Rise Vancouver

Meet our Spring 2021 Ambassadors

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Anna Hettiarachchi
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... drug policy/Sex worker rights

Why RISE?
I want to learn how to find and create opportunities to make change in my community. I want to gain the tools and skills to empower myself, and believe that I have the power to create change for others.

Arden Reimer
(They/Them)

An issue I care about is... health and wellness of queer and trans youth.

Why RISE?
I chose RISE to become more engaged in hot topics affecting today's youth. Through my time with RISE, I want to develop my critical thinking skills, learn more about community engagement, and work with like-minded individuals towards a common goal. I am excited to create a project that gives power to people who have otherwise been forgotten in the various systems at work in our society.

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Cassandra Vance
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... the education system in Canada!

Why RISE?
I chose to join RISE to immerse myself on issues of gender inclusion, as gender is an intersecting issue that impacts our everyday lives. As hopefully a future teacher, I hope to gain knowledge that I could use in my professional career, and foster a nurturing, inclusive environment that promotes learning. Gender is not a black and white issue, which is something that I hope to discuss further within the RISE program.

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Cristina Kim
(She/Her)

Why RISE?
I joined RISE because I want to be part of a community that not only reimagines a better future, but also actively works together towards that future.

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Emily Taylor
(She/Her)

Why RISE?
I joined RISE to connect with other young people interested in serving our community. I was drawn to the program because of the accessible tools RISE provides for thinking critically and enacting social and systemic change. I’m excited to learn, grow and create something together!

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Felicia Phan
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... health equity, particularly culturally safe mental health access for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.

Why RISE?
What drew me to RISE was its focus on building capacity by equipping youth with the knowledge, tools, strategies and critical lens to overcome the barriers that often prevent them from meaningfully engaging with their community. I was feeling exhausted and helpless during the pandemic, so I’m glad RISE has given us the opportunity to innovate collectively. It feels so much more sustainable and energizing when you have a team to lean on!

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Lophy He
(He/Him)

An issue I care about is... sexism

Why RISE?
I joined RISE because I believe I can gain some skills and experience that help me become a more engaged and responsible citizen. I also want to make friends and work with like-minded people for a good cause.

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Raiya Jessa
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... systems of oppression that lead to inequality, and battling them by redistributing wealth, land, and power.

Why RISE?
I was drawn to RISE because of the chance to connect and learn with a diverse group of young people in civic engagement long-term. I appreciate how the program offers time and resources to reflect on lived experiences and build knowledge around gender inclusion, as well as mentorship in developing a community project and bringing it to life. I'm excited to grow, form friendships, and be challenged!

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Sarah Law
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... climate change.

Why RISE?
To meet like minded people who are passionate about using community organizing to fight for collective liberation.

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Spencer Lee
(They/Them)

An issue I care about is... protecting and uplifting and love my trans siblings.

Why RISE?
I wanted to join RISE because I missed community, and I missed collaborating and (un)learning with people during the pandemic. With RISE, I want to create intentional spaces that uplifts lived experience and ancestry as integral pillars of expertise, focusing on the stories of queer, transgender, Black and Indigenous folks, and people of colour.

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Tobin Ng
(They/Them)

An issue I care about is... diversity in media

Why RISE?
Whether it's as a student, a researcher or a reporter, I've always been interested in exploring how gender, race and other aspects of identity shape our experiences. Through RISE, I hope to connect more deeply with the communities I'm part of and build a project that centres folks of marginalized genders. I'm really excited to learn and work alongside other youth who are just as passionate about showing up for their community!

Zach Velasco
(He/Him)

An issue I care about is... homelessness and housing rights.

Why RISE?
RISE felt like a home that could nourish my need to create and leave a positive impact on my community while also being fully engaged. I want to gain confidence through this and educate myself on topics and issues that often get ignored. I'm excited to join others on this journey of creating purposeful change that empowers folks!

THEIR PROJECT: 

Stay tuned and follow their journey on Insta: @aisbrise_vbc

Meet the Vancouver Mentors

Adriana Laurent
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... climate + migration + gender!

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Jocelle Refol
(She/Her)

An issue I care about is... climate justice and health equity.

Why RISE?
As a former RISE ambassador, this experience was so pivotal for my growth as a person and as an organizer. I look forward to this journey with this program as a mentor and hope to give back to this amazing community!

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Rye Orrange
(They/Them)

An issue I care about is... Trans liberation, climate justice and dismantling capitalism.

Why RISE?
As someone who is AFAB, trans and non-binary, gender is something that dictates my entire life, and how I move through the world. It's not something I can separate myself from, because it is my identities that shape how I view things! I joined RISE in Cohort 6 as an ambassador, and am back now as a mentor because I love, more than anything in the world, to be surrounded by like-minded youth who are fighting for a better world.

Project Coordinator

Miley Leong
(She/Her)

"What I love about RISE is that the program uses a critical lens in doing youth engagement work. I love that RISE acknowledges the structural and systemic barriers that prevent different youth from accessing engagement processes. I’m inspired by how RISE centers community and those at the margins. I’m looking forward to witnessing the relationships that are built and projects that come out of the program!"

Want to know more about this cohort?

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