YMCA of Greater Toronto

Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) Members

Erisa DedaErisa Deda
Has been with the St. Joseph’s OSI clinic team since 2018, working as a Program Evaluation and Research Oficer. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Health Studies and Psychology from University of Toronto, and a Masters in Health Information Science from Western University. As a Researcher she is involved in various stages of research projects and initiatives. Erisa’s main interests lie in qualitative based research and understanding the lived experiences of individuals pertaining to healthcare barriers that they may encounter and factors that may impact their quality of life. With the YMCA’s Youth Advisory Committee, Erisa is hoping that her research background is able to bring awareness to the current social issues that are impacting the GTA youth and community. In her spare time, Erisa enjoys exploring new places, traveling, and hiking.
 
Nigel LakeNigel Lake
Nigel Lake is a policy analyst with the Ontario Ministry of Health in the Supportive Housing Unit of the Mental Health and Addiction Programs Branch. He holds a Bachelor's of Public Affairs and Policy Management, specialization in Social Policy, from Carleton University. Born and raised in Toronto, he carries a passionate belief of the power of community building and the importance of community-led work. In addition to YAC, he's a member of YMCA Canada's Federation Development Network Task Force. Nigel believes in the Mission and Values of the Y and tries to live by them every day in his personal and professional life.
 
Savraj SyanSavraj Syan
Is a Senior Consultant professional at Deloitte. Savraj’s main passion is determining the best ways we as a society can consistently improve. As a CPA, CA, he exercises finance and consulting services to private and public clients to improve their businesses. Aside from his involvement with YAC, Savraj volunteers at organizations that promote civic engagement and astute policy making. He is also the head of Deloitte’s technology Amplify group, predicated on engaging practitioners with the Toronto startup space.
 
Brandon TomassiBrandon Tomassi
Brandon Tomassi has been with YAC for three years now. A recent graduate student from York University’s Bachelor of Social Work program, I am looking forward to working with the LGBTQ+ population around adult mental health and addiction challenges. He is passionate about challenging himself with new things, including learning how to sew, design and play music. The YMCA Youth Advisory Committee has provided me with the opportunity to be my authentic self where I have learned to lead, thrive and do better.
 
 
Natasha TsoyAnika Sharma
Anika Sharma holds a Bachelor of Science degree specializing in Health, Disease and Biology. Anika has a keen interest in community engagement and has been a life-long volunteer. She has many summers volunteering with young children in summer camps, as well as multiple years volunteering with her local hospital, and more recently screening patients for COVID. Anika also has extensive research experience, in both clinical and academic settings. Anika has learned about YAC through a variety of channels and is eager to contribute her time for the benefit of YMCA youth.
 
Natasha TsoyMax Zhu
Max Zhu As a young immigrant growing up in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods, Max witnessed the impact of poverty and inequality first-hand. These experiences profoundly shaped Max’s identity and his desire to serve marginalized communities in the GTA. In addition to serving on YMCA’s YAC, he is Vice-Chair of the Board at Social Planning Toronto and runs a local nonprofit in Scarborough called Time to Talk, which he co-founded to support racialized youth in 2018.
Max is a CPA, CA and currently works as a Manager, Financial Planning and Analytics with a global real estate firm based in Toronto. On weekends, he teaches non-profit finance at Ryerson University, and spends hours trying out new restaurants or exploring Ontario's many parks and rivers.
 
Natasha TsoySufiat Fusigboye
Sufiat Fusigboye holds a Master of Public Health from Queen’s University focusing on Health Services Research and statistical analysis. She also holds a Bsc (Hons) in Biology and Global Development Studies. She is passionate about health equity and leveraged her public health expertise to advocate for different health equity causes locally, nationally, and globally. These experiences include assisting implementation science (i.e., turning research findings into practice) interventions in low-and-middle-income countries, leading and supporting research publications that advocate for people who use drugs in the City of Toronto and various volunteer experiences in her community. Currently, Sufiat utilizes her skillset in health service research and analysis to strategically establish the Pan-Canadian Organ and Donation Reporting System with her current employer. She enjoys long-distance running, stand-up comedy, and relaxing with Jelly, her cat, in her spare time. As part of the YMCA’s Youth Advisory Committee, Sufiat hopes to use her experience in public health to understand and serve the youth of Toronto.
 
Natasha TsoyCraig Gauder
Craig Gauder graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor's of Applied Science & Engineering, and currently works as a software engineer in the financial industry. During his studies, he had the opportunity to volunteer his time with the university's Engineers Without Borders chapter, where he held the title of VP of Learning. There, he developed valuable leadership, outreach, and research skills while creating and facilitating a comprehensive curriculum for club members on relevant social issues. He is excited for the opportunity to apply his skills and experience to his role on the Youth Advisory Committee and work with such a strong team of his peers. In his spare time, Craig enjoys practicing thee piano, playing in a queer dodgeball league in the Village, and going for walks in the park with his canine pal Jupiter and partner Troy.
 
Natasha TsoyValeria Delgado
Valeria Delgado is a recent graduate from York University with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. While in high school, she joined the Youth Advisory Group of her local Toronto Public Library branch. The experience cemented her interest in organizational decision-making and overall committee work. This interest led her to join the Social Work Student Association at York University, where she was involved in social issue advocacy projects and student voice representation. She was intrigued by YAC as an opportunity to contribute her critical social work knowledge to governance goals while continuing to develop her committee work skills. Also, she saw it as a chance to broaden her understanding of the social issues that impact communities in the GTA, including how communities have addressed issues and the YMCA’s involvement. Her interest in the Y has been shaped by having participated in the YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange.
 
Natasha TsoyZahra Niazi
Zahra Niazi is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo with an Honours Bachelor of Science, majoring in biomedical sciences. Along with YAC, she is a volunteer with Let’s Talk Science, helping youths in mentorship programs learn tools in science communication and learn about STEM. She has also held various mentorship and teaching assistant positions at the University of Waterloo, assisting incoming first year students transition into the university life. Zahra joined YAC because the organizations values of inclusivity, integrity, optimism, kindness and well-being, resonates with her as a person. She aims to bring her experiences to YAC, in hopes of being a voice for youth in her community. During her leisure time, she enjoys reading, hiking and café hopping.