We are lucky to have a passionate, skilled and dedicated board of former youth in care and allies who are elected each year by our members to guide the work of our organization. They strive to ensure that the Fed’s strategy is in keeping with our mission, that we are always accountable to youth members, and that we are youth-driven in our approach to achieve our goals.
Debbie Cox, Board Chair
With more than twenty years of experience bringing people, communities and governments together to create positive outcomes, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to learn from the Federation and each of its youth members.
It is my hope that by listening, sharing and building collaborative relationships, I can bring value to the work of the Fed and help provoke meaningful dialogue and action.
As president of James Laurence Group, a company that helps drive change through communications, engagement and social impact work, I am excited about the direction the Fed is taking and look forward to continuing to work with the board, staff and members to amplify the voices of young people in and from care.
Pam Costello, Treasurer
I have worked at Aunt Leah’s Place for 20 years in a variety of roles, currently as the Director of Operations and a part of our management team. I believe in changing the thinking and perception of the community about youth in and from care. It is important to me to help give youth a voice and ensure their voices are heard. As a board member with the Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks, it is an honor to work alongside and advocate for youth in and from care.
Meaghan Dougherty, Member at Large
I am very grateful to live, as a settler and uninvited guest, on the unceded territories of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) and Tsleil-Waututh (Səlilwətaɬ) First Nations. I am extremely privileged to be able to work and live in relative safety, throughout the pandemic, with my husband and my golden retriever, Sunny, in our cozy apartment in what is now called Lower Lonsdale.
I am a faculty member in the Department of Child and Youth Care at Douglas College and am interested in teaching and learning and how students experience their transition into CYC work.
Before coming to Douglas and completing my Doctorate of Education, I worked in social services for about 13 years at PLEA Community Services. I had the honour of working one-on-one with youth living independently on Youth Agreements, providing support for young people involved in the criminal justice system, and supporting youth who faced challenges due to their substance use. I managed Addiction Services at PLEA and have experience writing program proposals, grant applications, implementing and evaluating new programs, and overseeing budget, staffing, and program planning.
I am interested in learning from the Fed and contributing in a good way to advocacy for young people in and from care.
Kim Lee, Member at Large
Hello! My name is Kim Lee and I am a second generation foster kid, a stay at home mom and a former MCFD social worker! I am lucky to live in Vernon, BC which is located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Sylix Okanagan People. I moved to BC in 1995 with my single mom and disabled sister. My sister and I became CCO wards of the province and we both aged out of care at 19 years old. The experiences that my mom faced while in care in the 1960s and 70s alongside the unique challenges my disabled sister encountered while in care inspired me to become a social worker. My own care experience was a relatively positive one and I wanted to be a catalyst for change within the system.
After obtaining my BSW from UBC Okanagan in 2011 and working for MCFD for just over two years, I quickly learned that child protection was not a job for me! I struggled to find a place to best use my skills and passion for YIC issues until I found - shining like a beacon - the Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks! I joined the Board of Directors in 2013 and never looked back! Working alongside MCFD and other stakeholders with young people in and from care made me realize that together we really can tackle the big issues and change policies for the BETTER! It is an honor to be a part of such a vibrant, inclusive and youth-centered team.
Jai Turcotte, Member at Large
My name is Jai (he/they), I live on Snuneymuxw territory (Nanaimo). After being a youth member of the Fed for about 3 years, I am now an alumni. I am working on my BA at TRU, and I currently work in a clinical mental health setting, as well as a supportive housing unit. I have always been driven to support folks in getting their needs met in accessible ways, so I am proud to be applying for this position with an organization that has done very well in that regard.
When I'm not working, I am often doing self care or participating in community care. Some things I enjoy are going for hikes with my friends, putting together artwork, playing my kalimba and swimming. Because of my experience in government systems, I find connections with other people and communities crucial to personal wellbeing, so I always make time for my family and friends.
Ryan Wong, Secretary
I am currently working for a software development company named SAP based in Vancouver and have worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. Prior to joining my current company I worked in a variety of locations including the City of Coquitlam and Electronic Arts.
I’ve been involved with the Federation since 2006 starting with a little IT support and morphing into an adult support person during SCMs. I was also on the Board in 2012. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the positive transformation of the youth I’ve been able to meet and continue to look forward to any events I have the opportunity to see everyone again!
When spare time is available you can find me enjoying local theatre (both film and live), music, playing ice hockey, baking and cooking. I love to travel and have volunteered as Big Brother, for the DOXA film festival and GirlsSmarts4tech.
Kathy Wright, Member at Large
I believe that supporting all youth, regardless of where they come from and their individual circumstances, will ensure that communities and society will flourish.
Early in my career I worked in an alternate learning school for youth aged 14 to 19. I gained a deeper appreciation for youth who were struggling and not able to “fit in." Recognizing how important it is for youth to have a safe place to go where adults were listening and they could learn, reinforced my belief that it was essential to give youth every opportunity to succeed and develop.
Currently I work in human resources with employees who need help navigating medical issues that affect their ability to work. I continues that work in the BC K-12 public education sector as a leader in workplace health promotion.