IHDCYH youth advisory council alumni network

The Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH)'s youth advisory council (YAC) was established in 2020, and the YAC alumni network was created in 2022.

Members of the alumni network stay connected to IHDCYH by keeping up with Institute communications and information channels, and may participate in selected opportunities to mentor and collaborate with current council members. Find more information about our alumni network members below.

Malvina Chhina (2021-2023)
Vancouver, BC

Malvina is currently a high school student at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, in Vancouver BC. As a member of the IHDCYH Youth Advisory Council, she brings with her the perspective and lived experiences of a first generation Canadian, as well as a youth growing up as part of a visible minority. She is a passionate and firm believer in equitable and accessible healthcare for all, and especially underrepresented communities such as First Nations.

Midhula Madhu (2021-2023)
Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

Midhula holds a master's in counselling psychology from the University of Ottawa, where she did her thesis on cultivating self-compassion among healthcare trainees. She currently works for Yukon's Community Corrections. She has previous experience working as a respite worker and as a counsellor for youth with different mental health challenges. By joining IHDCYH’s youth advisory council, she has been able to share her insights and ideas on health research and learn more about child and youth health research and policy development. She brings a holistic view of health and health promotion to explore the different gaps in health research. Midhula is excited to be part of this council. She sees this as an opportunity to learn more about the wellbeing needs of youth and children in different parts of Canada through her fellow council members.

Wajih Jawhar (2020-2022)
Montreal, QC

Originally from Beirut, Lebanon, Wajih graduated from McGill with an excellence award in Human Genetics. He is currently a research assistant at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). Aiming to develop new therapies for patients with pediatric disease, Wajih focuses his efforts on deciphering genetic and epigenetic events involved in cancer initiation, progression, and drug resistance. He is interested in bridging theoretical and practical aspects of education with the goal of attaining a comprehensive understanding and application of science. As a youth advocate, Wajih joined IHDCYH's council to foster meaningful partnerships and learn more about health research policy as a prospective pediatric cancer researcher.

Danica Matthews (2020-2022)
Saskatoon, SK

Danica is a graduate of the University of Victoria's Bachelor of Social Work Program, and currently works in a child protection setting in rural Saskatchewan. She has several years’ experience working with children in both education and youth intervention settings, and she is passionate about youth and maternal health. Joining IHDCYH's youth advisory council is important to Danica, as she feels that youth are the future of Canada and should be present to discuss the critical topics affecting youth today. Danica looks forward to collaborating with many different individuals and institutions!

Danielle Nadin (2020-2022)
Montreal, QC

Danielle graduated with a Master’s in Neuroscience from McGill University, where she studied brain network correlates of consciousness in brain injured patients. Danielle now wears many hats, all of which allow her to advocate for more inclusive spaces in science and health research. As Co-Director of SciComm Collective, Danielle develops resources to teach researchers to communicate their science in a way that integrates principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Danielle is also the Director of Finance for Black In Neuro, a global initiative which connects, celebrates and supports Black scholars studying the brain. Since January 2021, Danielle has served as Science Strategy Lead at the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health. The IHDCYH youth advisory council will provide a platform for diverse voices to get involved in health research that concerns them, from the earliest stages of decision-making. Through this experience, Danielle hopes to work towards more equitable, intersectional approaches to health research and science communication in Canada.

Brett Recollet (2020-2022)
Sudbury, ON

Brett is a permanent part-time Indigenous Support Worker for the Rainbow District School Board in Sudbury and is enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work program at Laurentian. He is serving his fifth term as a youth member for the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health. Brett aims to bring his voice to advocate about health and research in Canada for those who cannot for themselves. Brett is excited to be a part of this diverse group of youth, to listen to what his fellow council members have to say and to share his own thoughts and experiences as well.

Sarah Schwartz (2020-2022)
Kingston, ON

Sarah was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of eleven, and is now a first year medical student at Queens University. She completed her Master of Science at Dalhousie University in June 2021, studying immunotherapy in lung cancer treatment. Through her own patient perspective and having spent four years working at Brigadoon Village, an overnight camp for children with chronic illnesses, she understands how important and valued each patient's unique experience is within the healthcare system. As a member of this council, she hopes to advocate for those unique needs that result from receiving a chronic illness diagnosis at a young age.

Vivian Tsang (2020-2022)
Vancouver, BC

Vivian leads the National KidsCan Initiative, a young persons' research advisory group in Canada as a part of the Maternal Infant Child and Youth Research Network. She studies medicine at the University of British Columbia. Vivian is dedicated to improving healthcare access for vulnerable population groups and is excited to push forward Canadian research priorities as part of the IHDCYH.

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