Welcome, Ivan!

Ivan 3

We are excited to welcome Ivan Leonce as YouthCO’s new Executive Director!!

Ivan joined the YouthCO staff team in 2017, bringing with him considerable facilitation, leadership, and community organizing experience in roles within and beyond YouthCO. Over the past three years as the Mpowerment Program Manager, Ivan's leadership has supported the program to become the dynamic queer and trans youth HIV leadership space it is today,  deepening its practice of justice and equity and growing its reach across the province. YouthCO's future is bright with Ivan as Executive Director, our new shared leadership plan and a dedicated team of staff, Board directors, and volunteers who will continue the work of challenging HIV and Hep C stigma.

Our current Executive Director, Sarah will be supporting this transition and continue her work at YouthCO through until the end of the year. Over the last six years at YouthCO, Sarah has supported Camp Moomba to find its new home at YouthCO, and worked to support the leadership of youth most impacted by HIV and Hep C. We will miss Sarah as she moves on to her next adventure, and wish her well in what comes next.

YouthCO is so lucky to have a leader like Ivan, and we are thrilled that he will continue to build on the legacy of the many, many youth leaders who have made YouthCO what it is today.

Here are some words from Ivan on stepping into the role of Executive Director:

My first connection with YouthCO was as a new immigrant looking for queer affirming spaces to connect with others like me in the city. I found that, and I found so much more. Over the last 8 years the people I have met here and the places it has helped make home for me, have taught me so much of what it means to show up for my communities. It is an honour to be entrusted with carrying the very best of those teachings forward, and a joy to have the opportunity to reimagine new ones together as what it means to be a young person impacted by HIV and Hep C continues to change around us.

What is at stake is great. 

The wisdom of every ancestor and the will of all our youth, is greater.