About the Executives
Co-Founder & President
Valerie is a 4th-year Biology major at the University of Alberta. She created this organization as she strives to ensure that all students, no matter their income or ability to attend class, have the same accessibility to resources. She wants to make sure that every child can reach their full potential regardless of their socioeconomic status or health-related situation. When she is not studying in school or volunteering in her community, she enjoys skiing and swimming. As the President, Valerie manages the website, oversees all operations and procedures, does the initial volunteer screening, and paperwork.
Rhythm is a 3rd-year Chemistry major at the University of Alberta. She has decided to help with Help Young Minds as she has a passion for learning and believes that everyone should have an equal opportunity to do so. When not studying or volunteering, she enjoys watching movies and cooking. As the Vice-President, Rhythm conducts volunteer orientation sessions, helps the president in all operations for the organization, and supervises the Volunteer Director.
Denise is in her last year of a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Her motivating factor in joining Help Young Minds was that children shouldn't feel like they have fewer opportunities to succeed academically than their peers due to their socioeconomic status and/or external factors. She has volunteered and held executive positions with various student groups, organizations, and sorority. Additionally, she previously taught swimming to children of all ages, and her past volunteer work with children/youth makes her eager to be a part of HYM. Outside of school and work, you can find her at the gym or rock climbing, volunteering, hanging out with her friends, and planning her next trip somewhere around the world. As the External Director, Denise finds partners and sponsors for the organization and also communicates with the public about news and events regarding Help Young Minds.
Jewel Naicker is a second-year Mathematics and Physics major at the University of Alberta. She is excited to join Help Young Minds as she strongly believes that every student should have equal access to quality education and learning opportunities in order to shoot for the stars. When she is not volunteering, she enjoys going to the gym or sitting with a tub of ice-cream. As content director, Jewel is responsible for fact-checking the content uploaded for students. She also assists the President in various administration tasks such as internal communication and blog reviews.
Jessica Bennett is a fourth-year Cell Biology major at the University of Alberta. She decided to join Help Young Minds as she believes in providing universal access to educational resources to youth. When she’s not studying or volunteering, she enjoys cooking, playing the flute, and flexing her neuroblastoma fridge magnet collection. As the Media Director, she is responsible for marketing HYM programs and services on Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as creating promotional material.
Shaina is a fourth-year student at the University of Alberta, double majoring in Biology and Psychology. She has decided to join the Help Young Minds executive team because of her belief that a child's life circumstances or socioeconomic status should never be a determining factor in the quality of education that they receive. Her volunteering experience with different youth organizations and working as a tutor has shaped her desire to help others. Shaina loves to play soccer, volunteer, and hang out with her dogs. As Volunteer Director, her responsibilities include conducting volunteer interviews and training, pairing tutors with students, and ensuring our volunteers' wellness by conducting monthly check-ins!
Josiah is a third-year Economics major at the University of Alberta. With a minor in political science, he aspires to read law in the future. He is motivated by the words of Nelson Mandela, which states that "everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do." With this burning desire, he hopes to contribute his quota in making education accessible to all without any barrier. As the finance director,, his job is to construct a feasible budget for the academic year, predict future financial goals for fundraising and donations and assist in fundraising, donations and grant writing.