Board

Everyone on YouthCO's Board of Directors is a youth! Together, we are responsible for providing organizational leadership, upholding YouthCO’s mission, values, and approaches, YouthCO’s commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and operating in the best interests of youth most impacted by HIV and Hep C.

New Board members are always welcome to get in touch and learn more about our responsibilities, and how to get involved in governance at YouthCO! To contact us, email [email protected]

Chenoa Cassidy-Matthews

Chenoa Cassidy-Matthews

pronouns: she, her, hers

Chenoa is a Nishnawbe:kwe of Sachigo Lake First Nation (she/her), and is currently a PhD student at the University of British Columbia. Her research centers the experiences of urban Indigenous young people who use drugs and takes a positive action approach to better meet their access needs. Chenoa was raised in a small town near Ottawa, ON and moved to British Columbia to pursue graduate school. She holds a Master of Public Health specializing in Global Health from Simon Fraser University, and loves CrossFit, outdoor adventure sports, and trivia. Chenoa is a teacher at the Native Education College and a research associate at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

pronouns: she, her, hers

Chenoa is a Nishnawbe:kwe of Sachigo Lake First Nation (she/her), and is currently a PhD student at the University of British Columbia. Her research centers the experiences of urban Indigenous young people who use drugs and takes a positive action approach to better meet their access needs. Chenoa was raised in a small town near Ottawa, ON and moved to British Columbia to pursue graduate school. She holds a Master of Public Health specializing in Global Health from Simon Fraser University, and loves CrossFit, outdoor adventure sports, and trivia. Chenoa is a teacher at the Native Education College and a research associate at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

James Infante

James Infante

pronouns: he, him, his

James Infante has a big heart and an even louder laugh. Focused on making life better for people, James has fought for the rights of workers and labour unions through public policy advocacy and community organizing. As a political communications strategist, he has managed and led campaigns at all three levels of government and with non-profit organizations. James has completed his degree in Political Science at UBC where he served as a Student Ambassador and has been a volunteer with YouthCO's Mycelium program. He currently serves as the board's Treasurer and you can usually find him in front of a karaoke mic and throwing up finger hearts in photos.

pronouns: he, him, his

James Infante has a big heart and an even louder laugh. Focused on making life better for people, James has fought for the rights of workers and labour unions through public policy advocacy and community organizing. As a political communications strategist, he has managed and led campaigns at all three levels of government and with non-profit organizations. James has completed his degree in Political Science at UBC where he served as a Student Ambassador and has been a volunteer with YouthCO's Mycelium program. He currently serves as the board's Treasurer and you can usually find him in front of a karaoke mic and throwing up finger hearts in photos.
Kristina Kattapuram

Kristina Kattapuram

pronouns: she, her, hers
 
Kristina joined YouthCo as a board member in 2021 and works at First Nations Health Authority managing provincial reports and publications on Indigenous health.  Kristina is passionate about health promotion and disease prevention and ensuring equitable access to culturally safe, trauma informed, and gender inclusive health information and services. She is originally from Toronto, Ontario, and moved to BC five years ago to pursue her Masters in Public Health at Simon Fraser University. In her spare time, Kristina enjoys drinking sour beers, walking on the seawall, and being a dog mom to her rescue dog, Baloo.

pronouns: she, her, hers
 
Kristina joined YouthCo as a board member in 2021 and works at First Nations Health Authority managing provincial reports and publications on Indigenous health.  Kristina is passionate about health promotion and disease prevention and ensuring equitable access to culturally safe, trauma informed, and gender inclusive health information and services. She is originally from Toronto, Ontario, and moved to BC five years ago to pursue her Masters in Public Health at Simon Fraser University. In her spare time, Kristina enjoys drinking sour beers, walking on the seawall, and being a dog mom to her rescue dog, Baloo.
Luka Poljak

Luka Poljak

Pronouns: he, him, his

Luka is a Canadian immigrant from Croatia and current undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia. He has been an advocate and peer mentor for sexual health and LGBTQ2+ voices for as long as he can remember, having founded students clubs in his highschool to provide safe and accepting spaces for his fellow queer and trans classmates. Upon moving to Vancouver, he volunteered with YouthCo as a camp counselor during our winter camp back in 2020. He is also a youth representative for the Patient Voices Network’s Oversight and Advisory Committee where he was involved in the planning and evaluation of various provincial healthcare projects including an online mental health database called MindMapBC. In his free time, Luka loves to act, write, and practice pole vault.

Pronouns: he, him, his

Luka is a Canadian immigrant from Croatia and current undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia. He has been an advocate and peer mentor for sexual health and LGBTQ2+ voices for as long as he can remember, having founded students clubs in his highschool to provide safe and accepting spaces for his fellow queer and trans classmates. Upon moving to Vancouver, he volunteered with YouthCo as a camp counselor during our winter camp back in 2020. He is also a youth representative for the Patient Voices Network’s Oversight and Advisory Committee where he was involved in the planning and evaluation of various provincial healthcare projects including an online mental health database called MindMapBC. In his free time, Luka loves to act, write, and practice pole vault.

Sarain Squakin

Sarain Squakin

pronouns: she, her, hers

Sarain
is a Syilx Okanagan, Jicarilla Apache and Belgian. She grew up in Snpintktn also known as Penticton in the Syilx Okanagan Nation. She currently resides on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations, also known as Vancouver. She’s been here since she graduated from UBC Okanagan in 2018. Sarain holds a Bachelors of Business Management from UBC Okanagan. Sarain has worked in Indigenous health for three and a half years. She is passionate in Indigenous health and wellness. Sarain recently took the role as the new Learning Circle manager at UBC Centre of Excellence in Indigenous Health. She looks forward to facilitating conversations on Indigenous health and wellness.

pronouns: she, her, hers

Sarain
is a Syilx Okanagan, Jicarilla Apache and Belgian. She grew up in Snpintktn also known as Penticton in the Syilx Okanagan Nation. She currently resides on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations, also known as Vancouver. She’s been here since she graduated from UBC Okanagan in 2018. Sarain holds a Bachelors of Business Management from UBC Okanagan. Sarain has worked in Indigenous health for three and a half years. She is passionate in Indigenous health and wellness. Sarain recently took the role as the new Learning Circle manager at UBC Centre of Excellence in Indigenous Health. She looks forward to facilitating conversations on Indigenous health and wellness.