Recently, we began an ambassador program to help us reach more people and gain more perspectives. Here are the brief introductions to our wonderful ambassadors!
Fatima, a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin and birth, has studied towards a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies. During her career, she has been fortunate enough to work in places like the Canadian Arctic, Vanuatu and Botswana and has completed academic exchange in Sweden. Her community involvement has varied from volunteering and organizing at the grassroots level to serving as steering committee members for regional and national committees. For her self-directed graduate program, Fatima is interested in looking at Islamic spiritual healing for those experiencing PTSD symptoms.
Becca is from Orillia, Ontario and she is currently studying Environmental Science and Psychology at Western University. She chose to get involved with North in Focus because she is very passionate about mental wellness and how our outside environment can affect our mental health!
Carrie is a student at Western University currently pursing a degree in Health Science. Originally from Kirkland Lake, a small community in Northern Ontario, Carrie has a passion for the North, as well as the topics of mental health and wellness. She hopes to apply these passions to her role as an NIF Ambassador and would like to increase awareness and education on mental health amongst youth and communities in the North.
Raphael is a 21 year-old world traveller, actor, photographer and student. He was born and raised in Montreal, Québec. He is currently studying psychology at university. The organization North in Focus combines two things he is very passionate about: Photography and Mental Health.
Caitlin is a 16 year old from Ottawa Ontario. She's been involved in mental health awareness for a couple years and decided to get involved with North in Focus after her trips to the Arctic with the SEVEC exchange program and Students on Ice.
Cassie is a student at McGill University. Art has always been a way of forming identity and self-determination, coming together, healing and challenging ideas for her, and she shares that vision with North in Focus. Art has a place in bringing awareness to mental health issues and preventing suicide in Northern communities, and with the increasing rates of suicide there is a need for this issue to be recognized as needing the attention and collaboration of the wider Canadian community. Cassie hopes to bring her experience working in community art and activism, zine-making, filming and photography with youth around social issues.
Betty Star Kampayana
Betty Star is 21 years old. She is originally from Rwanda in Africa but came to Canada when she was 14 years old. She started taking deep interest in mental health at the age of 14. It struck her that for 14 long years she wasn't aware how interesting mental health was. There is still so much to do for this field of health and she knew she wanted to work in the healthcare system later in her life, she had to know her personal interests. Several years later, Betty Star is a student nurse and still deeply interested in mental health. She felt as though she was not showing her interest and desire to make a difference, and when she became aware of NIF, she felt she had to get involved!
Ainge is from Toronto, but attends school in London, ON. He chose to work with NIF due to his passion for working towards creating a world where mental illness is not stigmatized, a world where someone can talk openly about their mental health without fear of coming across as weak. Facing a battle with your own mind every day is anything but weak. He wanted to get involved with NIF because it is an organization for him to get involved in mental health promotion and help people live optimal versions of their lives.
Derek is currently studying Earth Sciences at Laurentian University. He spends most of his time throwing some rocks (curling) and keeping others (mineralogy). Through North in Focus, he hopes to understand more about mental toughness, whether it be applied on or off the ice.
Joe is from a small town North of Toronto called Keswick. He is currently in his second year at Queen’s University doing a Medial in Film and Global Development Studies. He chose to get involved with North in Focus for a handful of reasons but one of the main aspects which caught his attention was the organization’s ambition and goal to raise awareness for issues effecting Inuit youth and the actual work they were doing to make these goals a reality.
Malu is 19 years old. She is from Sisimiut, the next biggest city in Greenland. She loves being outside as much as she loves staying inside and reading books. She heard about North in Focus through Facebook, and she was interested right away. She thinks that mental health is important to talk about and that the Northern communities need to focus and work with mental health.
Bailey was inspired to get involved as she learned the values that North in Focus encompasses in connecting with and empowering northern youth through combining art with mental wellness. These values align with her passion to learn and collaborate in developing ideas in building awareness and support of mental health through various positive creative outlets. Bailey is from Burlington, Ontario, but currently pursuing a dual degree in Kinesiology and Mechanical Engineering at Western University.
Didiane is from Rwanda, currently living in Ottawa, Ontario. Her interest in North In Focus basically grew from an amazing experience she had last year in the Arctic with Students on Ice and her interest in the field of mental health. She is super excited to work with everyone!
Abhayjeet Singh Sachal
Abhayjeet is a fifteen-year old high school student living in Surrey. Apart from being an avid ice hockey player and pianist, he loves volunteering. After giving a TEDx Talk in 2013 and leading several initiatives in his school’s environmental club, Abhay took part in the Students on Ice 2016 Arctic Expedition. He became personally connected with issues concerning the Arctic and is now working on a campaign to bring awareness about climate change and suicide prevention. Because of his personal connection with many Inuit students on his Arctic expedition, he realized it was necessary to raise awareness about mental health issues: a goal that coalesces perfectly with NIF.
Nikisha is from Richmond Hill, ON. When she is not desperately trying to understand physics, she can be found campaigning for mental health awareness or watching British stand-up comedy. She is very passionate about raising awareness for Canada's Indigenous population as well mental health awareness and she sees North In Focus as an opportunity to help support both of these! She is so excited for this journey with NIF and what's to come!
Matthew is a 2nd year student at the University of Toronto studying Molecular Genetics and Pharmacology. He was born and raised in Toronto (the best city in the world), where he has been constantly exposed and interested in different cultures and communities. Suffering from depression himself, he has decided to take a more active role in aiding others. Knowing about the loss of culture and environment, as well as the suffering of the Northern Aboriginal peoples made him join NIF to more actively spread awareness and help in anyway he can.
Cassidy is currently studying Medical Sciences at Western University. She wanted to get involved with North in Focus because she wanted to help to get rid of many of the negative feelings surrounding mental health. She agrees it’s incredibly important to talk about mental health and find different ways to practice self-care!
Haleh is from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. She chose to be involved with North In Focus because she is extremely passionate about the importance of mental health resources in the North. Living in Labrador exposed her to many of the issues its citizens are facing, and she is happy to have been given the opportunity to raise awareness for them.