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.
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.
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.
grants & research manager
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.
cynthia chiu chen
Cynthia is a landscape designer with a background in planning and urban design. She has a collective experience in the landscape architecture field and has worked on projects including playgrounds, institutional spaces, streetscapes to small and large scale residential landscapes. While working at Janet Rosenberg and Studio, Earthscape Play, UofT and TDSB she strives to design spaces to be ecological, productive, and flexible. She is passionate about integrating multi-generational programs and diversity in open spaces within communities to live, work and play. Other than designing, you can find Cynthia harvesting veggies in her garden, enjoying true crime documentaries or visiting parks in Toronto with her pug, Yoda.
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.
Enosh is a graduate of Sir. John A. Macdonald Collegiate Institute and will be starting his undergraduate degree in Planning at the University of Waterloo. Having previously served as the Director of Engagement at 1UP Toronto, he hopes to continue meeting youth and professionals who are passionate about the realm of urban planning and architecture and to understand more about the industry. He likes to take and edit photos, scroll through aesthetically pleasing pictures on Pinterest and teach young kids.
Alex is an urban planner, public engagement specialist, and visual communication enthusiast. Hailing from Vancouver, he moved to Toronto in 2018 to shift education paths and learn in a bigger urban playground. Alex is interested in innovative and creative ways to ensuring results-driven outreach that helps to elevate the city-building conversation with youth.
With experience in facilitation at Swerhun Inc., and as a CityStudio Vancouver alum, Alex is passionate about ensuring that young people feel informed and empowered to bring change to their cities. He enjoys theatre, is an aspiring plant collector, and is usually found wandering around looking at interesting architecture in the city.
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.