Emma Asiedu-Akrofi is committed to community development. Graduating with a degree in Political Science & Sociology from the University of Toronto, Emma’s professional experience includes project management, risk and insurance, governance, budget management, program development & evaluation, and strategic planning.
As the Executive Director of the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment (April 2016 – present), Emma has been dedicated to supporting young women in South Etobicoke and the Greater Toronto Area. Working from within an anti-oppressive, inclusive framework – Emma’s career path has given body to a resume that reflects a deep commitment to celebrating gender equality, empowerment of self-identified females, and youth-based programming.
Outside of work Emma enjoys travelling to learn about different cultures and communities.
Rachel Reesor is a driven and determined person when it comes to social justice and empowering youth. Rachel graduated from Nipissing University with a Bachelor of Arts and Education before moving to the Northwest Territories to teach for four years. Within these four years Rachel’s passion became focused on Indigenous justice, empowering youth and providing youth with the opportunity to excel in life. After this experience Rachel moved to Toronto to obtain her Masters in Immigration and Settlement studies. Afterwards, she became a Life Skills worker at a homeless shelter before receiving this job. Outside of work, Rachel loves to explore the outdoors and go hiking and camping. Rachel is excited to be a part of a dynamic and driven team at the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment.
Emily was born and raised in South Etobicoke and recently moved back after spending 4 years in Montreal where she recently graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in History. She is passionate about working with children and empowering girls and young women. Her experience attending and working at an all-girls summer camp solidified her desire to work with youth. Currently, Emily is attending the Child and Youth Care, Accelerated Diploma Program at Humber College.
Youth Outreach Assistant
Devah is a genuine person who enjoys helping kids become the best they can be. Born and raised in Toronto/Mississauga, she has been an active community member. As a young girl, she was involved in a similar in-school program at her middle school and high school called Girl Power; where young girls were able to be in a safe environment to talk, learn a new skill, feel empowered and have fun. In mid-high school, she completed with high honours a L.I.T. summer camp program held at the Mississauga Valleys Community Centre in Mississauga, ON. She has assisted with crafts activities for after-school programs, summer camps and in-school workshops offered by the Jean Augustine Centre. Attending many events in the past featuring empowered women from all over Canada; she hopes to follow in their footsteps to continue to reach out and empower young girls everywhere as she once was a young girl of young women’s empowerment herself.
Hon. Jean Augustine
Jean is the first African-Canadian woman elected to the House of Commons. She was elected in the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore in 1993 and sat in Parliament until 2006. She served as the Fairness Commissioner for the Government of Ontario advocating for Canadians with foreign credentials from 2007-2015. Dr. Augustine led the motion that allowed for the placement of the Famous Five statue on Parliament Hill and the motion that created Black History Month in Canada. She has received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from six universities and has been recognized by having the Jean Augustine Girls’ Leadership Academy, Jean Augustine Secondary School and the Jean Augustine Chair in Education at York University.
Marsha is a social justice advocate, philanthropist, and client service practitioner who has over 20 years of experience with case management and developing programs for marginalized youth and adults. She has worked for YWCA Toronto, YWCA Shelter Services and Toronto Community Housing. She graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor’s in Social Work.
Joan is a retired principal in the Toronto Catholic District School Board. She is currently principal at Madonna Catholic Secondary, an all-girls secondary school located in Downsview. Joan has also been an administrator in North York, Etobicoke, Rexdale and Scarborough. She has her Master’s in Education from York University and has been an educator for over 32 years.
Karen is a retired educator, and is an avid community builder. She received her teaching certificate for Ontario in Technological Education from the University of Toronto after a 12 year career as a cabinetmaker. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education in the USA, while her other certificates from U of T, Humber College and George Brown College indicate an ongoing quest for knowledge. She has worked as an educator in China and Africa. She is also a member of the Board of Directors at Urban Arts, Rexdale.
Elizabeth is a retired professional with a background in Human Resources and Corporate Management. She is an accredited member of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) and worked for a national food company as a Director of Human Resources. She graduated from the Personnel & Industrial Certificate Program at the University of Toronto-Woodsworth College.
Delta is passionate about women and girls empowerment. She is an active community member with a strong background in social services. Her professional experience within the community and residential settings have focused on the governance, development, and evaluation of programs geared towards children and youth. Currently, Delta works as a Case Lead at For Youth Initiative, providing wrap-around support services for youth. Delta continually promotes equity and anti-oppression for women and female youth within her community.
Jenna is a social worker with ten years of experience specialising in gender-based violence and LGBTQ2+ advocacy and activism. Jenna has worked with multiple organizations across the GTA, including YWCA Toronto, Mistry of the Attorney General and Catholic Family Services. A life-long resident of South Etobicoke, Jenna is a passionate feminist, committed to anti-oppression and transformational change.
Samantha is a lawyer and a compliance professional, working in financial services regulation for the Royal Bank of Canada. Samantha is passionate about supporting young women in her community and is actively involved in various advancement of women programs at RBC. She has also volunteered with numerous pro bono causes, including advising low-income individuals on custody and child support matters. She holds an HBA from Ivey Business School at Western University and a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.