’s youth develop into confident, well rounded individuals. With an interest in healthcare and medicine, Hania volunteers her time at Canadian Blood Services. She also stays busy running a business she cofounded in 2015, Teen Tutors, which enables youth to become employed and contribute to society in a meaningful way. As a member of the Youth Council, Hania hopes to further her scope of involvement with the youth of Edmonton in order to provide them with opportunities and experiences to grow.
Bakayula Shilar goes to St. Joseph catholic school where she is upgrading for the 2017/2018 school before she goes to post-secondary. She moved to Canada in 2012 and to Edmonton in 2014. She became passionate about community involvement and youth empowerment when she saw problems that were faced by people in her home country were also faced by people here in her community who were mostly youth.
Thomas Benjamin George Banks III is a three-term City of Edmonton Youth Council councillor, UAlberta student, and lifelong Edmontonian citizen. Previously, Thomas served as a Royal Commonwealth Society programme organiser, Justice Canada Youth Action Committee member, Strathcona Initiative organiser, and Edmonton Public School Board student senator and resource staffperson. Learn more at tbgbiii.gq.
One of the principles that guides Shannon in everything she does, is that love is the hardest thing to live without. When Shannon was in her teenage years, she would never have imagined she’d be part of a vital initiative like the City of Edmonton Youth Council. At the time, Shannon could not see a future for herself; be it high school graduation, post-secondary education or a career doing something that brought her incredible gratification. But even through these years of struggle, Shannon found solace in knowing she was loved, and that she, in turn, had so much love to give. It was her passion for giving of this love that got her through high school, a university degree, and has fuelled her work with youth. Shannon has worked over 5 years as a Child and Youth Worker, primarily working with high-risk youth ages 12-22. She currently works at a non-profit agency as a partner of Children’s Services, where she uses love, to build relationships, to provide therapeutic intervention, and to create space for people to share their stories. Shannon’s list of things she loves includes-but is definitely not limited to-: hammerhead sharks, documentaries, spoken-word poetry, piano and singing, petting dogs, writing, libraries, live music, farmers markets and long conversations with wonderful people accompanied by tea. Shannon also loves that she gets to be part of such an incredible group of innovative, forward- thinking people, and can’t wait to see the impact on our fellow youth in Edmonton.
Seth Cree Brown-Cardinal
Seth, who likes to go by Seth Cree, is an aboriginal youth who is also a member of the Enoch Youth Council. He was born and grew up in the United States. He was raised by his two mothers. One mother is a Cree Native American and the other African American that is a first generation decedent out of slavery. He moved to Edmonton, Alberta four years ago using his dual citizenship for both Canada and the United States. He is going into his final year of High School and hopes to attend the University of Alberta. Seth’s main goal in office is to bridge the gap between the Edmonton youth community and Enoch youth community. Not only does he really care for Addiction Awareness, Truth and Reconciliation, but he is also a huge advocate for youth suicide prevention. All issues are very much a large part of his communities as well as his personal life.
With a city like Edmonton, Navneet Chand is proud and honored to be known as an Edmontonian. Navneet is a first-year Bachelor of Science Honours Neuroscience student at the University of Alberta. This is Navneet's second term on the Youth Council and he is excited and energized to take on the 2017-2018 term alongside new and returning council members with Edmontonian youth who are ready to learn how to create and implement change. Taking on the role of an actively involved citizen in society has been one Navneet’s greatest passions. As a strong advocate of interdisciplinary education, he never ceases to involve himself with a diverse presence of groups from student government and his former position of Students' Union President at his high school to his involvement with theatre arts and the recognition he received as the winner of the 2017 Cappies Critics Award for Best Male Vocalist. When it comes to the City of Edmonton Youth Council, Navneet strongly believes that the Council represents the optimal medium for educating and empowering youth to stand up and take action on local issues to generate ideas on meaningful change and to produce amazing and thought-provoking results.
Michael DeMarco is a grade twelve student attending McNally High School where he acts as EPSB Student Senator and leads clubs such as Speech and Debate, MASSIVE, McNally’s volunteering club, and the Youth Engagement Focus Group team. He is currently a student director for the Canadian Student Leadership Conference 2018, working on the student programming portfolio. Michael is also a counsellor for SUNIA, the Seminar on United Nations and International Affairs, a week long model-UN based summer camp encouraging youth advocacy and engagement. In his free time, Michael does graphic design work for various clients and also likes to write on his blog, all available at https://michaeldemar.co. Michael looks forward to making an impact on fields related to the intersection between STEM and politics, and will continue to look to engage youth in community-based projects
Kasey is currently in her third term with the City of Edmonton Youth Council. She was born and raised in Edmonton and is proud to call such an amazing city her home. Kasey is currently in her second year of her Education degree at the University of Alberta, majoring in English and minoring in Social Studies. As the Co-Chair of the Health and Wellness subcommittee last term Kasey was able to truly immerse herself in the Youth Council and fight for the things that she cares about. Kasey will now serve as Chair of the Health and Wellness subcommittee where she will support her committee in bringing new ideas to the table on how to help increase support for youth dealing with Mental Health and advocate for changes in Edmonton. To Kasey, involving the youth of Edmonton is vital in the success of our cities future because the youth have such a diverse and important perspective on many issues that Edmontonians face today. Kasey is looking forward to working with her fellow council members to inspire and give the youth of Edmonton the voice that they deserve.
Sam Goertz is honoured to be a member of the City of Edmonton Youth Council and Chair of the Engagement and Outreach committee. Having spent his 2018 summer working at a think-tank in Washington, D.C., Sam can confidently say that there is no place he'd rather be than Edmonton, Alberta. An Honours Political Science student at the University of Alberta, Sam has a passion for politics and civic engagement, informed by his two summers working as a Research and Communications Assistant to Councillor Michael Walters. He currently serves as a Senator on the University of Alberta Senate in addition to being a Student Communicator with YouAlberta. He is one of the Managing Editors of The Green Medium, a youth environmental blog that won an Emerald Award in 2017. He was the President of Greenfield Community League from April 2016 to September 2018. He has proudly written for the Alberta Street News and Green Business Canada in the past and served with various boards and organizations around the city.
Abby is currently in her first year studying at the University of Alberta, pursuing a double major in Political Science and Economics. She currently volunteers with various organizations, one of which being Big Brothers Big Sisters, where she works through ‘The Africa Centre’ as mentor for new-immigrant children. Now on campus, she volunteers with HSMUN, and serves as Social Science Councillor of OASIS (Organization for Arts Students and Interdisciplinary Studies)- the official undergraduate association for the Faculty of Arts. She also serves as a member of the Edmonton Centre Youth Council for MP Randy Boissonnault, and as Communications director of ‘YEGTheComeUp’, a youth collective that works towards creating events and opportunities for emerging, marginalized, and immigrant communities in Edmonton. Outside of volunteerism, Abby is also a violinist. Abby is a particularly passionate about youth engagement in voting, and is an advocate for intersectional education and activism in encouraging the diversity of opinions and worldviews. All in all, she strongly believes that empowered youth, when working together, hold limitless potential when it comes to reaching culture-shifting results on all that they are passionate about.
Dedicated to encouraging youth to pursue their potential, Rajah Maggay’s greatest joys are providing support to those that need it and creating meaningful connections. After her own struggles with mental health, Rajah hopes to bring to light the issues she is passionate about that effect the youth of Edmonton who in fact also struggle with mental illnesses. In the fall, Rajah will be pursuing a certificate in Event Planning/Management at NAIT, to help capture the joy of the special days that stand out among the darker days that people may experience. Having served on the City of Edmonton Youth Council for two years as a YouthAt-Large on the Health and Wellness Committee, Rajah has been proud of the work she has done, specifically with the conceptualization and execution of SpotlightYEG and wants other youth to realize the amount of influence that they have. Aside from academic accomplishments, she has a consistent passion for the arts as a way of expression. In her time at Archbishop MacDonald High School, Rajah was heavily involved in the Cappies Program, the Fine Arts Bureau, and the school newspaper. She has been honored to be acknowledged for the work she has done, having been nominated for Outstanding Grade 11 Critic, Lead Critic within her senior year and recipient of the Edmonton Journal Cappies News camp Scholarship. Because of this, Rajah loves encouraging storytelling of those who may not know how to express themselves.
High school student Ananya Muralidharan is ecstatic to be able to share her ideas with the City of Edmonton Youth Council. She is an avid environmentalist, and makes it her goal to pick up at least one piece of litter a day. She hopes that through the City of Edmonton Youth Council, she can help make a bigger environmental impact on the youth of Edmonton. In her free time, she can be caught cooking and taking aesthetic photos of the food she makes (because who doesn’t love a good food blogger?). She believes creativity is the best way for people, especially for youth, to embrace and celebrate their individuality
Hi, my name is Joanne Picard, most people call me Jo. I am in grade 12 and have dual registration at Holy Trinity and Fresh Start. I am hoping to study Political Sciences at the UofA once I have graduated from high school. I have always been passionate about volunteering and have a particular interest in supporting and advocating for individuals affected by a disability. I volunteer with the Stollery, Easter Seals, and the Rett Syndrome Society of Alberta. I have a rare genetic disorder called Rett Syndrome. You might notice that I always have my computer or tablet in front of me. I use eye gaze technology on my devices that allows my eyes to control the mouse and helps to me to communicate. In my spare time I like to ski, workout, and travel. I am obsessed with Olympic style wrestling and bobsledding and enjoy spending my winter weekends following the World Cup. Most of my family is from a small town in Quebec so I spend lots of my summer vacations out East. This is my fourth year with CEYC. I was the volunteer coordinator for the We Are Listening event last winter. My favorite memory from serving on this board last year was being part of the group who spoke up for Alberta youth on Bill 202. I am very excited that now all students have the right to form GSAs. This year, I am looking forward to meeting new people and supporting the youth in our city.
Stephen Raitz has been a resident of the Edmonton region for his entire life and moved to the city permanently to attend the University of Alberta (where he studies Urban Planning and Canadian History). Stephen has brought his boisterous energy and positivity to campus life through working in residence, representing students as a councillor within the Students’ Union, as well as helping run student groups like the University Improv Group. Stephen is also an avid runner, often exploring the many river valley trails in Edmonton, and cycles year-round throughout the city. Stephen believes that through bringing a healthy mix of enthusiasm, approachability, and empathy to the table, youth can be engaged in meaningful ways. He is deeply passionate about where urban planning meets community engagement. Building on this, he believes youth in Edmonton are an especially important community to engage with regarding conversations on density, urban form, and the city’s future development. What especially interests him is how people move around the city. More prominently, he wants to be a part of creating an Edmonton where people can get around efficiently, are presented with realistic options regarding modes of transportation, and have an enjoyable experience between starting points and destinations.
Robyn Taylor moved to Edmonton from the beautiful island of Jamaica in 2009. Since then, she has always made it her goal to be an active member of the community, and to give back wherever she can. Currently, Robyn focuses the majority of her time volunteering with the youth-led organization YEG The Come Up, where she assists with the planning and implementation of various programmings and events dedicated to the empowerment of Edmonton’s diverse African and Caribbean youth communities. An honours student since elementary school, Robyn is also a full International Baccalaureate graduate from Archbishop MacDonald High School. She is about to go into her second year at the University of Alberta, reading for a degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in economics. Whereas Robyn is still deciding between multiple career paths, she is certain that she wants to hold a position that not only provides others with the tools needed for self-sufficiency and happiness, but also personally makes her aware of local and global experiences alike. In her free time, Robyn spends her time reading, cooking, or listening to podcasts.
Amber is excited to be starting her second year with CEYC, serving as this year’s Chair of Urban and Regional Planning. She is a first year Science student at the University of Alberta, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Political Science. She has served her community as a volunteer for multiple student organizations and has served and a Youth Leadership Mentor for younger students, as well as worked as the President of both her high school Student Council and chapter of jack.org, a mental health awareness charity. Amber has also served on Alberta’s provincial Minister’s Youth Council as a student advisor the the Minister of Education on changes being made to the Alberta curriculum, advocating strongly for better mental health support systems for students in Alberta. This year, she also co-founded a federal, non-partisan youth group in her constituency to provide a platform for discussion and information on important issues affecting the youth in her community. Amber is a firm believer in the collective potential of Edmonton youth and hopes to spend this year helping them make an impact on their city.
Ahdithya (Audi) Visweswaran
Ahdithya Rajan Parvathi Visweswaran is currently a senior in Harry Ainlay’s French immersion program and this is his second term with CEYC. He is passionate about youth attaining their potentials and having their voices heard. Ahdithya was a member of his school student council and served as a Youth At Large on CEYC this past year. He occasionally aids his dance teacher with instructing the younger dancers at his studio. Ahdithya has volunteered with the Edmonton Food Bank, Edmonton Public Library, and his school grad committee. He works as a tutor and helps students feel confident in their learning and reach their potentials. Outside of volunteering, Ahdithya enjoys learning languages such as German and Sanskrit and currently speaks French, English, and Tamil. Having won the national round at the Goethe Institut Deutsch Olympiad, Ahdithya represented Canada at the Internationale Deutsch Olympiad in Freiburg, Germany. When Ahdithya is not busy, he is dancing, reading or writing poetry, running, taking photographs or spending time with friends and family. He is also a member of the local Sathya Sai Centre’s congregation and regularly partakes in their service activities at Operation Friendship. After graduation, Ahdithya hopes to go to the Faculté Saint-Jean and pursue the education program. He is excited to be returning to CEYC for another year of youth empowerment
Armaan is currently a Grade 12 student at Old Scona Academic High School where he also serves as a debate coach and as a Student Senator on the Edmonton Public School Board. He is passionate about causes involving “youth helping youth” and currently serves as the Chair of the Stollery Youth Network. Alongside his work with the Stollery, Armaan is also currently the Vice Chair of the City of Edmonton Youth Council, founder of SpeechDojo.com, an online speech coaching business, and holds the SHAD Fellow designation. Armaan is an avid debater and has qualified to compete at the provincial, national and international level. In his free time, Armaan enjoys DJing and reading.