Think Big! Dream Big! BE BIG!

Networking & Career Event

Think, Dream, Be Big!

Join us at our third annual networking event for youth in and formerly in foster care. 

Get the opportunity to connect to professional contacts, role models and mentors in our community!

Come prepared for your future money moves with our networking, resume, interview and LinkedIn top tips! 

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Follow our Spotify event playlist curated by youth and staff! 💽🎧😤

 Featured Speakers 

 Royale Godfrey 

MC | Program Manager, BMO, Youth Advocate

 Sandeep Aujla 

Mentor Speaker | Peel CAS Board Member

 Jimmy Patel 

Youth Speaker | Entrepreneur, Youth Council Member

 Christina Loc 

Youth Speaker | UX/Digital Product Designer, Youth Advocate

Elaina Bahm

Wellness Speaker | Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Bahm Holistics

Troy Elleston

Spoken Word Artist | RBC, Associate, Youth Mentor

 Community Mentors &   Professional Leaders List: 

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Anushka Paul

Merchandising/Buying Coordinator | Canadian Tire Corporation

Anushka works with vendors that serve Canadian Tire to grow our assortment. My categories are Living, Auto, and Fixing. I work with vendors to buy product for the store based on trends and regional need. Overseeing the product onboarding process from product introduction, sample review, pricing negotiations, to getting the product on the shelf. I work on a very cross-functional team and engage with customers, Canadian Tire franchise owners, product stewardship and the vendor. 

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Jeff Brown

Director, head of people and culture | MRG Group

Jeff is a seasoned Human Resources professional with experience leading complex, transformational projects with cross-functional teams. Passionate about all things people & culture: talent management, training, executive coaching, employee engagement, & inclusion.

Vincent Kumar

Analyst | BMO Workplace Transformation 

Vincent Kumar has been with Bank of Montreal (BMO) for 10 years, starting from a role in the Call Centre and joining the Workplace Transformation team in 2019 as a Program Analyst. He loves bringing creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking to the structured world of strategy, and applying thoughtful solutions to be inclusive and simple. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time alone doodling and drawing and putting a spicy twist to classic comfort food in the kitchen. ​

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Constance Ratelle

Urban planner and Designer, Registered Professional Planner | Ontario Professional Planners Institute

Constance has worked as an urban planner and designer at a consulting firm in the GTA since 2015. She prepares planning reports, drafts zoning by-law and official plan amendments, represents her clients at the Ontario Municipal Board, and liaises with municipal and conservation authority staff on development  applications in Oakville, Milton, Brampton, and Hamilton. She oversees preparation of drawings, and works with her clients to design residential subdivisions and mixed-use sites in Halton, Peel, Durham, York, and Ottawa. Constance is a Registered Professional Planner and a member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute. 

Regina Goze

Employment and Community Settlement Specialist | HMC Connections

Currently working for 8 years now at HMC Connections formerly Halton Multicultural Council with work experience as Employment Specialist and Community Settlement Specialist. I am also a Lead Instructor- International language, Filipino at Halton Catholic District School Board. I have previous work experience in Industrial Engineering field and have worked with various manufacturing companies; the last one was with National Steel Car for 10 years.

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Jose Guido

Vice-President, Secured Lending and Small Business Risk | Scotia Bank

Provides strategic direction, leadership and oversight for the Automotive, Residential Mortgage, and Small Business portfolios.  Prior to this, Jose as held various leadership positions in Canadian and International Banking and has a broad range of expertise in leading major multi-national initiatives and enterprise wide frameworks across North American and Emerging Markets. Jose holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Toronto and has completed the Executive Management program at Queen’s University.  Jose sits on the boards of the Halton Children’s Aid Foundation as well as on the Advisory Council of the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business’ Analytics Graduate program.

Elaina Bahm

Coach, Motivational Public Speaker | Bahm Holistics

Elaina provides holistic health, fitness, and lifestyle programs packed with easy to follow strategies to help you out of your rut and start living the life you want to live. She is a sought after motivational public speaker and a mentor for students, business owners and executives. She is devoted to helping ordinary men and women live extraordinary lives through personal and professional development and economic empowerment. Elaina has a McMaster University Degree in Sociology and is Certified at a Holistic Life Style Coach Level 3 and Certified Corrective Exercise Coach through the CHEK Institute.

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Akeem Gardner

CEO & Co-Founder, Lawyer Candidate | Atlas365 Incorporated

As CEO of Atlas 365 Inc. he has spent the last two and a half years working hard to propel Atlas 365 Inc to a leadership position in the industrial hemp and social enterprise industries in Ontario. He has been able to recruit a credible team of leaders and farmers to push Atlas to the top of the industry and has spoken to hundreds in a short time about industrial hemp as an essential tool to fight climate change. Co-founder of Canurta™, a novel cannabis extract enriched with cannabis polyphenols which shows promise to provide dual inhibition of the bodies pro inflammatory molecules;  centred around goal to empower people and animals to live with elevated health and wellness. Akeem earned his BA from University of Ottawa before receiving his LLB from University of Canterbury in Kent, though he is not yet a practicing lawyer. In 2019 he was named a Brampton 40 Under 40 and he serves as Co-Chair to the Brampton Environmental Advisory Committee for term 2019-2022.

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Brian Prokopowich

Founder & CEO GrowthDriver.io, StartupTech Unleashed

I am the founder of GrowthDriver.io where we provide "Sales & Marketing On Demand" through a simple monthly subscription fee. We help Startups & Small Businesses manage the process of Generating Revenue and Building Brand Recognition. We managed the Talent, Process & Technology!

I am also the founder of StartupTech Unleashed, an event organization that highlights startups and tech companies in Canada and the USA. My mission is to educate, mentor, and make connections with fellow entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a journey, not a destination!

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Patrick Prochazka

Associate STEMpowerment Officer | Executive Director of PowerUp Mentorship Program | STEM Fellowship

STEM Fellowship is a Canadian registered charity that equips students with skills in data analytics, research and scholarly communication through mentorship and experiential learning programs. Their goal is to become a hub for youth to gain hard and soft skills, seek opportunity, and network with peers and professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEMpowerment, aims to remove systemic barriers to opportunities by increasing underrepresented youth enrollment in programs that can benefit their goals.

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Meera Chopra

STEMpowerment Mentorship Coordinator | STEM Fellowship

STEMpowerment is primarily focused on four programs: the STEMpowerment Mentorship Program, PowerUp Mentorship Program (a collaborative initiative with fellow non-profit Prospective Medical Professionals), Research Exploration Opportunity (REO), and Content Creation. Each of these programs provides the opportunity for students – regardless of their background – to access STEM opportunities that can further their academic and career goals.

Jennifer Gilbert

Vice President, Operations, Finance, Systems & Strategic Projects, Automotive Finance | Scotia Bank 

Jennifer Gilbert has over 30 years of experience in the Wealth Management and Finance industry. Jennifer joined Scotiabank in 2001 as Associate Director ScotiaMcLeod Mutual Funds. Holding progressively senior roles including, Vice President, Direct Distribution. In 2019, Jennifer was appointed her current role, responsible for the strategic direction, leadership and oversight for Automotive Finance in Canada ensuring business strategies, plans and initiatives are delivered.

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Helena Turgeon

Systems Engineer and Software developer | Laveer Engineering

A recent Mechatronics Engineering graduate from McMaster University. During school she completed a 16 month internship at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and now works full-time at Laveer Engineering, where she does a combination of systems engineering and software development. She is currently working towards her Professional Engineering designation.

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Amir Kendic

Director | KEK Business Solutions

I have a passion for business, people and living with fulfilment. I'll never let fear dictate my path. 

I’m a true believer that drive, work ethic and persistence will get you results. 

As Director of KEK Business Solutions, I take great pride in achieving the balance between working hard, play hard and being a great husband and father. I believe you can have it all

Madeline Nwokeji

Founder and CEO | Lala Skin Essentials

An organic skin care company in Toronto that provides natural beauty and wellness solutions for all skin
types. She has extensive experience in product development, marketing, sales and business management. Madeline began Lala Skin Essentials in 2014 while on a journey to find options that worked for her sensitive skin since nothing worked for her, and she found relief from creating natural skincare formulas. Seeing an opportunity to offer
quality, eco- friendly products to others in similar situations, Lala Skin Essentials was created. Today, she continues to lead the company in fulfilling its vision of becoming a renowned provider of premium organic skin care products both in Canada and internationally.

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Julia Vlad

Multi-fund Manager | New Market Funds (NMF)

Julia is passionate about using finance to create positive social and environmental impact. Leading the investment and portfolio management for the Community Forward Fund and the Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund, two Canadian impact investment funds, she has over ten years of experience in banking, finance and the non-profit sector globally. Her experience includes investing and portfolio management at the World Bank’s private sector arm, IFC, in Panama, Senegal and USA; advising social entrepreneurs at an accelerator in Nicaragua and financial analysis and forecasting. She holds an MBA from HEC Paris and is a CFA charter holder. In her spare time Julia loves running, hiking and volunteering at an animal rescue.  

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Alisha Brooks

Outreach and Engagement CoordinatorCHEERS peer mentorship program

Alisha Brooks has been an advocate in the vulnerable sector for 12 years starting with the Community Education Program at the June Callwood Centre. Alisha is a former mentor through the PEACE project a mentor program  through the covenant house that works with young woman from human trafficking and abusive relationships. Alisha has been an  ambassador for the Children’s Aid Foundation Of Canada for the past 4 years an advisor with the former Advocacy office of Ontario; a grad from The Niche program at York university and currently an outreach and engagement coordinator for the CHEERS peer mentorship program through Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre. Alisha is currently getting her Insurance license and helping young families learn about generational wealth. Alisha is building her own personal brand 1 day  at a time. And  hopes her own business  Resilience Is success will be in homes soon.