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Get to Know Us

New friends. New passions and skills. A new community. There’s something for YOU at our YMCA of Three Rivers’ Youth Programs. From casual drop-ins to topic specific outreach, our diverse programs are here for you. And, our team of Youth Workers are here to help you as you enroll in programs, get school or employment help, or to just chat. We can’t wait to meet you! 

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Melissa

Lead, Youth Programs

Hi everyone! I’m Melissa, but feel free to call me Mel! I came to work at the Y because I’m passionate about creating opportunities for young people to grow, develop, and thrive. I believe that young people have the ability to shape the future of our communities and world. In my role at the Y, I get to help create opportunities and platforms for youth to share their ideas, build skills, get involved and make change. When I’m not at one of our programs, you can find me hiking, kayaking, and exploring nature at the cottage. I also love travelling, playing baseball or volleyball, skating, and hanging out with my dog, Leo. My favourite movie is Mamma Mia! And, I’m guilty of cranking country tunes. 

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Michelle

Supervisor, Community Youth Initiatives

Hi everyone! I’m Michelle, though some of you call me Shell or Mashelf (it’s a random story – but the name stuck!). My entire career has been in Child and Youth work – starting in my teen years as a camp counsellor. For me, working at the Y has always been about giving back what I received growing up from those who were my leaders and mentors. I love working at the Y because I believe in all our youth and what they are capable of. It may sound cliché, but youth truly are the future, and it's for us to help amplify their voices and both support and create opportunities to let youth flourish and thrive. If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend my all-time favourite book — To Kill a Mockingbird, or if you want something less serious stream my favourite movie — Ghostbusters (the 2016 version). When I’m not hanging out in program you can find me taking walks with my famjam, playing boardgames with my friends, and hitting the beach or pool throughout the summer. I love a good spontaneous road trip too! A piece of advice I’d go back and give my younger self is this: Deep breaths. Keep your chin up. You have LOTS of road ahead of you to find the right path – there isn’t a timeline on that. So, take your time, find your passion, and go for it. Do things for YOU.  

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Charlotte

Coordinator, Youth Partnerships & Initiatives

Hi! I’m Charlotte — but most of you will know me by Charlie! I first started at the Y as a camp counsellor — and I liked it so much, I’ve never left! When I’m not in programs you can find me hanging out with friends playing sports or eating snacks! If you’re looking for something to binge, I recommend The Office or Full House – both are great for a laugh. A piece of advice I wish I knew as a youth is this: Be you — everyone else is already taken.  

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Emily

Coordinator, Stratford Youth Programs

Hello everyone! I’m Emily. I came to the Y because I’m passionate about supporting young people’s mental, physical, emotional, and social well-being through recreation and wellness programs. I believe that participating in these programs is one of the most powerful avenues to foster youth development, and at the Y I get to help support this happening in safe and inclusive spaces for all youth, as they discover their own potential, build relationships, and strengthen their self-esteem. When I'm not hanging out with youth in our Stratford programs you can find me cooking, painting, playing tennis, watching Friends, playing boardgames, or taking my dog, Cassie, for a walk. I love the movie The Proposal, and did I mention the show Friends yet? As a youth I wish I knew that I didn’t have to have my whole life figured out. Plans will change — and that’s okay. Be present and enjoy each phase of life as it comes.  

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Erik

Coordinator, Alternative Suspension

Hi! I’m Erik, but believe it or not, I also go by Señor Enrique, Winnie, Sir Winnifred, E-money, or even Typhoid Mary of Good Vibes. There’re stories there. Just ask. I’ve always had a heart for working with youth, and it turns out that I have a real knack tor it too. After trying out a bunch of jobs, I realized that I wanted to work in a field that had positive impact on my community, and was a whole lot of fun too! I’ve always been lucky enough to have a slew of very positive male role models in my life, and if I can be that for just one youth, that’s a life well-lived, I think. When I’m not at the Y you’ll find me playing spikeball or having fun with my homies, and working at other youth programs with YFC. My favourite song is Reno and Me by Waylon Jennings, and I’ll rewatch Scott Pilgrim vs. The World any day. If I could go back and give the younger me some advice it would have to be keep rollin’, young one. You’re going to be positively SICK when you’re older.  

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Florencia

Coordinator, TAPPS and Community Outreach

Hello, everyone, I'm Florencia, but I go by a number of nicknames including Flor, Flo-flo, and Tinkerbell. I’ve always known that I wanted to work with and support youth in my community. Last year, I was lucky enough to do a school placement with the Y, where I got to learn about the amazing programs and services we offered. During my placement I met the staff, who became my role models. I’m so glad to be joining the team in this new role. My all-time favourite book is Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess, and I really enjoyed Gone Girl too. When I’m not working at the Y, I’m usually hanging out with my friends or family, and going for hikes. I also like to dance it out, any chance I get. If I could go back and tell my younger self anything it would be this: Never change — don't lose your sparkle. Trust me.  

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Ibtisam

Supervisor, Newcomer Youth Programs

Hello, my name is Ibtisam, but most of you will know me by Ibti. I came to the Y through the Y newcomer programs. That’s right — I used to be a participant. I stayed because I’m passionate about providing safe and inclusive space for youth — especially minorities — to express their passions, reach their goals, and ultimately, be a role model to our next generation. When I’m not in program connecting with you, you can usually find me playing volleyball, hiking, or painting. I also love travelling, and getting outside to feel the sun on my face! My favourite movie is Aladdin, and my current favourite song is Rjeen ya hawa by Fairouz. If I could go back and tell my younger self something it would be this: Life can be written with a pencil — it doesn’t always have to be written with a pen.  

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