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NYLAC 2022-2023 Team Picture

The National Young Leaders Advisory Committee (NYLAC) was established in 2020 to advocate for and support the incorporation of youth voice in decision-making within the Canadian YMCA movement.

The National Young Leaders Advisory Committee works to:

  • Engage and provide youth voice and perspectives to YMCA Canada as input on emerging issues, opportunities, programs, priorities, and strategies

  • Build the leadership capacity for youth to be able to fully participate in decision-making spaces as valued decision-makers

  • Strengthen and engage the YMCA Young Leaders Network as a mechanism for gathering diverse youth voice nationally

  • Support YMCA Young Leaders Network members as a resource and partner in their local efforts and initiatives

  • Connect Youth Advisory Committees/Councils to share experiences, promising practices, and learnings to maximize the value they bring to their YMCA Associations

  • Advocate for and increase the representation of youth/young leaders on national and global initiatives internal and external to the YMCA

  • Educate and reduce intergenerational barriers to make space for more diverse youth voices

NYLAC Members are YMCA staff or volunteers who are passionate about youth voice, engagement, and leadership.

Contact: [email protected]

NYLAC Members 2022-2023

Scott Boyd (he/him/his)

Senior Operations Manager
YMCA of Lethbridge

Headshot of Scott Boyd

About Me: Being in my 4th year as a team member of the YMCA, much of what ignites passion within my work is the potential that youth bring to our communities! Connecting and engaging with youth every day from helping a child score their first basket in basketball to creating safe places for youth to bring their lived experiences to the YMCA. 

How I can Help: Please reach out if you're looking for any support with building youth programs or developing safe places for youth to grow within your community. 

Fun Fact: I am always looking to improve my dad jokes! As a new dad, they need some work! 

Contact: Feel free to book a meeting at any time, click here. You may also reach me at 403-942-5737 or [email protected].

Ted Cadigan (he/him/his)

Senior Business Consultant, Employment Enterprise and Newcomer Services 
YMCA of Newfoundland and Labrador

Ted Cadigan headshot

About Me: Entering my 5th year as a YMCA employee, I'm driven by the adaptable, collaborative approach YMCAs across Canada take to supporting youth and entrepreneurs. I'm delighted to be branching out and supporting on a national scale.

How I can Help: Please reach out if you're looking for any support with building youth capacity, youth connection, or youth voice in YMCAs across Newfoundland and Labrador.

I'm also an expert in entrepreneur support and mentorship. If you're a youth entrepreneur in Canada looking for YMCA support, please reach out. 

Fun Fact: I'm an avid biker, but only in the snow! 

Contact: Let's chat! Click here to book a Teams meeting with me, email me at [email protected], or call 709-765-3404.

Maggie Culhane (she/her/hers)

Youth Worker, Employment
YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka 

Maggie Culhane headshot

About Me: With more than 7 years working with the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, I have worked in a number of roles, but my home base has always been working in youth employment. I love helping young people to gain the knowledge, tools, and resources to confidently reach their employment goals. I have also been lucky enough to participate in the Young Ambassadors program with YMCA Canada, learning more about the YMCA across Canada and around the world.  

How I can Help: I am passionate about everything employment and have a long history working in youth programming and supporting youth engagement.  

Fun Fact: I love hiking and checking out different Provincial Parks! 

Contact: Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

Kendra Gautreau (she/her/elle)

YMCA Community Action Network (YCAN) Coordinator
YMCA of Greater Saint John (unceded traditional lands of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), Passamaquoddy, and Mi’kmaq Peoples)

Kendra Gautreau headshot

About Me: I've been with the Y for almost 6 years now in different capacities, however my current role working with youth has been my favourite! Youth are the present so we need to make space for their ideas, passions, and experiences as these are shaping the future.  

How I can Help: Happy to connect if you are seeking knowledge about Youth Programming, Supporting and Advocating for Youth, and/or Connecting Youth with Community and Volunteering. 

If you are a young person interested in making a difference in your community, reach out so I can tell you about YCAN!  

Fun Fact: Catch me on the slopes in the winter and on the baseball diamond come summer. 

Contact: Let’s chat! Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

Melissa Haynes (she/her/hers)

Manager, Youth & Community Programs
YMCA of Three Rivers 

Melissa Haynes headshot

About Me: I am in my 6th year working with the Y, and recently just finished my first year in my current role focusing on youth programs, partnerships, and initiatives across YTR. Before joining our youth team, I supported programming at the Y for children, youth, day camps, and community development. What ignites my passion is the potential that each individual youth has to shape our communities and future by being given opportunities to grow and thrive. 

How I can Help: I am passionate about supporting the growth and development of youth! Please reach out if you're looking for any support with building youth programs, developing leadership training opportunities for young people, amplifying youth voice, or supporting youth advocacy to drive change. 

I also have over 15 years of experience in the day camp world and would love to chat about day camp operations anytime! 

Fun Fact: I have a love for being outdoors, traveling, hiking, the cottage, and almost every sport! 

Contact: I am happy to chat any time! Please reach out via email at [email protected] to schedule a meeting, shoot me a message on teams, or my cell at 519-998-9244.    

Lauren Kteily (she/her/hers)

Director, Camp Ki-Wa-Y
YMCA of Three Rivers

Lauren Kteily headshot

About Me: I just wrapped up my 10th summer at Camp Ki-Wa-Y and have been fortunate enough to work in a number of camp roles from seasonal to full-time. I have a passion for camp and everything that comes from working outdoors year-round. Supporting the growth of young staff is something that brings me back year after year!

How I can Help: Please reach out anytime, I am always happy to chat about ways to better support and advocate for youth voice, especially in camping!

Fun Fact: While working at camp, I have learned how to drive a school bus, tractor, AND snowplow!

Contact: Feel free to reach out at any time! [email protected] or 519-577-5388.

Hannah LaPointe (she/her/elle)

Community Youth Coordinator
YMCA of Greater Moncton; situated on the traditional unceded territory of the Wabanaki peoples

Hannah LaPointe headshot

About Me: I’ve been involved with my YMCA for 6 years now, in a variety of capacities. My passion remains similar to what it was all those years ago; to make an impact in the lives of youth. Bringing youth together to engage in difficult conversations and make a difference in their community is at the core of what I do. Watching a passion ignite in them is the greatest reward one can ask for.

How I can Help: If you’re looking for information on positive youth engagement, making an impact, youth mental health, or how to balance multiple roles within your organization; please don’t hesitate to reach out! 

Fun Fact: I am an out, loud & proud member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community – find me advocating for our rights 24/7.  

Contact: Let’s chat! Feel free to reach me anytime at 1-506-381-3598 or [email protected].

Florencia Leal (she/her/hers)

Supervisor, Camp & Community Outreach 
YMCA of Oakville

Florencia Leal headshot

About Me: Been with the YMCA for almost 10 years. Working in various departments over the years, I can say I am the happiest now in my position working as camp supervisor and community outreach. Having the opportunity to create impact and change in our children and youth but also as a young staff advocating for my community and youth voice within our YMCA. I have had the privilege of being part of the YMCA’s Young Ambassadors program and meet youth from other YMCAs in Canada and all over the world. I have a passion for camp and the impact it creates for the children and youth in our community, as well as a passion for helping and empowering others. 

How I can Help: Please reach out I am happy to connect and discuss ways to support our communities, build youth programming and advocacy, and of course any camp-related information!

Fun Fact: I love traveling and learning about other cultures. I was born in Uruguay and moved to Canada at the age of 15. I lived in New Zealand for a year and a half and when I am not spending my time at work you can find me learning about other cultures and planning my next adventure! 

Contact: Let’s chat! Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or 905-510-7769. 

Jacqueline Riselay (she/her/hers)

Human Resources Manager
YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford

Jacqueline Riselay headshot

About Me: I am in my ninth year as a YMCA employee and have been fortunate enough to have been involved in many YMCA Canada programs, including the Young Ambassador program and the Action Learning Coach program. My passion lies in helping to support the development of young people in my community through the use of powerful questions.  

How I can Help: Please reach out if you have questions about supporting the development of others or any general HR-related questions. 

Fun Fact: I have two orange cats, who are named after the characters Harvey Specter and Louis Litt from the show Suits. 

Contact: Feel free to reach out to me at 905-906-2207 or [email protected].

Mariana Souza (she/her/hers)

Employment Program Facilitator
YMCA of Southern Interior BC

Mariana Souza headshot

About Me: As I am about to begin my 2nd year at the Y and the youth that come to our doors continue to inspire me to bring purpose and meaning into my work. Hearing their stories and holding spaces for them to share ideas and connect have been key in building stronger communities, and I am grateful to be part of it.

How I can Help: I am happy to support anyone looking for information, resources, and opportunities for youth or to work with youth in any capacity.

Fun Fact: I am always down for outdoor activities all year-round whether it be a hike, sup, or snowboarding!

Contact: Please feel free to reach out at [email protected] or at 250-718-6179.