Rise Vancouver

Meet our Fall 2020 Ambassadors


Amy (Amandeep) Gill

I am working for B.C. Ambulance and studying for the MCAT. In my spare time, I am outdoors with my puppy.

I joined RISE to gain more experience with civic engagement. I aspired to meet like-minded individuals and work towards a meaningful goal, with the overarching aim of creating something that would be long-lasting and impactful within our community. I am looking forward to working with my peers while we embark on this journey of learning and growing together.

Reach out to me on Instagram: @a.gill03


Hailey Orrange

As a non-binary, trans, feminine person, gender is something that dictates every aspect of my life, and the fight for equity, justice and liberation for folks with marginalized genders is something I plan to dedicate my life to.

From coffee to poetry to queer art to sunny days, there are many things in life that I love, but oppressive systems aren’t one of them! I joined RISE partly because of my constant need to have a million projects on the go, and (mostly) because the idea of working on a project about gender inclusion with a bad-ass group of like-minded humans sounded too good to pass up! I’m so incredibly excited to get to know these people, and to create something that will leave a lasting impact on our community.

Feel free to connect with me on Instagram: @cherryg0d


Hayden Scott

When I'm not doing schoolwork, I'm playing D&D, reading graphic novels, and listening to music.

I chose RISE because I liked the idea of enacting real change on a community level, and the idea of doing that while learning more about the full picture and making friends made RISE the right program for me.


Jocelyn Wong

I'm obsessed with finding authenticity in everything. I love supporting local businesses and finding the best mom-n-pops in the area.

I want to be a part of a collective that values diverse opinions and varied life experiences. I believe RISE equips youth with the power to utilize their creativity and intelligence for good. I want, throughout my time with RISE, to become a more engaged citizen and learner. I want to be pushed to think more deeply and critically of the systems put in place around me and I want my autonomy to be respected in the process.

Feel free to connect with me on Instagram: @joceamber or @artsncrapnewwest


Manal Masud

I work in public health research related to injury prevention. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, cooking, travelling, listening to podcasts and spending time with loved ones. I’m always up for an adventurer and am keen to try new experiences!

I joined RISE to connect with youth who are also eager like me to organize and mobilize at a community level. I was drawn to the program because it intentionally centres voices of all young people and the projects we will co-create in this space will be youth led and community informed.

Connect with me on Insta: @callmemanal

Nathalia Herrera

I am global health & environment and health student at the University of Toronto. I am a coffee enthusiast, book-warm, artist, and social justice advocate during my free time.

I joined RISE because I had always wanted to learn more about gender equity and how it could be improved within our community. RISE provides a great opportunity for like-minded individuals to collaborate and create a positive change. I look forward to building friendships with my cohort members while we formulate our project.

Feel free to connect with me on Instagram: @nathesol16


Sydney Bartos

I’m a journalism student, a writer sometimes, and an Aquarius with more Capricorn tendencies. I’m usually drinking coffee, reading someone’s autobiography, or listening to a podcast on almost any topic imaginable. Sometimes all of these at the same time.

I joined RISE because I’ve felt so inspired by youth around me to create and partake in social change, and systemic change. I’m excited that RISE is a program that is truly by youth for youth. I can’t wait to connect, co-create, and learn from and alongside like-minded peers.

Connect with me on Instagram: @sydneybartos


Taylor Winters-Sproule

I am a lover of lattes, rainy days, and walks with my golden doodle, Cooper. I am a dyslexic English Major and Social Justice in Education Minor, vegan, writer, dancer, and friend.

I joined RISE to meet and be a part of a group who are passionate about social and systematic change. I love the fact that RISE is a youth-run program, giving a voice to those often overlooked and left out of the important conversations. The topic of Gender Inclusion is extremely important so I am lucky to be on this team. Through RISE I want to be a more active participant in society, learning when to hold and give up space.

Reach out to me on Instagram: @taylorws22


Wendy Nsengiyumva

I love discovering and exploring new places and restaurants in my own city with friends. I don't believe in horoscopes or zodiac signs but everyone always guesses that I'm a Taurus. And they're right.

I've felt helpless about the way our society and world are moving lately with everything from #MeToo to #BLM.  Being young, and Black, and female and Canadian, I just didn't know how I could ever make a difference in any of these spheres. I joined RISE because it's a program with a clear goal that gives youth accessible tools they need to strive, even after the cohort. It felt like the obvious step for me to take to maximize on my passion and actually do something about my helplessness.


Xiaoyi Zhu

Reader, daydreamer, and your passionate workshop facilitator who loves the ocean but will always be a mountain girl at heart.

I joined RISE to connect with my peers who also care about making a positive impact and serving our community. I love everyone's shared enthusiasm around unlearning our internalized biases and reimagining a more inclusive society while working actively to build one together. Can't wait to see what we will create together! 

Connect with me on Instagram: @xiaoyi.z029



Wellness Beyond the Binary is a digital for-youth-by-youth resource hub that provides individuals of marginalized genders with a safer space to access gender-affirming healthcare resources across so-called “Vancouver”. This unique digital resource acts as a user-friendly, accessible, centralized location where youth of marginalized genders can be connected with physical, mental, and sexual health resources, that will guide them towards accessing safe and affirming care. We aim to offer this space through an anti-oppressive lens, which centers the well-being of youth with intersecting marginalized identities.

Stay tuned and follow their journey on Insta: @aisbrise_vbc

Meet the Vancouver Mentors


Shireen Noor Afshan Yekta

I am a Queer Muslim of Iranian-Iraqi heritage. I love painting, weightlifting, studying, and my cat, Falafel!

I feel that gender inclusion is something everyone should try to educate themselves on and strive to become involved with in their community. As someone who wants to be a physician in the future, I think it is important for me to gain a better understanding of the barriers people face, such as gender-based discrimination. I’m excited to learn more through RISE and support youth doing amazing work.


Stevie Thompson

I am a Queer, non-binary activist of mixed settler-Indigenous decent. I love animals, plants, art, swimming, concerts, food, and sleeeeep.

I really enjoyed my time as a mentor for the previous RISE Vancouver cohort. I’m excited to share the experience I’ve gained working with Trans/Two-Spirit/Non-binary youth to help inform an inevitably awesome community project. I believe the inclusion of folks with marginalized genders is vital to the well-being of our communities. I am looking forward to learning with and from cohort participants as well as making more community connections.

Connect with me on Instagram: @stevie_thomps

Project Coordinator


Miley Leong

"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!"

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