committee members

2022-2023 term councillors and executives
 

Headshots to be updated soon!

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Achyutha Surukanti

Chair (External)

Achyutha is a 17 year-old who is currently serving her fourth term on CEYC. As a first-generation Indian immigrant, she moved to Edmonton when she was 6 and has called it home ever since. She now attends Old Scona Academic High School as a Grade 12 student and enjoys getting involved in various clubs and events. Her favorite part of being the external chair is outreach with community organizations and individuals in Edmonton. She aims to help maximize the impact of youth voices in municipal government and in the community. Outside of CEYC, she serves as a Global Vision Junior Team Ambassador, attending national events and representing Alberta to a global network of enterprising youth. She is also part of various projects in her community, such as planning Intergeneration Heritage Walks for seniors and youth. Achyutha received the Vimy Pilgrimage Award for her contributions to her community, and will be participating in a fully funded immersive educational experience in Belgium and France in November. She hopes to bring back what she learns and apply it to her community work. She can't wait to continue meeting inspired youth across the city, and helping them make an impact!

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Lakshmi Peddi

Committee Member | Co-Chair of Projects

Lakshmi is 16 and is going into grade 11 at Lillian Osborne highschool. This is her fourth term on the City of Edmonton Youth Council and she is currently serving as Co-Chair of the Projects Subcommittee. Lakshmi’s favourite part about being on CEYC is the invaluable experience you gain as well as meeting all of these brilliant people. Outside of her work on CEYC, Lakshmi will be serving on the Minister’s Youth Council for the 2022-2023 term and she has also started an after-school Homework Helpers club at her elementary school. At her High-school, Lakshmi is the Vice-President of the Lillian Osborne South Asian Association and has been a part of the HSMUN and Mock Trial Teams. She will also be Vice-President of Outreach for Debate in the next school term. Lakshmi has a deep passion for vocal music and has studied Hindustani, Western, and Carnatic classical music while also being a piano player. In the years to come, Lakshmi hopes she can grow into an individual who becomes an even more involved member of their community and is able to accomplish all of the goals she sets out for herself. 

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Emily Yang

Co-Chair of Projects 

Emily is 15 years old and in her grade 11 year at Old Scona Academic. She is a competitive figure skater and an avid musical enthusiast, and in her spare time she plays soccer for fun. This is her second year on CEYC, and she is excited to see the initiatives she can bring to life this year. She is also the president of Leaders in Literacy, a global, youth-led non-profit organization Leaders in Literacy that hosts writing competition and bilingual classes. Emily is also on the advisory committee for the Young Edmonton Grants, and has been a part of many projects herself, including coordinating an all-girls math camp, charity bottle drives and Chinese mentorship programs! Through CEYC, she’s met and interacted with many talented and passionate people, and she hopes to make an even bigger impact this year.

 

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Moneek Sandhu

Committee Member | Co-Chair of Policy

Moneek Sandhu is an incoming third year Sciences student at the University of Alberta. Moneek got her first taste of volunteering and leadership in 2016 when she first began volunteering for the city as a Leader in Training for the Greenshack program and as a Reading Buddy for Edmonton Public Libraries. These positions ignited her passion about inspiring and creating change in the immediate environment and her volunteer experiences and initiatives reflect this. At present Moneek is the co-facilitator of South Edmonton Youth (SEY) Organization where a group of ambitious teens and young adults work together to find solutions/raise awareness on issues we see in our immediate community. Moneek is involved with a number of other initiatives; one of the most recent being her position as a board member for Breaking the Silence. Breaking the Silence is a grass-roots organization which works with a new non-profit yearly to break down the stigma around mental health as well as connect the immediate community to local, accessible resources by means of organizing an annual, charity 5k. Moneek is constantly looking to broaden her horizons and find new opportunities to improve her surrounding community; she hopes to accomplish this through her volunteer work and alongside CEYC as well.

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Irshad Sayed

Committee Member

Irshad Sayed is a 19 year old biological sciences student at the University of Alberta, specializing in immunology and infection. In his third term on CEYC, he has worked on a variety of initiatives in the Projects Subcommittee, such as City Cleanup, Transit Awareness, and the Clean Water Report. These initiatives highlight his goal of making Edmonton a cleaner and more sustainable city. 


Irshad hopes to present new initiatives this term to reinforce his goal of sustainability, as well as revamp previously successful ones. 

Apart from Edmonton Youth Council, Irshad has also volunteered with UNICEF to fundraise for international United Nations projects, as well as with Jack.Org, Canada’s largest mental health awareness charity. Additionally, he has assisted and fundraised for a host of other charitable organizations, including the Mustard Seed and the Red Cross. He also currently serves as the events director of the entrepreneurial student organization Enactus UAB. 

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Pram Thennakoonwela

Committee Member

Pram is a student at the University of Alberta and this is her second term as a VCM on CEYC. In her first term she launched the Demographics Survey to assess representation on CEYC and has since been co-leading a response initiative which focuses on reforming the current outreach and application processes.


Outside of council she does research, volunteers for On Site Placement’s Diversity Awareness and Skill Building Youth Program, and she also recently launched an initiative to highlight the importance of cultural sensitivity in mental health services.


Her favorite part of the Youth Council is interacting with all the other members who are passionate about the city and getting to watch them carry out amazing initiatives.

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Dominic Mao

Committee Member 

Dominic is a 15-year-old student at Old Scona Academic High School. He is a persistent and dedicated individual who loves to learn and develop new skills. In the past, he has volunteered with organizations such as the Greater Hardisty Sustainability Coalition and The Forest-Terrace Heights Community League and helped them with events concerning the 101 Avenue Streetscape Project. He has also volunteered with the Leaders in Training program and helped run Greenshacks around his community. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, furthering his knowledge of coding, as well as staying fit and active through various sports and outdoor activities.

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Angelina Raina

Committee Member 

Angelina is a first-year Political Science major at the University of Alberta. She, having served as a Youth-at-Large member, is looking forward to her second year on CEYC as a committee member. Angelina immigrated to this country about a decade ago and has called Edmonton home for the majority of that time. Over the years, she has gained a passion for youth involvement by taking on school initiatives throughout her junior high and high school years. She has gravitated towards projects relating to social justice and hopes to continue this work and offer a much needed youth perspective on these matters. In the past, she has been a founding member of Tiger Times, her high school’s magazine that aimed to encourage students to share their opinions on social and political matters that most affected them. She also founded Humans of McNally, another in-school platform aimed at diverse student representation. Through these initiatives, Angelina believes in working to empower young people to advocate for themselves and will continue to spread this message by collaborating with the extraordinary young individuals on CEYC. In her spare time, Angelina indulges in many creative pursuits such as writing and reading poetry. 

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Daniela Carbajal Velez 

Committee Member 

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Reetu Arvikar

Chair (Internal)

In grade 11 at Old Scona Academic High School, Reetu is 16 years old and this is will be the start of her third term on CEYC as a Voting Committee Member. Her first year on council, she was the initiative lead of the Environmental Awareness Webinar and Web-Series as well as a member of the Youth Tackling COVID-19 Webinar. At 13, Reetu was appointed to be the youngest Voting Committee Member in youth council’s history. The term of 2021-2022, at 14, Reetu Co-Chaired the Projects Subcommittee. Reetu is deeply grateful for the opportunities CEYC has given her to make valuable change in her community. The wide spectrum of voices on CEYC is what she admires the most about it. Through council, Reetu’s been able to instill a deep sense of connection among youth from a variety of backgrounds in her city, increasing her love for Edmonton more than ever. Outside council, Reetu loves to volunteer where she knows her work will make a valuable and tangible impact in her community. Apart from volunteerism, Reetu has learned Hindustani Classical Music for 12 years. She loves anything related to music and is always open to song recommendations! 

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Adrian Frost

Committee Member | Co-Chair of Internal

Adrian is a graduate of Harry Ainlay High School. His passion for constructing a positive environment for the at-risk youth of Edmonton are the basis for his work within the council. Adrian appreciates the opportunity to learn more about how to have a greater impact on the current and future social climate, as well as the opportunity to meet and work with like minded individuals striving for similar goals. He has been a tutor for students, a member of Habitat For Humanity, and has enjoyed coaching all kinds of youth sports. You would find him in spending time with friends and family, sports and arts and literature. Adrian one day intends to be a founder of  multiple charities that focus on aiding at-risk young people.

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Jarod Chiasson

Committee Member | Co-Chair of Internal

Jarod is 20 years old and is currently studying at the University of Alberta. After spending two years in the faculty of science, he decided to switch his program of study to pursue his interest in Economics within the faculty of arts. Born and raised in Edmonton, Jarod has been involved with several community organizations including his high school’s Key Club where he served as the club’s treasurer. Jarod passionately believes in fostering a more respectful and level-headed political climate for the future and hopes to create more communication pathways between City Council and the general public to improve the transparency and accountability of municipal policy-making. Outside of school, Jarod is an active tuba player, drumline performer, and big-time fan of the CFL.

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Ayesha Irfan

Committee Member 

Ayesha is 17 years old and will be entering her first year in Political Science at the University of British Columbia this fall.  Last year she served as the youngest Co-chair for the policy subcommittee on CEYC. This is Ayesha’s Third year on CEYC and throughout her time her favourite part about serving on this council is exploring all of the different narratives and passions youth bring to the table. Outside of CEYC Ayesha works and volunteers within the non-profit sector. Her interest in making the legal system a safer place for youth led her to become the youngest treasurer and board member of Canada’s largest for youth by youth restorative justice organization called YRAP. She is also currently interning at the Islamic Family Social Services Association where she works as the Historical Research and Events Coordinator and assists Edmonton’s newly named historian co-laureates in their research. Her love for policy and research directly intersects with the majority of the roles she tends to occupy. Ayesha aims to continue her work in Vancouver as the BIPOC Coordinator for the University of British Columbia Arts Undergraduate Society. During her free time, you can catch Ayesha reading and listening to almost anything and everything or at a local cafe, most likely also reading and listening to anything!

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Ryan Jacques

Committee Member

Ryan is a recent computing science graduate of the University of Alberta. This is his third year serving on the City of Edmonton Youth Council and he is involved with the Projects Subcommittee leading the Art & Writing Contest initiative. He is an avid curler and skip of the UofA Golden Bears varsity team, playing at the competitive junior level since 2013 and representing Alberta three times. Ryan is also an accomplished piano player and enjoys writing songs in his spare time. He is always looking to give back to the community that raised him, and Ryan volunteers with CEYC because he sees it as an excellent opportunity to foster positive change in Edmonton and encourage others to do the same. His favourite part of CEYC is seeing passionate youth in action and making a real difference in our city, building toward a better tomorrow. We all have unique ideas, perspectives, and skills that we bring to the table, which makes the whole of CEYC greater than the sum of its parts.

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Hansen Shu

Committee Member 

Hansen Shu is a 19 year old economics student at the University of Alberta. In search of a platform to vocalize and mechanize social justice reform, Hansen joined the City of Edmonton Youth Council (CEYC) in 2019. During the course of his experience as a Youth at Large, Hansen partook in the social media campaign on youth vaping, and spearheaded the Community Safety and Wellbeing (CSWB) initiative as a co-lead. Given the unprecedented nature of the CSWB initiative, Hansen has been fascinated in researching the implications of policy work on racialized communities. Most recently, Hansen has focused on increasing accessibility to CEYC through co-leading the Demographics Survey initiative, and reforming the application process to become more equitable and user-friendly.

Outside of CEYC, Hansen has grown to cherish the art of debate. During his spare time, he loves to volunteer as a judge at high school and university tournaments. He currently serves as the Vice President Executive at the University of Alberta Debate Society, where he coordinates debate developmental opportunities for Albertan youth. As a product of his love for debate and advocacy, Hansen is a huge podcast listener, model United Nations geek, and avid traveler.

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Thomas Beschell

Committee Member 

Thomas is 18 years old and a recent graduate of Strathcona High School. Beginning in the fall of 2022, he will be studying neuroscience at the University of Alberta. Since joining CEYC in 2021, Thomas has been inspired by the dedication of his fellow councilors, and had the privilege of co-leading the Projects Subcommittee’s Training and Information Initiative. Passionate about mental health, Thomas also co-chairs the youth subcommittee of CASA’s Youth and Family Advisory Council. While there is lots to love about CEYC, Thomas’ favorite aspect of serving as a VCM is the sense of community he feels within the council. 

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Alain Humura

Committee Member 

Alain Humura is a second-year History and Economics student at the University of Alberta. His current ambition is to work as an immigration policy lawyer for the United Nations. Alain's passion for immigration law stems from his experiences as a Canadian immigrant and a Rwandese refugee. His mentorship and community support for these marginalized communities and his academic interest in the subjects that underpin immigrants' experiences also serve as a motivator. Alain is a writer, a reader, a foodie, a runner, a leader, a community member and a change maker. He's optimistic yet pragmatic and passionate about improving the lives of those in his community. 

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David Yao

Committee Member 

David is a student at the University of Alberta in the department of Immunology and Infection. He has served multiple years in the City of Edmonton Youth Council and led two initiatives that focused on community safety. Outside of the youth council, he is an experienced chess player and loves to volunteer.

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Ben Magalnick

Committee Member 

Ben is a first-year student in the honours physiology program at the University of Alberta. He is interested in creating health-related, environmental and economic benefits through improved public transit and human-centric infrastructure. He is also passionate about affordable housing that is led by and benefits the community. He believes that it is important to create a better quality of life for every resident of Edmonton, and he is interested in developing pleasant public spaces. He is interested in current events, especially concerning foreign policy and American domestic politics. He also loves geography, and he explores new parts of the city and scours over maps. In his free time, Ben likes to play piano, mountain bike, take photos and bake sourdough bread. 

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Ali Ahmed

Committee Member 

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Sehaj Kaur

Co-Chair of Policy

Sehaj is 17 years old and in her grade 12 year at Dr. Anne Anderson High School. This is her first term on CEYC, and she is excited to work alongside her peers looking to help Edmonton youth and foster positive change. Outside of CEYC, Sehaj has previously served on the Edmonton Public School Board's student senate and is currently co-leading youth focus groups at her high school where she works on amplifying the voices of the student body to enact positive change within the school community. Sehaj believes in taking risks, inclusivity, ambition, and helping the community. She looks forward to bringing these values to the table as she supports the initiatives put forth by members of CEYC. Aside from her community engagement, Sehaj enjoys spending time with friends and family or curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee!