Fed Leadership Council Bio's

2018/2019 Youth Leadership Council

Youth Members

Cammy Lawson

Age: 22

City: Nanaimo/Victoria

Why did I join the Leadership Council: I joined the Leadership Council because I wanted to be further involved in a greater way. I want to help create positive change. Also, because I am excited to see what the Leadership Council can do and what impact we could have. As the first group on the council I am looking forward to helping pave the way for future members to smoothly transition in

What changes, opportunities or improvements to existing supports would you like to see available to youth in and from care: What a big questions. There is so much that can be improved upon and implemented to further support youth in and from care. I think there are always new ideas, programs, improvements and changes to be made, nothing is ever perfect, but things can always be improved. I don't think I could even talk about only a couple because there really are so many things changing. More seems possible if we keep advocating and pushing for it. Permanency and increasing supports for those who have aged out has been a big focus, and rightfully so. There still needs to be a lot done for youth still in care, and for those who will still enter care at some point. I know this isn't directly related to support but I have always been a big advocate about changing the stigma and stereotyping that surrounds being in and from care. I believe that removing the stigma could lead to further positive change and better awareness nationwide. This would lead to better outcomes for youth because they would feel supported instead of judged. Another big push has been around the over representation of indigenous youth in and from care, and how many of them are completely removed and disconnected from their culture. This needs to be changed. If an indigenous youth must be removed,  they need to find a way so not seperate them from their culture. As a long time athlete I am also a big advocate for recreation activities. Whether it is a sport, or art, or anything a youth is passionate about. These things need to be supported and encouraged. I have played team sports for most of my life and the lessons I have learned go way beyond things like stick handling a puck. Athletics helped me throughout my time in care greatly and it gave me great role models and a positive environment to grow while doing something I loved. I understand how tough it can be to support athletics and recreation activities with budget restrictions, but I believe there can be and should be a way to support youth in their passions because the positive outcomes from this are so significant.

If I could have one super power what would it be: I would be a wizard, go to Hogwarts and play Quidditch

What is your favorite quote: I have two "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Coach Carter, adapted from Marianne Williamson's original version and the other one is "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead


Darian Newell

Age: 24

City: Nanaimo

Why did I join the Leadership Council: I joined the Leadership Council because I have experienced the validation and support the Fed offers, and because I see the great opportunities for growth in an organization that has made it 25 years - and it's a very exciting time for social welfare! 

What changes,opportunities , or improvements to existing supports would you like to see available to youth in and from care: I would like there to be more opportunities to grow our grassroots community. I would like to see supports that understand the tacit stranglehold high society has on things. With the new movements of tuition waivers, and with multicultural, and post modern values of culture coming into light - I think now is an amazing time to really look at what it means to be a family. Especially when the government is responsible for creating a "family" system for children in care. I think that we can all be trailblazers.

If I could have one super power what would it be: It would be to cause minor inconveniences from a distance, because although the inconvenience would be minor the effects don't have to be so.


Robyn Roberts

Age: 20

City: Victoria

Why did I join the Leadership Council: When I was in care, I felt very alone and unsupported. I was also unaware of my rights as a youth in care and was never informed of the resources that could have been available to me. I hope that in becoming a part of the Leadership Council that I can help improve the experiences of current youth in care and increase awareness and education regarding the current issues that youth in care are faced with.

What changes, opportunities, or improvements to existing supports would you like to see available to youth in and from care: I would like to see more support and resources available for youth who are aging out of care. I think youth should be more aware of the supports and resources available to them. I would like to see more scholarships and academic advising available to youth in care. I believe life coaching and counselling regarding course selection for university, substance abuse and building healthy relationships would contribute astronomically to a better future for current youth in care.

If I could have one super power what would it be: Invisibility

What is your favorite quote: "Whatever you are, be a good one"


JT

Why did I join the Leadership Council: I want to help create safe and positive resources for future youth in care, as well as make improvements to the supports that currently exist. I am also here to build on my leadership skills, and to have fun working with everyone on our upcoming projects

What changes, opportunities, or improvements to existing supports would you like to see available to youth in and from care: I'd love to see a complete overhaul on MCFD provided programs. I want to see inclusive and effective supports, especially ones that can be accessed later in life. Specifically, I hope to see mental health management supports, culturally sensitive resources for indigenous folk, and non judgmental spaces for the queer community, provided beyond 19 years of age. A life skills program for older teens should be one of the essentials in the system, and a work program would also be beneficial.

If I could have one super power what would it be: I'd like to be able to fly or teleport, I'm a traveler, so it'd cut the cost at least.

What is your favorite quote: "Life is scary, get used to it" - Dr. Kelso, Scrubs S4E20


Dylan Cohen

Age: 22

City: Vancouver

Why did I join the Leadership Council: To support the Fed in all of its amazing work, and to work with youth leaders in making change

What changes, opportunities, or other improvements to existing supports would you like to see available to youth in and from care: I strive toward a community that sees successful youth from care as a measure of how society is doing. I know youth can be well supported into adulthood to grow community, gain skills and move with the traumas of being in care.

If you could have one super power what would it be: The power of not forgetting where I put my hat

What is your favorite quote: "When the law is not just; the people must be. Demand an appeal and change in the criminal system in ways that lead by example - with dignity, perseverance and an unwavering commitment to truth." - Cindy Blackstock

 


Destiny 

Age: 15

City: Chilliwack

Why did you join the Youth Leadership Council: I thought it would be a really great opportunity and I really wanted to learn what else I could do to create positive change

What changes, opportunities, or other improvements to existing supports would you like to see available to youth in and from care: I want other youth to see that they are not alone. I want them to know that they have access to information and organizations that could really help them. I personally grew up feeling alone, until recently when I discovered the Fed and RCY. I want more youth to know that they have those supports as well.

If you could have one super power, what would it be: To be invisible

What is your favorite quote: "Don't tell me the sky is the limit when theare are footprints on the moon"


Nokomas Tom

Age: 19

City: Merritt

Why did you join the leadership council: I joined the leadership council because I want to see a better future for youth in care.

What changes, opportunities or improvements to existing supports would you like to see available to youth in and from care: I would like to see social workers available to youth 24/7 for youth in care so that if they feel they need to talk to someone about something serious, and don't have someone to speak to, they can refer that social worker for support.

If you could have one super power what would it be: to fly

What is your favorite quote: "I want to see what happens if I don't give up"

 


Alumni Support:

 

Jessy Neal

City: Surrey/Quesnel

As an alumni, why did you want to be a part of the Leadership Council: I joined the Leadership Council because I am an invested Alumni of the organization. I have been involved with the Fed since 2002 when I was a youth member starting at age 14. In that time I have only missed 2 SCM's. The Fed has been a strong support throughout my youth and young adult life and I believe that they can be an amazing support for all youth in and from care in B.C. I want to do what I can to help the Fed grow and flourish.

What changes, opportunities, or improvements to existing supports would you like to see available to youth in and from care: I would like to see the Fed able to have more support and funding to do the things that the youth members love to do, like SCM's going back to happening three times a year. I would like the Fed to be able to provide more support and leadership development to their membership and to make more opportunities be available to youth across the province. It would be great to have a Northern Federation that has staff that are able to reach youth in that area as well as the Lower Mainland office being able to reach out to youth outside of the Lower Mainland as well. I would like to see more leadership training oppurtunities and more collaboration with other youth groups.

If I could have one super power what would it be: This is going to sound silly, but my super power would be the ability to teleport. I could be in all the places where I want to be in the blink of an eye. Like blink an eye and I would be back in Quesnel to visit my aunts and cousins, or blink and I would be in Grand Prairie so that I could spend more time with my sisters and nieces. Maybe I would add Disneyland and Universal Studios as well!

What is your favorite quote: I don't have a specific one, but right now and for most of my life I have liked "I know life isn't meant to be easy, but this is ridiculous!" and "Be the change you want to see"


Staff Support

Jeff O'Neill, Local Developemt Coordinator

Board Support

Kian Ghanei