Staff

We look forward to connecting with you!

Adrian

Adrian

Mpowerment YVR Program Coordinator
adrian@youthco.org

pronouns: they/them/theirs, he/him/his

Adrian is a first-generation Canadian raised by refugee parents from Chile. As a queer person of colour, they strive to better the queer and trans communities in the Coast Salish Territories through community-building events and empowering queer youth on their journeys. Adrian became involved at YouthCO in early 2019 and they're eager to continue to grow surrounded by such amazing folks. On their spare time, Adrian enjoys attending local shows, going to the movie theaters, and having strong opinions about Rupaul’s Drag Race. 

pronouns: they/them/theirs, he/him/his

Adrian is a first-generation Canadian raised by refugee parents from Chile. As a queer person of colour, they strive to better the queer and trans communities in the Coast Salish Territories through community-building events and empowering queer youth on their journeys. Adrian became involved at YouthCO in early 2019 and they're eager to continue to grow surrounded by such amazing folks. On their spare time, Adrian enjoys attending local shows, going to the movie theaters, and having strong opinions about Rupaul’s Drag Race. 

Amanda

Amanda

Cultural Connections Coordinator
amanda@youthco.org

pronouns: they, them, theirs

Amanda spent their childhood in Waglisa (Bella Bella, B.C) where they got to experience a tight knit community enriched with culture of the Heiltsuk people. Moving to Vancouver, they got to experience their Squamish roots by going on tribal journeys and experiencing other tribe’s songs and dances on other territories. Amanda hopes that by coordinating Culture is Healing events, they can enrich the spirits of Indigenous youth in the city. Amanda is a young mother and likes to spend their spare time going on adventures with their son. They also enjoy getting lost in a good fiction book or furthering their knowledge with a non-fiction book.

pronouns: they, them, theirs

Amanda spent their childhood in Waglisa (Bella Bella, B.C) where they got to experience a tight knit community enriched with culture of the Heiltsuk people. Moving to Vancouver, they got to experience their Squamish roots by going on tribal journeys and experiencing other tribe’s songs and dances on other territories. Amanda hopes that by coordinating Culture is Healing events, they can enrich the spirits of Indigenous youth in the city. Amanda is a young mother and likes to spend their spare time going on adventures with their son. They also enjoy getting lost in a good fiction book or furthering their knowledge with a non-fiction book.

Bill

Bill

Mpowerment Fraser West Coordinator
bill@youthco.org

pronouns: he, him, his, they, them, theirs

Bill is a queer Chinese first generation settler, a dancer, an artist, a community organizer. He has a passion for exploring the connections between history, culture, community and queerness – how community care re-shapes self-care; what love, sex, relationships look like in a process of unlearning colonial relations. Outside of their work, they can be found battling in dance battles, on spontaneous hikes, studying traditional Chinese medicine, and eating (a lot of) chocolate. 

pronouns: he, him, his, they, them, theirs

Bill is a queer Chinese first generation settler, a dancer, an artist, a community organizer. He has a passion for exploring the connections between history, culture, community and queerness – how community care re-shapes self-care; what love, sex, relationships look like in a process of unlearning colonial relations. Outside of their work, they can be found battling in dance battles, on spontaneous hikes, studying traditional Chinese medicine, and eating (a lot of) chocolate. 

Emily

Emily

Program Manager, Mpowerment
emily@youthco.org

pronouns: she, her, hers

Emily is a mixed race queer community organizer and arts practitioner. The descendant of South Asian, English and Austrian immigrants and an uninvited guest living on Coast Salish Territory, Emily works to find the magic living in the in-between, challenging and unpacking colonial constructions of race and sexuality on these lands. As the Mpowerment Coordinator of the Fraser East Region, Emily looks forward to returning to her rural routs, where powerful survival strategies have and continue to transform community! Outside of work, Emily is either lost in Pacific Spirit Park or being overly competitive playing Dutch Blitz. 

pronouns: she, her, hers

Emily is a mixed race queer community organizer and arts practitioner. The descendant of South Asian, English and Austrian immigrants and an uninvited guest living on Coast Salish Territory, Emily works to find the magic living in the in-between, challenging and unpacking colonial constructions of race and sexuality on these lands. As the Mpowerment Coordinator of the Fraser East Region, Emily looks forward to returning to her rural routs, where powerful survival strategies have and continue to transform community! Outside of work, Emily is either lost in Pacific Spirit Park or being overly competitive playing Dutch Blitz. 

Furqan

Furqan

Positive Program Manager
furqan@youthco.org

pronouns: he, him, his

Furqan was born in Pakistan and raised in Maldives. He moved to Vancouver Canada in 2013 to pursue an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Furqan’s all-time favourite Tv show is Grey’s Anatomy and is comfortably able to hold long conversations about it. Furqan is a HUGE marvel fan, loves baking and in his free time can be found hiking and biking around Vancouver. 

pronouns: he, him, his

Furqan was born in Pakistan and raised in Maldives. He moved to Vancouver Canada in 2013 to pursue an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Furqan’s all-time favourite Tv show is Grey’s Anatomy and is comfortably able to hold long conversations about it. Furqan is a HUGE marvel fan, loves baking and in his free time can be found hiking and biking around Vancouver. 

Ivan

Ivan

Executive Director
ivan@youthco.org

pronouns: he, him, his

Ivan is a healer, artist and educator of Afro-Caribbean, Tamil and Kalinago ancestry. He was born and raised in one of his ancestral homelands, Iere, Land of the Hummingbirds, Kalinago territory and moved to xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territory in 2012 seeking a change from colonially imposed anti-queer laws in the Caribbean. Ivan's work is melody of home, heart and hope always pulling him closer to his ancestors, and is focused on unmasking and undoing the many faces of colonization that move through his communities. He is a part-time organizer, full-time friend and big-time believer in the transformative power of relationships. 

pronouns: he, him, his

Ivan is a healer, artist and educator of Afro-Caribbean, Tamil and Kalinago ancestry. He was born and raised in one of his ancestral homelands, Iere, Land of the Hummingbirds, Kalinago territory and moved to xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territory in 2012 seeking a change from colonially imposed anti-queer laws in the Caribbean. Ivan's work is melody of home, heart and hope always pulling him closer to his ancestors, and is focused on unmasking and undoing the many faces of colonization that move through his communities. He is a part-time organizer, full-time friend and big-time believer in the transformative power of relationships. 

Janna

Janna

Support Worker
janna@youthco.org

pronouns: she, her, hers

Janna is a white settler living as an uninvited guest on this land. She grew up on Crawford Purchase land, nearby Treaty 57, in 'Ontario' and spent her adolescence as a queer, HCV+, street-involved youth, and drug user. She traveled for many years exploring the country, discovering music, and connecting with rural communities. These experiences led her to youth engagement programs and peer advocacy work. Quickly she fell in love with delivering workshops and deepened a passion for drug policy work and reducing stigmas enforced onto marginalized community members. As a woman of many interests Janna has worked as a birth doula, a sound engineer for live shows and film, a fisherman in northern 'Saskatchewan', a writer and life-skills coach, is slowly pursuing (through scholarships/bursaries) a bachelors degree in psychology, a certificate in animal behaviour, and is passionate in the field of mental health. Her favorite TV show (at the moment) is The Office and it should be noted that she is quite comfortable embarking on very long one-sided conversations with any dog willing to listen. 

pronouns: she, her, hers

Janna is a white settler living as an uninvited guest on this land. She grew up on Crawford Purchase land, nearby Treaty 57, in 'Ontario' and spent her adolescence as a queer, HCV+, street-involved youth, and drug user. She traveled for many years exploring the country, discovering music, and connecting with rural communities. These experiences led her to youth engagement programs and peer advocacy work. Quickly she fell in love with delivering workshops and deepened a passion for drug policy work and reducing stigmas enforced onto marginalized community members. As a woman of many interests Janna has worked as a birth doula, a sound engineer for live shows and film, a fisherman in northern 'Saskatchewan', a writer and life-skills coach, is slowly pursuing (through scholarships/bursaries) a bachelors degree in psychology, a certificate in animal behaviour, and is passionate in the field of mental health. Her favorite TV show (at the moment) is The Office and it should be noted that she is quite comfortable embarking on very long one-sided conversations with any dog willing to listen. 

Jazzmin

Jazzmin

Yúusnewas Provincial Educator
jazzmin@youthco.org

pronouns: she, her, hers

Jazzmin was born and raised in Vancouver BC. She is Indigenous and comes from Boston Bar First Nations. Her Nation is Nlakapamux, She grew up going back and forth from Vancouver and Boston Bar BC. Jazzmin has focused on harm reduction and addiction education while attending Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in the Chemical Addiction Program. Jazzmin's long term goal for schooling is to finish her masters in social work. Jazzmin has a passion for helping youth anyway she can. Jazzmin is very excited to be starting her work with YouthCO. In her spare time, she loves working with horses. In the future, Jazzmin would love to help open a center where people and horses can heal together.

pronouns: she, her, hers

Jazzmin was born and raised in Vancouver BC. She is Indigenous and comes from Boston Bar First Nations. Her Nation is Nlakapamux, She grew up going back and forth from Vancouver and Boston Bar BC. Jazzmin has focused on harm reduction and addiction education while attending Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in the Chemical Addiction Program. Jazzmin's long term goal for schooling is to finish her masters in social work. Jazzmin has a passion for helping youth anyway she can. Jazzmin is very excited to be starting her work with YouthCO. In her spare time, she loves working with horses. In the future, Jazzmin would love to help open a center where people and horses can heal together.

Jessamyn

Jessamyn

Operations Coordinator
jessamyn@youthco.org

pronouns: they, them, theirs

Jessamyn is a queer second-generation Taiwanese settler with a background in sexual health advocacy and workshop facilitation. They are passionate about understanding and navigating the intersections of culture and accessibility. As the Operations Coordinator, Jessamyn is excited to connect with and support the YouthCO community! When not at their desk, Jessamyn can be found babying their senior dog, Mocha, or really any dog they can find.

pronouns: they, them, theirs

Jessamyn is a queer second-generation Taiwanese settler with a background in sexual health advocacy and workshop facilitation. They are passionate about understanding and navigating the intersections of culture and accessibility. As the Operations Coordinator, Jessamyn is excited to connect with and support the YouthCO community! When not at their desk, Jessamyn can be found babying their senior dog, Mocha, or really any dog they can find.

Jessica

Jessica

Positive Programs Coordinator, Assistant Director at Camp Moomba
jessica@youthco.org

pronouns: she/her/hers

In the past, Jessica has been involved as the Positive Programs Intern, and as a Camp Moomba alumni volunteer. She is happy to be back in such an awesome, supportive, fun space! Jessica is dedicated to volunteering and working with children and youth and is excited to bring that experience to her work here at YouthCO. In Jessica’s spare time, she enjoys conversing with friends outdoors, listening to Ed Sheeran’s musical talents, playing with her two cats, and is always down to have a caffeinated beverage or two.

pronouns: she/her/hers

In the past, Jessica has been involved as the Positive Programs Intern, and as a Camp Moomba alumni volunteer. She is happy to be back in such an awesome, supportive, fun space! Jessica is dedicated to volunteering and working with children and youth and is excited to bring that experience to her work here at YouthCO. In Jessica’s spare time, she enjoys conversing with friends outdoors, listening to Ed Sheeran’s musical talents, playing with her two cats, and is always down to have a caffeinated beverage or two.

Nona

Nona

Yúusnewas Educator
nona@youthco.org

pronouns: she, her, hers

Nona is the Yúusnewas Educator focused on Harm Reduction. Nona is from the Ditidaht First Nations. She moved to the unceded and ancestral lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh nations in 2016 to finish her Bachelor of Education at UBC. She is excited about this role because it incorporates teaching, working with Indigenous youth and decolonzing work. Outside of the office, Nona can be found cuddling with her cat, hiking or exploring new places.

pronouns: she, her, hers

Nona is the Yúusnewas Educator focused on Harm Reduction. Nona is from the Ditidaht First Nations. She moved to the unceded and ancestral lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh nations in 2016 to finish her Bachelor of Education at UBC. She is excited about this role because it incorporates teaching, working with Indigenous youth and decolonzing work. Outside of the office, Nona can be found cuddling with her cat, hiking or exploring new places.

Samira

Samira

Program Intern
samira@youthco.org

pronouns: she, her, hers

Samira's first official involvement with YouthCO was through developing and lead a workshop at the Positive Gathering, ABCs of HIV and as a Camp Moomba group leader. Wth the experience with working with such great people at YouthCO, Samira is excited to be working at YouthCO as the Program Intern. Her passion for talking about matters that are important to her and others and meet new faces is why she's glad to be at YouthCO. Samira is currently studying her way to become a nurse. As a nurse, Samira wants to bring a good vibe to her work with patients, in order to help people in a meaningful way. When Samira is not making great party conversation starters, she enjoys a bag of Cheetos because they are a cheesy heaven, filmmaking/editing, and watching late night TV series (at the moment, Castle).

pronouns: she, her, hers

Samira's first official involvement with YouthCO was through developing and lead a workshop at the Positive Gathering, ABCs of HIV and as a Camp Moomba group leader. Wth the experience with working with such great people at YouthCO, Samira is excited to be working at YouthCO as the Program Intern. Her passion for talking about matters that are important to her and others and meet new faces is why she's glad to be at YouthCO. Samira is currently studying her way to become a nurse. As a nurse, Samira wants to bring a good vibe to her work with patients, in order to help people in a meaningful way. When Samira is not making great party conversation starters, she enjoys a bag of Cheetos because they are a cheesy heaven, filmmaking/editing, and watching late night TV series (at the moment, Castle).

Skye

Skye

Mpowerment Prince George Coordinator
604.688.1441
skye@youthco.org

pronouns: he, him, his
Skye is from Kispiox B.C. and is from the Gitxsan nation, but now lives in Prince George. Skye hopes to teach English, but in the meantime he has a passion for supporting the queer and trans community in Northern British Columbia. As a former volunteer, Skye joined the YouthCO team as the Mpowerment PG Coordinator, and is eager to learn and grow with the queer and trans community. In his spare time, Skye enjoys coffee, competitive volleyball, attending music events, and quoting iconic Vines. Skye is the Mpowerment PG Coordinator and can be reached at skye@youthco.org

pronouns: he, him, his
Skye is from Kispiox B.C. and is from the Gitxsan nation, but now lives in Prince George. Skye hopes to teach English, but in the meantime he has a passion for supporting the queer and trans community in Northern British Columbia. As a former volunteer, Skye joined the YouthCO team as the Mpowerment PG Coordinator, and is eager to learn and grow with the queer and trans community. In his spare time, Skye enjoys coffee, competitive volleyball, attending music events, and quoting iconic Vines. Skye is the Mpowerment PG Coordinator and can be reached at skye@youthco.org
Taylor

Taylor

Yúusnewas Provincial Educator
taylor@youthco.org

pronouns: she, her, hers

Taylor is an Eh Cho Dene and Dunne Zaa woman from Fort Nelson First Nation, Treaty 8 Territory. She is a proud aunt to nine and is humbled to be the youngest of 7 siblings. Being a Dene handgames enthusiast, a beginner beader and dry meat maker as well as the first in her family to obtain a university degree, Taylor encourages others to pursue contemporary and traditional forms of education. Coming to YouthCO as a Yúusnewas Provincial Educator she hopes to continue to make a difference in the lives of the youth she works with while incorporating culture and traditions into our programming. When Taylor is not out in community delivering programs you can find her travelling the world or out on her traditional territory with her family exercising their treaty rights.

pronouns: she, her, hers

Taylor is an Eh Cho Dene and Dunne Zaa woman from Fort Nelson First Nation, Treaty 8 Territory. She is a proud aunt to nine and is humbled to be the youngest of 7 siblings. Being a Dene handgames enthusiast, a beginner beader and dry meat maker as well as the first in her family to obtain a university degree, Taylor encourages others to pursue contemporary and traditional forms of education. Coming to YouthCO as a Yúusnewas Provincial Educator she hopes to continue to make a difference in the lives of the youth she works with while incorporating culture and traditions into our programming. When Taylor is not out in community delivering programs you can find her travelling the world or out on her traditional territory with her family exercising their treaty rights.

Sarah Chown

Sarah Chown

Executive Director, Outgoing
sarah@youthco.org

pronouns: she, her, hers

In 2015, Sarah moved to unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territory to join the YouthCO team. Sarah is enthusiastic about quality time, bike rides, rereading favourite books, and making and sharing great food. Sarah is asexual (as in queer), and has always been curious about why so many of us are reluctant to talk openly about sex. Sarah is a white settler, and has been part of HIV and Hep C education, policy making, research, and programming in Iqaluit, Guelph, and now Vancouver.

pronouns: she, her, hers

In 2015, Sarah moved to unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territory to join the YouthCO team. Sarah is enthusiastic about quality time, bike rides, rereading favourite books, and making and sharing great food. Sarah is asexual (as in queer), and has always been curious about why so many of us are reluctant to talk openly about sex. Sarah is a white settler, and has been part of HIV and Hep C education, policy making, research, and programming in Iqaluit, Guelph, and now Vancouver.