Meet our Fall 2020 Ambassadors


Amitesh Singh Thind

Hey! I love playing basketball, developing apps and having philosophical discussions.

I got involved with RISE because I wanted to have the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people and to create a community project that would help those who are marginalized within our community. As a RISE Ambassador, I am excited about being an active part in shaping the present and future of our community.

Feel free to reach out on Instagram: @amitesh23thind


Amna Masud

I recently moved back to Toronto after going to university out of province and currently work as an Accountant. Apart from work, I enjoy exploring the city and my local community. During the winter, I tend to hibernate inside and catch up on my favorite reality TV shows.

I decided to join RISE as it provides the right combination of community, resources and platform to connect with youth in my community to bring light to the theme of gender inclusion, a topic that I really care about. Through RISE, I hope to become a more informed and active member of my community. 


Collin Xia

I'm an undergraduate student with a love for history and politics. My current interests include getting rid of my student debt.

RISE is the step I needed to take to act on the challenges facing my community. I want to gain the tools and the confidence to be a more involved community member and settler on this land.


Elizabeth Gierl

I am an electronics and transportation nerd who also loves to play and listen to music.

I was interested in RISE because I think gender inclusion is an important topic and it is something I want to learn more about. Also, I am new to the GTA and wanted to meet like-minded people, and learn how to be more involved in my community.

Fairuz Karim

I'm currently an undergraduate student at McMaster University with a passion for advocacy and community engagement. Outside of that, some things that keep me busy are spending time with friends and family, exploring new places outdoors, and continuously learning and unlearning.

I've always been enthusiastic and passionate about community. I RISE because I've come to understand that no matter how big or small an action or interaction may be (as long as it has the ability to perhaps create meaningful, sustainable, and positive change), as youth, we can collectively work to create a more inclusive future for our communities.


Henna Salim

If I’m not stuck in a YouTube rabbit hole, you can probably find me at UTM working with undergraduate students.

I RISE because I know there are other youth like me who are frustrated with the current state of the world but we do not know where to start. With RISE, I am able to learn how to be an effective change maker to create a more inclusive environment for everyone, one step at a time.


Humphrey Osei Osuwu

I'm quiet, down to earth, and laid back.

I joined RISE to meet like-minded individuals and be a part of building something meaningful.

Follow me on Insta: @theonlyhumphrey


Lucia Linares

Born and raised I’m a Peruvian film and theatre creator in Toronto. Most of my work focuses on my personal journey as a non-binary human in this world.

Through RISE, I hope to have the opportunity to get to know others’ experiences and learn how to be a change maker in my community. I want to raise awareness about trans rights and identities often ignored or forgotten when discussing gender inclusion and equality.

Connect with me on Instagram: @ml_llama


Rhys Ralliaram

When I’m not spending time with my friends, I’m writing my next story or thinking of a new hobby to take on.

In an era where we spend most of our energy talking about issues instead of doing something about them, I got involved with RISE to change the culture and work on making good things happen, hopefully inspiring others to do the same.

Catch me on Instagram: @rhysralliaram


Shasmika Thiagarajah

Hey! Away from school, I am always looking ways to be active or adventurous. I like to stay at home and jam to music to go to sleep. :)

Raised in the city, I always find ways to help others. I love joining in discussion in activism. I joined RISE to be more educated and make an impact in the community. Through my contribution, I hope to inspire others to find ways to get involved.

Reach me on Insta: @shas.xo


Open Wide TO aims to share the experiences of Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (QTBIPOC) youth in navigating Toronto’s sexual health and wellness resources. Through storytelling and dialogue, this podcast will highlight the lack of information, the barriers to accessibility and the lack of representation of QTBIPOC communities in our mainstream.

Stay tuned! Follow their journey on Insta: @aisbrise_to

Meet the Toronto Mentors

Sydney Piggott

Sydney is the Director of Programs and Projects at YWCA Canada where she leads impact-driven initiatives aimed at seeing women and girls empowered in a safe and equitable society. She’s also a contributor at Btchcoin News, a British Council Future Leaders Connect fellow, and vice-chair of the board at Springtide Resources Inc. She recently graduated with a Master of Global Affairs from the University of Toronto where she co-founded the Intersectional Feminist Collective.

Sydney believes that investing in community-based work led by young people is the best way to create change. She hopes to share her experience advocating for gender equity at a community, national, and international level with RISE ambassadors and create the space for them to do the same.

Olivia Karp

Loyal, commutative, empathetic, nice, respectable, understanding, active. I am a third year political science at Ryerson University. I've worked with many diverse communities and have taken on many leadership opportunities to help youth find their voice.

I believe the RISE program provides youth with the platform to explore and develop community led that are made by youth. By giving youth resources and to implement projects within their own communities and working with other RISE Ambassadors it lets youth learn from others and create impact. RISE lets youth explore their fullest potential and let their voices be heard.

Project Coordinator

Sajanika Sivanu

"The RISE program provides youth a safe space to explore new concepts, ask critical questions and apply their ideas with a whole community of support behind them. I am truly grateful to be part of such an exciting and transformative initiative."

Want to know more about this cohort?

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