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Our Team

Each of our team members brings a unique lens to our work and a passion for youth and youth worker wellbeing across Ontario.

Uzo (she/her) is the Founder and Provincial Academic Director of YouthREX. She is the York Research Chair in Youth and Contexts of Inequity and an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, York University. Her educational background includes a PhD in Social Work from the University of Toronto; MSW and BSW from York University; and BSc and MSc from University of Nigeria.

Uzo’s community-engaged research is focused on critical youth work. She conceptualizes her research as a community dialogue that is centred on equitable collaborations with community stakeholders. Her research projects emphasize multi-methods / multi-focal research that make space for multi perspectives.

Uzo has served on a variety of boards, including being appointed by an Order in Council by the Government of Ontario to the Board of Directors of the Central Local Health Integrated Network for two terms of six years (2011-2017). She is currently on the Board of Directors of the York Region Children’s Aid Society.

Cyril (he/him) is a social justice advocate and community educator. At YouthREX, Cyril supports professional development and learning opportunities for Ontario youth workers.

As a proponent of Social Justice, Cyril has led professional development and media art projects across the Greater Toronto Area and abroad for over a decade in community centres, schools, open custody detention centres and in his photography studio. As a community educator, Cyril is interested in amplifying the voices of young people and youth workers in research and policy to reduce the gap that often exists between well-meaning theory and critical practice.

Irene (she/her) is a Research & Evaluation Associate at YouthREX. She is passionate about advancing health equity and creating spaces for young people to thrive. She founded and leads Rise In STEM, a youth-led grassroots initiative committed to addressing the racial gap within higher education and STEM careers. 

Irene holds a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from McMaster University and a Master of Science in Sustainability Management from the University of Toronto. 

In her spare time, she enjoys baking and nature walks.


Dorrie (she/her) is the Research & Evaluation Director at YouthREX. She received her Ph.D. from the Applied Social Psychology program at the University of Windsor. Drawing from her past experiences in research and evaluation, Dorrie provides support to Ontario youth programs in their various evaluation needs, from logic model development to the creation of data collection tools to analyzing and reporting data.

Dorrie grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan, and travels back as often as possible with her three children.

David (he/his) is Research & Evaluation Manager at YouthREX. He studied Sociology and Criminology at Brock University, where he received his BA and went on to complete an MA. He also spent time as a graduate student at the University of Toronto’s Sociology Department, where he gained valuable experience in research and education. David has scholarly interests in social and political thought, precarious work, and socio-legal research.

His interests include spending time with his family, cooking, spending time outdoors, and watching calcio.

Katarina (she/her) supports learning opportunities and resource development at YouthREX. She is committed to using data to drive social change, and has worked to advocate for cultural and youth-friendly urban spaces. Katarina studied Sociology at McGill, and went on to obtain an MA in Human Geography from the University of Toronto.

Her interests include coffee, electronic music, and dabbling in different forms of movement. Born in Serbia, she has also found inspiration in the youth (sub)cultures of Montreal and Berlin.


Chanel (she/her) leads the operations and administrative aspects of YouthREX and supports our capacity building opportunities. She is a published author with a B.A. in Sociology and Creative Writing from York University and a M.Ed. from the University of Toronto.

Her experiences as a Barbadian immigrant to Toronto fuel her interest in research on persons of African descent and how they're impacted by the intersections of race, immigrant status and class within the education system.

Outside of work, Chanel likes reading, watching documentaries, and spending time with family and friends.

Khadijah (she/her) is supporting evaluation at YouthREX. She received her Master's of Social Work in 2017, where her research examined queer subjectivity in the Toronto South Asian diaspora. Khadijah also works for an Islamic educational centre, where she focuses on anti-Islamophobia education and activism, and is a board member for a non-profit serving 2SLGBTQ+ youth across Ontario.

Khadijah writes and speaks regularly on issues of race, gender, and sexuality. She has worked previously in therapy and research.

James (he/him) is a Multimedia Storyteller for YouthREX. He has a BFA in Film Studies from Ryerson University with a focus in documentary film. James has experience mentoring youth in media production, archiving experiences of migration with newcomer communities, and working in the documentary field. Much of his past work covers the multitude of experiences of living in Toronto: from migrating here to navigating the city’s systems and structures.

Outside of work, his interests include exploring all corners of Toronto by transit and by bike, trying new cuisines, vegetable gardening, and slowly learning how to speak Farsi.

Maria (she/her) is a Graphic Designer for YouthREX. She received her Bachelor of Design with honours from the YSDN Program at York University. As a designer, she focuses on thinking critically about the capacity that design has as a transformative tool to educate, empower, and inspire people, especially youth.

Outside of work, she enjoys illustrating, travelling, and hanging out with her dog Mango. Born in Colombia, Maria often likes to bring elements of her own culture into the work that she creates.

Kathe (she/her) is the Knowledge Exchange Director at YouthREX. She is a registered social worker with extensive experience in communications, advocacy, public education, counselling, and community building, having supported a variety of projects across not-for-profit organizations and community-based initiatives.

Kathe is a former film student, seasoned storyteller, engaged lover of art and music, amateur star-gazer, novice embroiderer, and pop culture trivia guru.



Robin (she/her) is a Research & Evaluation Associate at YouthREX. As both a program planner and evaluator, she has supported opportunities for wellbeing, play, and learning for youth. Her research has also focused on developing healthy community planning within York Region.

She received her Master of Public Health at Queen's University and completed her BA at the University of Toronto, double majoring in health studies and environmental studies with a minor in political science.

Robin likes to go on walks (with a cup of coffee) and sketch, and is always excited to make new friends.