Our Staff

Fed staff members are responsible for maintaining and overseeing our programs and services. They must be knowledgeable and passionate about young people and are deeply committed to meaningful youth-engagement.

Please connect with any of our staff team if you have any questions about the Fed! Contact a Fed staff!

Rebeckah BirdRebeckah Bird, Youth Intern

My name is Rebeckah Bird (They/Them), and I’m a Youth Intern at the Fed.

I am a young queer artist living on the territory of the shíshálh Nation, also known as the Sunshine Coast, with my partner and two pets. I myself was a child in care originally from a small aboriginal town called Fort Smith (Thebacha in the Chipewyan language, which means "beside the rapids") in the southeastern portion of the Northwest Territories. Fort Smith is the main gateway to Wood Buffalo National Park and home to the Salt River First Nation and Chipewyan people.

My mother and I moved to Vancouver in 2014, but I, unfortunately, ended up on my own at 15 in the big city. Growing up I did not have the opportunity to go to elementary or high school and found myself working full time as a manager at a cafè at age 16. In 2018 I moved myself and my pets to the Sunshine Coast to attend an adult alternative school and (finally) graduated high school at the end of 2019 with the help of my teachers, youth worker, and AYA. 

I am now a small business owner and working towards becoming a youth worker/art therapist.

Lorena BishopLorena Bishop, Executive Director

Hi, I’m Lorena Bishop, the Executive Director (ED) at the Fed. 

I grew up on the East Coast on the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq people. On my paternal side I am of Mi’kmaq heritage and 11th generation French settler, and of British ancestry on my maternal side. I currently have the privilege of living on the unceded, traditional territory of the Kwikwetlam, Stó:lō, Qayqayt, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. 

I grew up in government care in Nova Scotia and have spent over 20 years advocating to help create a better experience for my siblings in care.  

I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, as well as a certificate in Human Resources Management. I was a recipient of the Child Welfare League of Canada’s Leadership Award and helped support and advocate for the creation of BC Child and Youth in Care Week. 

As the ED, I am responsible for supporting and leading our Fed Family to make sure it meets the needs of our members based on the goals and plans we create and approve together. This involves things like supervising staff, reporting to the Board of Directors, liaising with our partners, and ensuring we have the resources we need. 

Shannon DoltonShannon Dolton, Program Coordinator

Hi everyone, I’m Shannon Dolton (She/Her), Program Coordinator at the Fed.

I have the honor of living, working and playing on the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Qayqayt Nations – now known as New Westminster. I am a Lower Mainland BC girl through and through. I was born in Vancouver, raised in Burnaby and have lived in New Westminster for the past 10 years

I have had the privilege to work with youth in a variety of settings including one-to-one home support, low barrier crisis intervention and drop-in centers, and life/parenting skills development. My educational background is a combination of Child and Youth Care with Women’s Studies and Gender Relations, and I am back in school currently pursuing a degree in Psychology.

My role at the Fed is to support Membership, Volunteering and our 121 Support programs. I am consistently honored and amazed to be able to work alongside youth in and from care across BC. My work is guided by the belief that when given the space, tools and supports – young people in and from care can do anything!!!! I say this because I have seen it and continue to witness the resiliency, strength and magic of this community.

I am a Queer, intersectional feminist cat mom who likes to think of myself as a grown up with a healthy balance of childlike whimsy and a touch of 80-year-old grandma. I am an avid tea-drinker, reader, unicorn collector and believe in the power of Wonder Woman and words.

Ornella EssaOrnella Essa, Youth Intern

Hello folks, I am Ornella Essa, a Youth Intern at the Fed.

I was born in Iraq, but have the honour to live on the traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Katzie, Kwikwetlem, sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Á,LEṈENEȻ ȽTE (W̱SÁNEĆ), Kwantlen and Stz'uminus peoples, now known as Surrey-Guildford.

I have tremendous passion to help youth who have experience in care. My position at the Fed as an intern is temporary, but my connection is permanent. I am looking forward to seeing how much more the Fed will evolve!

I am an eco-minimalist, which means I’m enthusiastic about intentional living and producing as little waste as possible. I also love rocks and crystals and have a good collection of my own. In my free time I enjoy cuddling with my cat/son George, watching ghost stories on YouTube and occasionally studying the French language.

Jessy NealJessy Neal, Program Coordinator

Hey y’all, I’m Jessy Neal, a Program Coordinator at the Fed.

I am a Cree/Metis woman, and I also like to identify that I am an alumni of care. I grew up in the small rural city of Quesnel, BC, the traditional territories of the Lhtako Dene, Nazko, Lhoosk'uz Dene and ?Esdilagh peoples. I currently live and work on the traditional territories of the Semiahmoo, Kwantlen, Stolo and Katzie first nations.

I have been involved in the Fed in many different roles, ranging from youth member, volunteer, youth leader, to alumni, board member, and adult support. My current role at the Fed is coordinating the Local Development and Outreach Programs.

Youth advocacy and helping to improve the lives for children and youth in and from care has been a passion of mine since I attended my first Fed SCM (Steering Committee Meeting or Youth Retreat) when I was 14. It was my involvement with the Fed that inspired me to continue on with schooling and eventually get my Bachelor of Social Work degree. I have worked as an Indigenous Family and Cultural Connections Worker, and Youth Outreach and Empowerment Team Social worker, with my goal always being to help improve the system for youth in and from care.

When I am not working, I am usually at home playing with my little man or my dogs, playing video games, or streaming endless seasons of TV shows online.

Athena NixsonAthena Nixson, Youth Intern

Greetings! I'm Athena Nixson and I’m thrilled to be part of the Fed as a Youth Intern.

I am a member of the LGBTQIA2S+ community and I am a descendant of the Patowatomi Nation. I currently work and live in New Westminster, which is located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish, sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie), sc̓əwaθenaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsawwassen), Kwikwetlem, S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Qayqayt, Kwantlen, Stz'uminus, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

I am currently a student working on my bachelor’s degree in Social Work, hopefully to be completed at the University of Victoria. My prior work experience includes working with street-entrenched youth to assist them in finding housing, accessing detox, and building life skills.

In my spare time, I enjoy cuddling with my cat, drinking coffee, listening to true crime podcasts, spending time on the island with my chosen family, gaming, or making music on my ukulele and my laptop.

Preeti PrasadPreeti Prasad, Administrative Coordinator

Hi! I’m Preeti Prasad, the Administrative Coordinator at the Fed.

I was born, raised and continue to have the privilege and honour of living on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, specifically the shared territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Kwantlen, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Qayqayt and Stó:lō First Nations, now known as Surrey.

I’ve worked with young people in several different capacities over the years. I’ve supported youth in building employability and life skills. I have traveled across BC in a research capacity, listening and documenting the stories and experiences young people have shared with me. I have also worked with a youth council in developing by-youth-for-youth projects and initiatives. In my role at the Fed, I support the Fed Team in their work with young people and in delivering amazing programs. What continually guides my work is an understanding that everything I do in whatever role I take on is in the best interest and to the benefit of the young people I work and interact with.

I hold a Diploma in Youth Justice and a BA in Criminology. When I haven’t caught the travel bug, I’m usually reading (true crime and fantasy are my favourite genres), crocheting, scrapbooking, baking, video gaming or taking my puppers on a long walk.

Steve SmithSteve Smith, Program Coordinator

Hi! My name is Steve Smith and I’m a Program Coordinator at the Fed.

I was born and raised in Vancouver, but currently reside in beautiful Maple Ridge on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish, sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Á,LEṈENEȻ ȽTE (W̱SÁNEĆ), Kwantlen and Stz'uminus peoples’.

I work on events and special projects, including our online program Fed Connects. I’m a former kid in care and an alumni member of the Federation as well.

One of my current hobbies that takes up a lot of my time is fishing. When I’m not working, you can find me on the river taking in the beautiful scenery we have here in BC. It’s truly a place of peace for me, even if I don’t catch a fish.

Another thing that takes up my time is a group I joined back in 2019 called Bikers Against Bullying. This group does a variety of things like fundraising, giving back to different communities, doing school presentations, helping young people that are bullied, and mentoring young people that may be bullies themselves.

I have a passion to help and give back which is what drives my work.

Stephanie ThompsonStephanie Thompson, Program & Communications Coordinator

Hi! I’m Stephanie Thompson, Program and Communications Coordinator at the Fed.

I grew up in the North in the home of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Lake Babine Nation, Ts’il Kaz Koh, Wet’suwet’en, Nee-Tahi-Buhn and Skin Tyee, in a little town that’s also known as Burns Lake, BC. Today I live and work in Vancouver and New Westminster, which are located on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Qayqayt Nations.

My work experience has included freelance writing and graphic design, as well as customer service jobs I worked as a student. I hold a BA in English and a Diploma in Publishing.

The ‘Program’ part of my job includes leading the production of Power Pages magazine and helping organize BC Child and Youth in Care Week. The ‘Communications’ part involves a lot of writing and editing and design, but it boils down to letting youth in and from care and their allies know who we are and what we do, and what other supports and services are out there for them. Youth in the care community can do incredible things, and I love being able to share supports and resources that can help them on their way.

Some of my favourite things are food, video games, sci-fi shows, fantasy and other books and cats.

On Special Contract:

Chris Bentzen
Graphic Design Consultant

Shannon Pawliw
Graphic Design Consultant

Ann Veerman
HR Consultant