OUR TEAM |
Ryan is an urban planner, community engagement practitioner, and youth advocate. As Co-Founder of Urban Minds, he bridges the gap between youth and decision makers by developing youth engagement strategies with municipalities and community partners. His work includes organizing the annual 1UPToronto Conference and the 1UP Leaders Lab program, where high school students learn about city building and gain practical skills in civic leadership. Ryan has extensive experience in facilitating engagement events for placemaking and transportation projects across Canada and the US.
Alexander is an urban planner interested in fostering interactive, playful, and engaging city-building discussions. With previous experience at the YMCA and Evergreen Canada, he is passionate about providing spaces for children and youth to express their understandings of the world.
Alexander is also the Co-Director of Urban Planning Education at Small Print Toronto where he leads arts and craft based workshops for children to unpack city-building challenges, and is a former co-lead of RUaPlanner? at Ryerson University.
Alexander enjoys cycling the city’s ravines and trails, as well as creating illustrations and watercolour paintings.
Catherine is a student at St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School. Through creating various designs, she hopes to continue improving and learning more about graphic design for personal growth and future endeavors. In her spare time, she will often sing, read, and cook with friends even when they're terrible chefs.
Angela is an architectural designer, educator, and youth advocate. As Co-Founder of Urban Minds, she elevates youth voices in the decision-making process of cities by delivering educational school workshops about urban planning and by mentoring a growing network of high school students. Angela is the recipient of the Sappi Ideas That Matter Grant, which funded the production of her 1UP Starter Kit, a key resource for high school students to lead their own community design-build projects. Her design expertise is recognized as winner of the City of Toronto’s Everyone is King: Design-Build Competition with her team’s youth-friendly curb lane public art installation, #WouldYouRatherTO.
Sanjana is trained as an engineer and is passionate about community engagement and building equitable cities. Her community-building experience includes leading a bike club and a book club in Edmonton, Alberta. After working for four years as an engineer in the energy sector, Sanjana recently transitioned careers to working in active transportation. As a School Travel Planner in Ajax, she works with community partners to develop solutions to promote walking and cycling among parents and students. She is always on the hunt for cool, quirky coffee shops around the city.
Mary is a student at St Robert Catholic High School. This year, in serving the 1UP Youth City Builders Program, she would like to improve her photography and Photoshop skills and learn more about videography. Mary loves to play the cello, travel, and imagine small ways of making the world a better place.
Santessa is a dedicated motivator for equity-seeking groups in the city building dialogue. As Program Manager for Urban Minds, she is committed to leveraging opportunities for youth to express themselves. As an urban planner, Santessa shares her skills through visual communication, community involvement and research.
With previous experiences at the City of Toronto, Evergreen, Ontario Ministry of Environment and the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Santessa always finds unique ways to engage in the city. You can find Santessa running around town (literally), catching a new superhero flick or playing with some mapping technology.
Giannella is an Ecuadorian-born, Netherlands-raised, and at the moment, Canadian-based conceptual and visual designer. With previous experience at Evergreen Canada and as a Multidisciplinary Designer, Giannella has been successful at creating brand messages, strategies and key graphic productions for different start-ups and non-profit organizations.
As Outreach Coordinator for Urban Minds, she is committed to developing and delivering targeted and results-driven communication and visual translations consistently across digital advertising and marketing platforms. She is also passionate about providing opportunities for youth to express their understanding of city-building and the impact that they can have in their cities.
Alex is a student at Earl Haig Secondary School. He believes that with the help of mentors and enriching events, the youth of today will be one step closer to realizing their future. During his breaks, he plays hockey, listens to music, and practices cardistry.
OUR ADVISORY BOARD |
Amuna is passionate about access. She has almost three decades of experience working in the areas of homelessness, education, social justice, legal advocacy and policy. Currently, she works as the Director of Human Resources and Operations for the Jane/Finch Centre. She is also a CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow and sits on various boards. She has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and English Literature and a Master’s degree in Public Policy, Administration and Law.
Catriona is a recent graduate of the professionally accredited Master of Planning degree in Urban Development at Ryerson University, Toronto. She is passionate about cities and creating equitable environments in which individuals are able to facilitate positive change in their lives. Her areas of interest include Indigenous housing policy, affordable housing, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, and creating vibrant communities in Canada and internationally.
Our 1UP Executive Team serves as our youth advisors on our projects and initiatives.