Meet our Spring 2021 Ambassadors

Alisha D'Mello

At times, the work of improving outcomes for under-served members of our communities leads to challenging conversations that can test relationships, and even the success of the work itself. I think RISE offers a special opportunity to experience and learn relationship-building in community work. Through volunteering with peers who share the same desire to better our community and ourselves, I hope to ground myself in the value of good, meaningful relationships in everything I do.

Jenane Kabilan

An issue I care about... infectious disease prevention

I joined RISE because I have always been passionate about social issues and wanted to learn how I can engage with the topics I am interested in. Being a RISE ambassador allows me to be part of something bigger while also gaining first-hand experience in developing a community-oriented project.


Leeza Gheerawo

An issue I care about... migrant Worker Rights in Canada.

RISE is an environment filled with diverse voices and youth working towards change. The program is an opportunity to work alongside and learn from other youth who have similar goals as myself to help serve within our community.

Maliha Asif

An issue I care about... wealth inequality and socioeconomic barriers to higher education.

I joined RISE to get started on my journey of creating social change. 2020 exposed the issues in our communities and pushed me to learn more about civic engagement. I love that RISE is a youth-run program and makes space for the lived experiences of people. I was drawn to the program because I want to be equipped with the resources I need to challenge the systems of oppression that impact the community around me.


Nicole Baptiste

An issue I care about... the dismantling of white supremacy and the seeing the end of systemic racism.

I've always wanted to make effective social change in my community, but I never knew where to start. RISE provides like-minded youth with the skills, knowledge, and resources to co-create something bigger than themselves. Through RISE, I want to be a more active participant in society, learning when to hold and give up space.

Tua Hytönen

An issue I care about... active transportation safety

I want to engage in community and city-building and bring people together. I love creating connections and seeing people engaging with topics they care about.


Vithu Thayalan

An issue I care about... access to mental health supports/resources.

I wanted a way to get involved with the community and work with youth towards a shared goal. I have found getting into such a space a bit difficult after leaving school so I'm looking forward to learning from and with the other ambassadors, mentors, and workshops that RISE/AisB has brought together.

Yasmin Ali

An issue I care about... dismantling anti-Black racism.

RISE seems like a critical space to gain new skills. I would like to become more confident taking on projects, and ideally growing into a community organizer.



Rise Through the Glass Ceiling connects BIPOC youth in Toronto with BIPOC youth leaders in a variety of different professional sectors. The events coordinated by this initiative encourage young people with diverse backgrounds and gender identities to learn how to find mentors, navigate online networking, and create lasting relationships in the professional sphere.

Click to check out their Mentorship Handbook!

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.

Program 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."


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