Rise Ottawa

Meet our Spring 2021 Ambassadors

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AIKA MBATIA
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... mental health awareness and inclusion.

Why RISE?
Learn more on Gender Inclusion and what it means to practice it in my community both local and at large. Learn more about Ottawa and the community and become involved as I am new to the city. Be part of a community raising awareness and influencing change in the society.

ARIELLE CONTRERAS
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... body positivity! All bodies are worthy of respect (and of healthy, positive representation and visibility in media).

Why RISE?
I joined RISE to meet people who are interested in being active, supportive members of their community — to work with them and learn from them! As someone who's passionate about where they live, it's important to me to feel like a positive thread in the fabric of this city.

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C ICART
(He/They)

Why RISE?
I want to meet new people and gain new skills. I'm excited to be exposed to new perspectives and learn ways to make a difference in my community.

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ELYZABETH PORTEOUS
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... preventing violence against women.

Why RISE?
I see RISE as an excellent opportunity to learn more about how to get involved in my community. I also wanted to make some connections with people who are interested in the same issues that I am. I am excited to continue to learn about the processes involved in creating a community engagement event while also developing my leadership and teamwork skills.

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JACQUELINE TAYLOR
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... creating inclusive emotional and physical spaces for all. <3

Why RISE?
I joined RISE because I think a huge part of community engagement is learning to work with a group of people towards a common goal. My hope in this program, is to gain a better understanding of the diverse perspectives that each of us have and how we can harness our strengths and understandings to better our community. I believe gender inclusion is an important topic because I want to create a safer and stronger community so everyone can thrive and be their most authentic self!

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LAURENCE Letarte-Préfontaine
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... living a more sustainable lifestyle.

Why RISE?
I see RISE as an opportunity to challenge what I have learned while creating change and shaping the future of my community. I want to hear the different perspectives and stories of individuals I encounter. I’m determined to grow as an engaged citizen and inspire others to do the same.

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MELISSA HORNBY
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... increasing access to intercultural health care.

Why RISE?
I'm excited to engage with like-minded people and get involved in my community at the grassroots level. Interested in project management and community development, I am looking forward to the project planning process and honing my skills, while building connections with youth and various local organizations.

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NICOLE LAURIN
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... gender equality and Black Lives Matter (BLM)

Why RISE?
I believe in the importance of offering a space for youth to engage in important and impactful conversations. The RISE program drew me because of the youth leadership and its impactful ability to create change. This program allows for the opportunity to create a future for youth to work together to strengthen their communities. There is power in knowledge, and this program demonstrates the endless possibilities.

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NIHARIKA DHUNGEL
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Why RISE?
I want to become a more informed and conscientious citizen in my community and use the privilege I have to create a better environment for those who need it most. I am excited to learn and challenge my perception with RISE and make room for growth. Hopefully, I can foster better, more educated discussions with people in my life who may be ambivalent towards certain issues.

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ROMEO PENHEIRO
(He/Him)

An issue I care about is... representation of visible minorities

Why RISE?
What drew me to the RISE program is the sheer amount of accountability the people in the program take. This is the kind of person I am and this is exactly the kind of people I would like to get to know, work with, and address issues in our local and global communities. I really like the adage that "Apathy is Boring." I will also add that Empathy is cool.

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Samia Arwo
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... accessibility.

Why RISE?
RISE seems like a great place to get a group together to engage critically in the community. I love the idea of having an opinion that is valued and I feel like RISE gives me a platform to grow as a leader in my community, as well as build my skillset and most importantly, work with peers who care about the same issues.

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VANESA GORDON
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... gender and racial inclusion.

Why RISE?
To inspire other youth and people with similar life experiences to get involved and encourage change.

THEIR PROJECT: 

Stay tuned! Follow the Ottawa hub on Instagram: @aisbrise_ott

Meet the Ottawa Mentors

Abigail Williams
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... economic inequality!

Why RISE?
I got involved with RISE because of my interest in community and the ways in which we can all better understand our shared experiences and identities. I have learned so much about myself and my community through being a part of cohort 5 and I am excited to watch this transformation take place with these ambassadors!

Kelty Slaney
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... expanding and creating more sexual and reproductive health services in rural communities across Canada.

Why RISE?
What I am most looking forward to is learning from people’s lived experiences to expand my perspective on various issues. I admire how RISE creates an empowering space to learn and grow together. I hope to further discuss the ways in which different identities intersect and impact how individuals approach civic engagement. I want to explore ways in which young people can create and sustain equitable community networks that help break down barriers.

Project Coordinator

Sam Page
(She/Her)

Want to know more about this cohort?

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