Yogeeta Jhodhan always knew she was destined to make a difference. She has accomplished a great deal for her age and is already considered a highly-regarded member of her community.
Yogeeta is currently working on her PhD in Clinical Psychology; she has a double degree in Psychology and Adult Development, A Master’s degree in Psychotherapy, an RPN Diploma from George Brown College and personal support worker qualifications. Yogeeta is a Part-time Professor at the University of Guelph-Humber – the faculty of Health Science.
In 2009, Yogeeta founded a non-profit organization, Candles of Hope, which has raised over $45,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. She is involved in a number of organizations in the Township of Southgate/ Peel/Dufferin/Orangeville Region. Some of them are: LHIN, Making our Seniors Matter, Flower City (seniors group), and Brampton Seniors Council. Caledon 55+ networking, PEAPN Member, Member of Paramedic Dufferin-Peel, Peel Memorial and Headwaters Hospital. In 2012, she was one of 60,000 Canadians honored with a commemorative Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding community service and contributions, awarded both in 2018 & 2019 – International Woman’s Month in Peel Region, and also nominated for her best work in the Seniors Sector by the International Peace Awards 2019 and The JunCtian Community Initiatives Excellence in Community Impact Awards.
Yogeeta has worked in various roles, support worker, staff educator, clinical and classroom instructor, educational program developer, community case coordinator, and subject matter expert. Her commitment to health care and willingness to take on responsibilities that went beyond bedside nursing has helped her develop skills that includes personal development a team player, an advocate for seniors and a limitless amount of smiles and caring personality.
Yogeeta is currently the CEO of Inner Touch Health Solutions Inc. where she serves the seniors through exemplary healthcare which she is passionate about. As an advocate for seniors, she is a Business Consultant for Central Nursing Agency Inc. Yogeeta brings a wealth of knowledge to the JCI.
Belinda is an Honors graduate of Humber College Court and Tribunal Agent Diploma. She is a Licensed (P1) Paralegal with The Law Society of Upper Canada. She also holds a Project Management Certification and a Life License Program (LLQP) from Durham College. Belinda is a Licensed Agent with Financial Services Commission of Ontario.
Belinda’s mission is to empower youth by helping them to realize their untapped potential. Her initiative “No Limit Leaders Day” strives to bring awareness to youth about issues that stem from low self-esteem, mental health illnesses and socio-economic problems. The program addresses the concerns of at-risk youth and young adults in the 10-18 years age group. This program helps these individuals develop leadership and life skills, to reinforce their own abilities to grow and change.
With experience in Business Law, Evidence & Advocacy and Legal Research, Belinda is currently employed as a property & casualty underwriter for high net worth clients. Belinda has previously worked with RBC Insurance as Life Business Travel Insurance Advisor. Belinda comes to the JCI with over 14 years of experience in the insurance industry, analyzing risks and investigating proposals. With her intermediate level in French, she brings a unique and knowledgeable approach to the JCI.
Cliff is a graduate of George Brown College with a Small Business Management Diploma and is currently working on his Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science at York University. He is an advocate and mentor for the “Boys to Men” program in his community and his church. Cliff is an expert in conflict resolution and problem solving. With over 7 years combined experience in customer service at Virgin Mobile and NCO Financial, he assisted customers with inquiries, technical issues & troubleshooting. His previous position at Sky Café was that of Team Leader where his core activities were time sensitive. He conducted operations with clear and precise communication during his daily schedules. He has taken on a new role at Gategourmet as a customer service ambassador ensuring a high level of service quality for the clients, while physically supplying Aircrafts with goods and services to ensure excellent customer satisfaction is achieved.
He is a strong believer in equitable and innovative approaches to his community. Cliff, an entrepreneur, operates BitterRose Industries, his pride and joy. As he imparts his small business practical and theoretical strategies in the community, his hope is to inspire the next generation of “Boys to Men” to be business owners. Cliff is a very gifted writer and poet, which he does as an impassioned hobby. He volunteers his time in the community assisting others with their writing.
Cliff’s impactful role in the not for profit organization is an important step toward uplifting the Black community. He brings years of experience in mobilization, leadership, entrepreneurship and a political science background to this role.
Sheika Porter holds an Honors Degree in Business Management from The University of Windsor. She is currently the CFO of Topwide Properties Inc., a Licensed Mortgage Consultant and the President/Founder of Choice Consulting Services.
She has been serving the Community for over 10 years in various roles. Sheika is currently the youth leader at her Church Faith Transformation Centre; she has facilitated leadership programs for young women building self-esteem and credit readiness; volunteered at The Children’s Aide Society of Niagara after-school program; and the Garnett Manning 2010 Brampton mayoral campaign. Sheika is always advocating for non-for-profit organizations in Canada as well as in the Caribbean. She piloted the Backpack programs for underprivileged youths and Meals on Wheels programs for the sick and elderly in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Sheika has also visited numerous nursing homes in Canada to groom the elderly. Her continuous involvement in community activities and programs has tremendously contributed to her personal growth. She has spent her career coaching and mentoring women to help them overcome gender bias in career choices and advancement, through seminars, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.
Sheika is passionate about social justice, equality, and helping youths succeed. She is inspired to be part of a great collaborative team at the JCI and the JunCtian Business Network and the community served. She sees working with the Organization as a new, very real and broader way to continue helping women and girls reach their potential, hence the reason for the new addition to her portfolio “Choice Consulting Services” a full service financial group. Sheika is a wife, mother, ordained evangelist and her humble beginning from Jamaica within a large Christian family has fueled her passion for philanthropic and community support.
Joan brings an understanding of community, along with personal and private experiences to the position of President and Executive Officer for JCI. Her full focus is on supporting youths in the justice system, girls and women in abusive situations and isolated seniors. She has extensive experience working with individuals in diverse sectors and has worked with clients on partnership development. She conducts extensive one-on-one and small group training with clients from numerous sectors and industries and has a solid understanding of the community needs, gaps, health care and social services landscape.
As a Social Development Consultant, Joan liaises with Historica Dominion Institute & Passages to Canada Speakers Bureau delivering personal accounts of cultural identity, multiculturalism, inclusion and diversity to schools across the GTA. She conveys motivational speeches to various community organizations strengthening immigrants, minorities and seniors. She lectures at a Seneca College summer course on the effects of stress, trauma and violence in learning with migration and the effects of reunification after displacement.
Joan works with a Board of Directors to ensure that JCI’s goals, values and mission are met, as well as and working to leading the initiatives into further expansion. Joan aligns herself with the Directors of the organization, including the programs, fundraising, fiscal responsibility and providing leadership support to the management team.
Professional & Volunteer Background
Joan’s mission is to facilitate the advancement of personal and professional growth, which will empower individuals professionally. As a Certification Specialist in her previous project at CWB, Joan implemented an output from a turnaround of nine months to 24 hours with strategic planning, bridging product & services development. Joan currently sits on the Vehicle for Hire Advisory Board at the Brampton City Hall. She is a Board Member of Peace Light Ministries as well as the African Descendant Foundation.
Education and Awards
Joan holds a diploma in Refugee Studies from York University, a diploma in Restorative Justice from Queens University, and an Adjudication and Regulation Certificate from Osgoode Hall/Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR). Additionally, she has a certificate in Addiction Studies from Centennial College, a Standards of Business Conduct certification from CWB Group, a certificate from Young Leaders of Americas Initiative in Fundraising Concepts and a degree in Political Science.
Her empowerment and community involvement recognition awards are as follows: Brilliant Minded Women for Personal Development, Absolutely Fabulous Woman for Education & Training, Development and Diversity Advancement Network for Black Role Model. The Mayor of Brampton, His Worship, Patrick Brown, recently recognized Joan and the JCI for outstanding Community work.
Kwadwo holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours from Nipissing University and a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University, Kwadwo is a secondary school teacher in the GTA. He has worked with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board since 2010. As an educator, he prides himself in guiding young people and preparing them to be integral members of society. Aside from delivering curriculum, he mentors youth, coaches sports teams and leads a variety of clubs at his schools. Kwadwo is currently working with at-risk youth in a program that prepares them for college and the trades.
Kwadwo’s passion has always been in the areas of equity and diversity. He has been working in these fields for over 15 years, both as a community worker and as an educator. Whether he is helping new immigrants in the Peel region or leading educational workshops for students and parents, his passion for inspiring and helping others is evident. Additionally, he enjoys working with others to achieve a common goal: to provide help to those who need it and create a society where everyone is given a fair opportunity to reach their greatest potential. For that reason, he is proud to work with JunCtion Community Initiatives.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”- African Proverb.
Mitzie Samuels holds a Bachelor of Arts in Library and Information Science from the University of the West Indies and a Diploma in Business Management from the Canada Institute of Management and Technology CIMT. Mitzie, our Director of finance, was previously our Director of Operations. She has over 20 years of experience in Administration and Business development. Mitzie was recently recognized as a stellar employee with fifteen years of service in the Department of Chemistry, University of the West Indies.
Mitzie is a strong advocate for marginalized women and empowering the local Black community in Brampton and the GTA. She enjoys serving the community and as a community partner with the JunCtian Network Inc, she assists in business networking, and fundraising for programming with the Youth Summit yearly. In her empowerment role, Mitzie’s commitment is to assist other women, especially single mothers to pursue their dreams like her, which led her to being JCI’s Finance Director.
Robert is a creative and self-motivated individual with over 30 years of experience in competitive sports. Robert is a dynamic hockey player. He played high school hockey and was a finalist in the All Ontario Hockey League finals. Due to his skills and precision, Robert was offered a scholarship to Colby College in Maine, U.S.A. He then decided to trade in his jersey to be a young entrepreneur where he started a Food Truck Business.
Robert enjoys completing task in both group and independent capacities and has been the Treasurer for the Flesherton Men’s Semi Pro Hockey team for twelve Years. He has been playing in the League for over fourteen years, organizing community games, tournaments and community team-building dinner and dances. Robert is a motivated sports fan, an avid F1 race fan, A Maple Leaf supporter and a talented pool player playing in various leagues in the Township of Southgate.
Robert has 30 years of experience in the construction industry and has been involved with some of the largest projects with H & H Patio Enclosures. He has worked on numerous construction projects which has continued to grow and evolve into various aspects including pre-construction. In his professional career, Robert provides leadership utilizing his skills and experiences in project coordination, estimating, installation and the finalization of all projects on the most time and cost-effective schedule as possible. His initiatives include improving service and delivery through embracing effective and efficient sales & service, development of construction budgets, production schedules, management of subcontractors and safety procedures. Robert ensures compliance with OSHA regulations and certifying that all key personnel, even other contractors, have received the required OSHA safety training and education.
Robert uses his experiences and knowledge to encourage youths to get involved in the construction industry. The JCI partners with the Toronto Community Benefit Network, an Organization that provides jobs & opportunities in the construction industry for minorities & women. Robert believes that his experiences as a father of two active girls as well as his own experiences in the world of sports has given him the opportunity to witness the great personal development of youths through participation in sports. “Studies have indicated that there is a direct correlation of involvement for individual in sports program or mentorship program that result in reduced potential of drugs use or involvement in crime”
Robert is a Horticulturalist at heart and has a passion for birds, trees, flowers and nature. Robert is a trivia wiz and is always ready and available to mentor the youths for the betterment of the community. Robert firmly believes that positive leadership programs strengthen and fortifies individuals as well as the community. Robert is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion. Robert believes that when anyone realizes their full potential, they contribute to better businesses, industries, communities, and families. That is why it is important to remove obstacles and provide necessary support to those who need it most.
Garnett Manning is a graduate of George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Theology degree (B.Th). The quote “Jump and grow your wings on the way down” best describes this man. In November 2003, virtually unknown to the political scene but armed with passion and a dream, he was elected as City Councilor by the people in his city.
Garnett Manning is an energetic, tenacious, self-motivated community leader with more than two decades of experience in local government affairs and community-based initiatives. When Garnett speaks, he inspires and encourages self-confidence through instilling the importance of acting on dreams and aspirations. He has a poignant message with beneficial steps that challenge and educate his audience on how to own, protect and nurture their dreams regardless of obstacles that may come into their path. Garnett’s passion and devotion to empower people to achieve their innate dreams shines through and transforms lives.
Garnett travels extensively to speak at corporate seminars, schools, community based organizations and numerous faith based organizations. He is a member of Historica-Dominion Institute of Canada, Passage to Canada, speakers’ Bureau for over fifteen years, Garnett has spoken in over 100 schools to thousands of students on subjects such as peer pressure, bullying and national pride
Garnett Manning is the Founder and Chairman of the Garnett Manning Youth and Leadership Foundation. He has also been a dedicated volunteer and community outreach coordinator for Brampton Neighborhood Resource Centre. His involvement in the “Bridging the Gap” intergenerational initiative resulted in the creation of a program that fostered strong relationships between the youth and seniors of Brampton. The subsequent success stories that have risen because of this program is evidence of his ability and skills to bring people together to create a team environment toward a single objective.
Garnett served as City Councilor, Budget Chief and occasional Acting Mayor for the City of Brampton. He has worked for a number of grassroots organizations, including member of the United Achievers Club in Brampton and the Brampton Citizens for a Great City Advisory Committee. Garnett joined the JCI with the vision and drives to improve upon our Non-Profit Organization, and focused on developing the organization with experience and integrity. Garnett aspires to positively influence his peers and to actively participate in the education and building of his community.
Decorated with over 20 years of experience in the world of show business, Taran plays a significant role in the Entertainment Industry. Taran is the founder of Creative Invasion Records Ltd. (Music Label) & representative of Dashing Entertainment Inc. (Feature Films & Distribution).
He is a leading example to articulate & advocate for the youth generation of today as he understands the importance & issues in society which are heavily influenced by youth addictions, lack of understanding, proper guidance and direction. He is able to communicate and lead by example by sharing his own personal experiences & stories along with listening to his peers & colleagues.
Taran believes that everyone has an artistic trait in them & utilizes outlets of creative arts on a daily basis. Music is a global language of its own but an emotional connection to all. Today’s society has seen increased growth within the industry but still has the potential for even more successful opportunities.
As a youth, Taran always knew he had the ability to make a difference. His experience as well as his desire to help & undeniable communication skills has enabled him to relate & create bonds with people from different paths. His passion for community building & business gives him the strength to make crucial decisions for a positive future. Through our inspiring programs Taran’s practices for business strategies, interacting with clients and creating better content via his channel contributes to the next generation of Arts & Culture through the JCI.
Murray is an invaluable member of our team. Murray is one of our veteran team members. He has brought years of experience and skills to the forefront in helping the JCI grow and succeed. A Civil Engineer by profession, Murray is the President of the Canadian Association of Retired Person (CARP), Mississauga Chapter. Murray has volunteered his time to seniors in numerous workshops, seminars, excursions, dinner and dances all over the GTA. Murray also serves on the Board at the Mississauga Food Bank.
Harjeet is a college graduate with a background in Economics, Sociology and Communication Studies. She is a creative wiz. Harjeet is the author of ‘Autumn Love’ an inspiring love story, an actress and emcee. She was also the former TV Host of “Girl’s Talk” exclusively on NJ Digital TV. Harjeet is a very active advocate in the Asian community and beyond. She inspires, empowers, and works to enhance the lives of women through promoting diversity and multiculturalism.
Parental Alienation is the psychological manipulation of a child against a parent by the other parent and can have long-term negative effects on both the parent and the child. Harjeet takes this issue very seriously and is readily available to mentor mothers on this subject at every given opportunity. She uses her own personal experiences to mentor on this Issue.
She has a creative imagination and is an inspiration to the community at large. She does not define herself only as a woman, or South Asian, but simple as a human being with a big heart. Through her work, Harjeet hopes to engage minds, inspire hearts, and dutifully challenge others to help make the world a better place not only for today but for many tomorrows to come.
Lynn Silverton represents the Province of Ontario on the Municipality of Grey Highlands Police Services Board. Lynn served as Chair and Provincial representative since its inception in 2000. In 2003, she was elected to be a Council representative on the board. Overall, she has accumulated 17 years of experience as Chair and Vice Chair. Lynn was elected as a Councilor on the municipal council for The Municipality of Grey Highlands 2003-2018. During those fifteen years, she was involved in all duties required for the management and future of that great municipality and enjoyed her roll in governance. Lynn was a mover in the creation of the Municipality of Grey Highlands Silo of Community Foundation Grey Bruce.
In the 2000’s, Lynn served as OPP South Director from Parry Sound south on the Provincial Association of Police Services Board’s Board. Lynn was Chair of the Municipal Canada/Ontario 150 Committee organizing many events in all seven communities within her municipality resulting in making the whole Sesquicentennial year of 2017 a memorable one for Grey Highlands residents. This was recorded in many YouTube videos and a beautiful historic book “Grey, with a Silver Lining” available to borrow or buy at the local libraries.
2020 marks 53 active years for her since stepping foot on Canadian soil. During these 50+ years she has volunteered in Scarborough as Public Health Board Director, Toronto East Detention Centre maximum security section volunteer, Scarborough Children’s Aid Advisory Board and assessment foster parent for teenagers, host on a Cable Channel Education program, part time X-Ray staff Scarborough General Hospital. Lynn was active in the GTA both provincially and federally with the Conservative party and continues now and then.
After moving to Grey Bruce, Owen Sound, Lynn became a Director then Chair of the Board of Community Care Access Corporation, Grey Bruce Owen Sound until the service was sadly amalgamated under the LHNS boundary. Lynn also served on two local hospital boards as a cross board appointee. Lynn volunteered for Victims Services, Doctor Recruitment Committee. She is an Ambassador on Grey Bruce Community Foundation, Vice Chair of MGH Library Board 17 years, Chair Seniors Advisory Board, Community Safety & Well-being Committee Grey Bruce, Council on Aging, Grey County Farm Safety Committee, Museum Board, Chamber of Commerce, Past Zone C-3 Commander The Royal Canadian Legion, Creator & Chair of the Municipal Peace Committee, Secretary Markdale Rotary, Legion Zone Bursary Chair, conducts a Remembrance service annually in Kimberley, Municipal Police Services Board – Provincial Rep, and is Chair of the Flesherton and District Farmers Market. She has a weekly column in local Advance newspaper 20+ years and helps with various other municipal groups.
Lynn helps all groups, fairs etc. during their events such as Flesherton Fling, 3 Fall Fairs, Mountaintop Jamboree, Classic Car Show, Street Frolic, Hospital Charitable Foundation, Community Health Centre, etc. Lynn is a wife, Mother of 4, Grandmother of 5 and recipient of both Her Majesties Gold and Diamond Jubilees medals and wears them with pride whenever appropriate.
Shanika Bowes is a very passionate and vibrant individual.Her love for speaking,creativity, and love for the next generation is transparent in her work.With over 10 years of serving youth in her community which includes places such as; Speaker University, YMCA,and numerous volunteer roles at church organizations. She has tale courses such a child psychology and is currently pursuing her degree for social work.Recently in May she founded a company called Elite Beautie which is a textured hair extension business. This company was created with her creativity and to help create a platform of financial independence that she would inturn help to mentor and help the community. Her current hobbies includes; hosting art nights ,engaging with her community events and journaling.
Alida Raven is passionate about helping others, and supporting people to reach their goals. Alida is a social worker, she believes that change happens when people are given the guidance they need to draw on their own strengths and realize their potential to live fulfilling, happy lives. Alida provides an environment of compassion and support to help individuals and families overcome obstacles to move forward and thrive.
Alida is a passionate about advocating for others – especially those often over looked by society – and helping them find their voice. She feels everyone has the right to be involved and valued in their community. She works with children, young adults, individuals and families using an eclectic approach tailored to the unique needs of each new client.
Alida is a dedicated professional with strong organizational skills and thoroughness that are vital when assisting families through the various stages of their well being . Alida is First Aid CPR Certified, she is trained on verbal de-escalation tactics and physical crisis restraints with non violent crisis intervention. Alida comes to the JCI with a wealth of knowledge to support our youth she has certification with ASIST and completed training to provide suicide first aid . Alida is also certified with the Mental Health Commission of Canada …where she has completed training to provide immediate support and guidance in a mental health crisis with an Honours Bachelor of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. She currently works in a consulting and counselling role in long term care homes, as well as administration at her church.
Shellane is currently in her final year of the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) accredited Paralegal Program at Sheridan College. With a keen interest in human rights, small claims litigations and immigration. Shellane chose her path in law because of her passion for helping members of the community. Shellane has recognized the need to assist marginalized individuals, those who face discrimination, and support for those who have been dismissed within the scope of legal advocacy and in other spectrums of societal issues. Shellane wants to be the “voice of the voiceless” and encourage fair and just advocacy and engagement within the community to better opportunities for everyone.
Shellane’s background is unique and colourful, with a diploma in makeup artistry and skincare from the Artists Within School of Makeup in Calgary, Alberta, in 2006. Shellane has been working in the beauty industry for more than ten years. Shellane started her own beauty business in 2010 and worked on fashion shows, photoshoots and events over the years while residing in the United States. Shellane enjoys working and meeting people from all walks of life, which has given her more experience and knowledge in the beauty, arts, and entertainment capacity.
Shellane has also extended her creative and talented expertise as a Director of Operations and Public Relations liaison in conjunction with media and marketing for the Caribbean magazine “ILand Magazine” in New York City in 2008-2009. Shellane has experience in press releases, media releases, press conferences and more.
Shellane brings with her strong analytical skills, legal research and writing, organization and media relations which, will be a notable fit for JunCtian Community Initiatives and JunCtian Network Inc.