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Youth Agents of Change 2012 - Meet this year's winners!

Agents of Change Youth

We’ve partnered with the Ontario Trillium Foundation to run the 2rd annual Agents of Change Youth competition (formerly Project Wildfire), designed to help innovators turn their ideas into real impact and prepare them for early stage investment. The competition this spring found 21 outstanding youth who are making a difference in their communities, across the city and the world. We are thrilled to welcome these talented innovators into the CSI community!

The Youth Agents of Change competition is an annual contest that awards winners with free workspace and exclusive programming opportunities. On this page you can meet this year's winners and find updates as the program gets underway. 

Blog:

CSI launches Youth Agents of Change program. June 18, 2012. 

 

Meet the 2012 winners...

 

Asha Suppiah I am often called a WATER WARRIOR. My passion is to ensure that everyone across the world has access to clean drinking water regardless of his or her financial situation. I am the Founder and CEO of Enviro Spinnovations through which I am working towards commercializing my patent-pending solar desalination technology.

 

Ayah Norris (top) & Kyla Zanardi (bottom) The INSIGHT Project is a documentary and digital storytelling project providing a closer look at Toronto’s change-makers: their journeys, their insights, and the creative way they are shaping their communities. The project is designed to spark conversations, inspire action, and act as a virtual mentorship platform for young people in our city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carlos Aster Taguba In 2002, I co-founded Ill skillz, a group of young motivational speakers, youth facilitators and performers from the Greater Toronto Area. Our mandate is to help young people “Unlock Their Dreams” by encouraging them to do what makes them happy.

 

Dayna Jones My project, The Ladies Rhythm and Movement Club, is a women's knowledge bartering collective that operates on the idea that knowledge can be in free exchange among peers. The LRMC is an inclusive organization that takes an action-based approach to combatting gender oppression in our community.

 

 

Gregory McKenzie Stonepound Coffee operates as a means to support indigenous coffee farming families from Pula, Asipulo, Philippines, by importing their green beans to Canada, as well as through the Stonepound Community Advancement Fund, which returns a percentage of all profits back to the community of Pula.

 

Harvest Noon Café In January 2012, Harvest Noon Cafe, the first project of the Toronto Sustainable Food Cooperative, opened its doors. This cafe provides a relaxed and inclusive gathering space for students and the community to eat, cook and learn about food and food issues.

 

Ilana Ben-Ari I am a toy designer turned social entrepreneur. My startup Twenty One Toys uses toys as tools to teach the key 21st Century skills: Innovation, Creativity, Collaboration and Empathy. We have worked with daycares in Uganda, Rehabilitation Centres in Trinidad, schools in Toronto and organizations such as Engineers without Borders.

 

Joanne Cave  I am the co-founder of Connect the Sector, which looks to connect and build opportunities for younger professionals to influence the future of the non-profit and social sector. We work to address issues such as funding reform, succession planning & intergenerational mentorship, social finance tools, and barriers to policy advocacy.

 

Jonathan Asmis We are looking to build out the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada. It is our hope that by helping Aboriginal leaders continue to thrive and develop in their respective careers, we are able to inspire an entire generation to follow in their footsteps.

 

Kaela Bree My project is my social enterprise - Aussie X. We empower kids to enjoy physical activity as part of their everyday life no matter their level of skill, ability or gender. We are working towards conditioning physical activity as a basic human need to help create maximum happiness for all.

 

Lawrence Alvarez As President of the Institute for a Resource-Based Economy, my focus is to forward our message of sustainability through education. We are currently developing a series of workshops, and are looking to develop and pilot ‘resource libraries’ around the city geared towards access of goods one might need to use in or around the home.

 

Stephen Bentley (top)Lucas Lu (bottom)  Our new venture is a good food business called Grocerybunny. The goal is to connect local farmers and good food businesses with Torontonians through a marketplace that lives on the Internet.

 

Melody Li I am planning a project called Homeless Connect that stems from a model in San Francisco and replicated in over 220 communities around North America. Project Homeless Connect was originally started in 1998 as an event to serve those experiencing homelessness with a wide range of health and support services under one roof.

 

Michael Kenny I am a co-founder and director for Regenesis, a grassroots environmental and social justice organization that supports community builders and advocates. One of our main initiatives at this time is the Toronto Ecovillage Project, which aims to create an affordable, sustainable and community-oriented mixed-use development using the cohousing model.

 

Mira Etlin-Stein (top) and Amanda Landry (bottom) In early 2012, we co-founded Dream Weavers: An Occupational Therapy Collective. We founded this organization based on a need we perceived in our community, amongst teens and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, who were not having their needs met once they graduated from children's services.

 

Nicholas Wiktorczyk I am the Co-Founder of Spently. I am a passionate entrepreneur that is on a mission to eliminate paper receipts which cause the destruction of 10 million trees a year and contain harmful cancer causing chemicals like BPA.

 

Quadri Oshibotu Hygienna Inc. is a Canadian personal hygiene company whose job is to provide a convenient and time-saving alternative to the exclusive use of toilet paper, cumbersome or expensive bidets, a watering canteen or showering after using the toilet. Hygienna Inc. is a start-up company. Our flagship product, the Hygienna Solo, was launched in December 2011.

Robin Sutherland My vision is to acquire a remote off-grid fishing camp close to my childhood home, which is situated in a unique isolated natural setting in the Algoma District. I envision turning this oasis of crystal clear lakes and vast tracts of crown land into a social enterprise where under-resourced urban, rural and aboriginal youth are given the opportunity to take part in creative and experiential learning.

 

Rukshan Mehta Since 2009, I have worked with Students for International Development, a project that has evolved into an organization that I hope to bring forward as a registered charity. SID was built on the vision that young people across Canada and the world hold the potential to engage in sustainable development work through project management.

 

Shelley Vaisberg Trained in rehabilitative care, I develop health-care market applications for new and existing toys and tools, addressing the needs of vulnerable populations and those with mental illness and physical or cognitive disabilities. I also consult for social development agencies, local and international, that use Sport for Development concepts to effect social change in their communities.

 

Tahirah Stanley I studied Theatre and International Development, and I'm really excited about combining my two passions to create real change in communities around the world. My project, Theatre for Peace, seeks to empower youth through the performing arts. Over the course of three months, the youth, ages 14-18, work with professional artists to develop monologues, poems, dances, songs etc. that are then compiled and put into a final performance.