Vivian Prokop is a passionate advocate for young people and has earned an international reputation as an authority in developing programs that unleash the potential of youth in Canada and abroad. Prior to joining Pathways Canada, Vivian served as CEO of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) where she transformed the organization from a small foundation to the largest and most effective youth entrepreneurship organization in the country. During her 10-year tenure, she grew CYBF by 1,200 per cent, raising more than $100 million to develop and implement a suite of world-class programs such as one-on-one mentoring and access to seed capital, supporting the launch of 5,000 youth-led businesses and the creation of 20,000 jobs. Vivian nurtured community partnerships to expand youth outreach from 20 locations to nearly 200 and to grow the volunteer mentor base from 100 to 4,750. On the international front, she quickly became one of the world’s authorities on fostering youth entrepreneurship, representing Canada at more than a dozen international summits. She was the founding chair of the G20 Young Entrepreneur Alliance, an organization that provides public policy advice on youth entrepreneurship to the leaders of the world’s top 20 economies. She was the inaugural chair of Global Entrepreneurship Week Canada and the Canadian lead for the Prince’s Youth Business International network where she peer mentored programs globally.
Vivian thrives on building networks of influential people, ranging from presidents and prime ministers to philanthropists such as Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus. She twice hosted HRH The Prince of Wales, including the 2012 launch of the Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur, a program co-founded by CYBF to provide ex-soldiers with entrepreneurship training. Before moving into the not-for-profit sector, Vivian worked for 17 years at CIBC, gaining invaluable insight into business and finance. After running the bank’s flagship Toronto branch, she rose the vice-president of CIBC’s small business strategy unit. Her contribution to youth development in Canada and abroad has earned her numerous awards, including the 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the prestigious WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award, in 2010, 2011 and 2012. She is a board member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Foundation, The Empire Club of Canada and is on the Advisory Board of Young Diplomats.
Interim Vice President, Programs & Research
President & Executive Director, Quebec
As President and Executive Director of Pathways Quebec, Pierre Côté leads the operations and expansion efforts in the province of Quebec. Pierre has served for the past 24 years as the leader of Toujours ensemble, a Montreal based non-profit organization focused on supporting youth success; it is also the host agency of the Pathways to Education program in Montreal.
Pierre is well positioned to lead the growth of Pathways in the province of Quebec. In addition to raising the profile of Toujours ensemble and establishing it as an essential community service, Pierre has also overseen the development and implementation of numerous youth focused programs in the areas of education and violence prevention.
In 2008, Pierre was honoured to join Mr. Jaques Ménard as a member of the “Groupe d’action sur la persévérance et la réussite scolaires au Québec”, a team of provincial leaders, experts and advocates promoting the importance of improving high school graduation rates for young people in Quebec.
Vice President, Finance & Administration
As the VP Finance and Administration for Pathways Canada, David Garland oversees all matters relating to Pathways’ finances, human resources, IT and administration. After starting his career at KPMG, David turned to the technology sector as a controller having earned his certifications as Management Accountant, Chartered Accountant and Public Accountant. He quickly moved on to more senior positions in the same sector, most recently as CFO for TSX Venture Company Empirical Inc.
David earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Accounting at the University of Waterloo where he was also an active member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He has maintained strong ties to Sigma Chi since graduation, serving both as Vice Chair/Treasurer Sigma Chi Canadian Foundation and Secretary Treasurer of Waterloo Sigma Chi Properties. David is also a dedicated volunteer for the Heart and Stroke Foundation having held numerous Board positions since 2003, and actively continues that work today.
Director, Strategic Initiatives
As the Director of Strategic Initiatives, Christy leads the planning and implementation of cross-functional projects that support the achievement of Pathways goals. From her 20 year career in product management and product marketing, Christy brings a wealth of experience in managing projects that span different functional areas.
Christy started her career in market research at Information Resource Inc. From there she moved her focus to product management for technology companies, working in at Hewlett Packard, Fast Forward Networks, Inktomi, and JacobsRimell (now Amdocs). Christy transitioned to the non-profit sector when she moved to Canada in 2009. Her background in technology has led her to be passionate about the use of technology in education. With an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Christy’s work and personal life have seen her live in nine cities across the globe.
Director, Marketing & Communications
As the Director of Marketing and Communications, Elizabeth is responsible for engaging Canadians in understanding and supporting Pathways' work. Liz has a career in marketing and communications that spans over 20 years and includes working for several leading international brands.
Having graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and, subsequently, from the Schulich School of Business with a Master of Business Administration, Liz began her marketing career in the private sector at Federal Express Canada as Marketing Analyst., Liz subsequently moved to Labatt Breweries of Canada where she was promoted to marketing and brand management positions of increasing responsibility over a nine-year period. Having volunteered her professional expertise to non-profits in the arts and social service sectors, Liz decided to make a career shift to the not-for-profit sector and, in 2005, began working at Habitat for Humanity Canada as Vice President, Marketing and Development. In 2010, Liz joined the team at Pathways to Education. As a mother of two young children, Liz is passionate about supporting the potential of all youth through education.
Vice President & Chief Development Officer
As the Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Cathy is responsible for building philanthropic support for Pathways' priorities from individuals, corporations, foundations. Cathy is a very successful resource development professional having worked for over 20 years in the advancement of higher education while at Queen’s University, the University of Toronto and most recently at York University. As Senior Vice-President of the York University Foundation, Cathy played a key leadership role in the successful $207 million “York to the Power of 50 Campaign”. In 2009, in recognition of her career achievements, Cathy was awarded the Manulife Financial Outstanding Achievement Award from the Canadian Council for Advancement of Education.
Prior to this, Cathy was the Associate Director, Strategic Planning and Advancement Services at the University of Toronto, during the university’s $1 billion comprehensive campaign. Before this she served her alma mater at Queen’s University in a variety of positions including leading regional mini-campaigns and a team of development officers as Manager of Capital Projects and Faculty Development.
Director, Leadership Philanthropy
Mide has worked in the social impact arena with charities and NGO’s for almost 20 years. He possesses a unique global lens. His skills are leadership, strategic development, relationship building, revenue generation, and a focus on achieving social and economic transformation. He has supported the development of social impact programs ranging from structural funding policy for the UK government, to tackling drop-out rates in Canada, and supporting national and multinational corporations to achieve their Social Responsibility objectives.
Manager, Alumni Relations
Selim contributes a strong understanding of the challenges faced by youth from low-income communities and continues to witness their outstanding potential and contributions in positively changing their communities. In his role as the Manager, Alumni Relations, Selim is responsible for creating, implementing, and evaluating a national strategic alumni program, which includes engaging alumni in a wide range of activities. His work with Pathways began in 2010 as part of a special project to evaluate the degree to which Pathways program sites engage students in the evaluation of program functions. Selim continued his work until he embarked on Pathways Canada’s new initiative to cultivate alumni relations; primarily through leadership, training, and networking events/activities. As an alumni of the Pathways program, Selim developed a strong commitment to serving youth. Aside from his commitment to community volunteering, Selim has been involved in clubs, sport teams (intramurals; soccer and basketball), and committees during and after his undergraduate career. In 2010, Selim graduated with a Criminology degree at University of Windsor.
Scholarship & Payroll Administrator
Vijay earned his Bachelor Degree of Science from Indian University in 1980 and for the next nine years worked in India as a Chartered Accountant and then Public Accountant. In 1999 Vijay became a Managing Partner at AVA Associates where he continued until immigrating to Canada in 2006. Using his accountancy skills, Vijay moved quickly from Accountant at Wi-lan Inc., to Controller at Empirical Inc., then Financial Controller at 80/20 Solutions Inc., and most recently as a consultant for Healthscreen Solutions Inc. Vijay is in his final year of his Certification of General Accountants from the Institute of CGA Ontario having already achieved his designation as Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He is a Life Member of “Child Care India” and volunteers at the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
Director, Information Technology
Corporate Development Coordinator
Afsheen moved to Canada in April 2012 and joined the Resource Development team of United Way Greater Toronto during the successful $116.1 million “Imagine a city” 2012 fundraising campaign. Before this, she worked for over 4 years as a Senior Resource Development Officer at Aga Khan University where she played a leading role in major strategic initiatives including project management, stewardship and cultivation activities. She is also a Young Professional Member of Association of Fundraising Professional, Greater Toronto Chapter.
Director, Organizational Learning
Shortly after Craig graduated from the University of Guelph’s International Development program, he began work as an intern for the Walrus Foundation, publisher of The Walrus magazine, where he stayed on as Development Coordinator for a couple of years. Craig was drawn to Pathways to Education Canada after volunteering as a Group Mentor at the Pathways Regent Park program. He is thrilled to be working with such a talented and committed team and continues to be inspired by the thousands of students and alumni in the Pathways community.
Director of Regional Development
As Director, Regional Development, Steven is responsible for developing support for Pathways from individuals, corporations, and foundations in cities and regions across Canada. A passionate fundraiser and leader, Steven has worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than ten years and has a strong passion for social justice. Before joining Pathways to Education Canada, Steven worked at Facing History and Ourselves, the Canadian Centre for Diversity, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Manager, Volunteer Initiatives
As Manager of Volunteer Initiatives, Snjezana is responsible for creation and management of National Volunteer Framework and Corporate Volunteer Engagement. She has extensive experience working in the non-profit sector with over ten years of direct youth engagement work. As a former staff of Pathways to Education Lawrence Heights in Toronto she brings a unique community lens to her work. Managing stakeholder relationships and engaging people in becoming change makers in an inclusive and sustainable way is an integral part of all of her community work, both locally in Toronto, nationally across Canada and internationally in countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Kenya, India and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Judee is the administrative contact for the President and CEO as well as general office and Pathways inquiries. She continues to be inspired by the staff, students, and alumni who are testaments to the success and impact of the program. Passionate and energetic, in her spare time she enjoys baking cookies, reading science fiction, and taking long walks.
Manager, Program Support
Digital Media Manager
As Digital Media Manager, Jason oversees the online presence of Pathways to Education and explores how technology can be used to in innovative ways. Jason holds an undergraduate degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and has also served as an instructor in Digital Media Marketing at George Brown College. Jason has held positions on several governing boards is also a contributing author to the book, "Halos and Avatars", on the topic of online marriage rituals in Second Life.
Director of Fundraising (Quebec)
As Director of Fundraising (Quebec), Brigitte actively manages existing philanthropic partnerships and works to secure new support across Quebec. Brigitte is an accomplished fundraising professional with extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector.
Prior to Pathways, Brigitte was the Director of Fundraising at the Canadian Red Cross, Quebec. There, she developed and managed a corporate relations program that successfully identified and secured new sources of revenue while maintaining relationships with existing partners. During that time, she designed and implemented a stewardship framework to engage and renew funders. Before entering fundraising, Brigitte practiced law for 20 years as a criminal defense attorney after graduating from Montreal University. Her law career gave her a first-hand look at the importance of education. More importantly, how having an education can enable youth to take care of themselves financially, and gain a sense of pride and responsibility to break out of the community-services cycle.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours from McGill University in 2004, Tai moved to Nicaragua where, using her fluency in Spanish, she worked as a Library Administrator. In 2007 Tai became the Human Resources Support Administrator for Bryan & Company LLP in Edmonton, Alberta, during which time she also worked as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Edmonton and Area 2008 Corporate Challenge Event. In 2009 Tai landed in Toronto where she joined Skills for Change as a Researcher/Proposal Writer, and so began the formalization of her career in fundraising. She has since become an active member of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement. In addition to English and Spanish, Tai is fluent in French and Portuguese.
As Employment Strategist, Wendy is ensuring that Pathways to Education students have the resources they need in order to make positive and informed choices around part-time, summer and permanent employment. She will work toward establishing effective partnerships with other youth serving organizations who provide employment services and she will assist in promoting the exciting paid internship opportunities our corporate sponsors have made available to our students.
After over 15 years in career counselling with KEYS Job Centre, Wendy was eager to join Kingston Community Health Centres in order to launch the Pathways to Education program in Kingston, Ontario in 2010. With that program well underway, Wendy is now looking forward to also helping Pathways Canada and its supporters develop exciting paths to employment for students.
Wendy has a degree in sociology from Queen's University and recently began a Masters in Education at Harvard. Wendy is a member of the 1000 Islands Workforce Development Board and she sits on the General Research Ethics Board at Queen's University. Throughout her career, Wendy has been committed to sharing relevant labour market information and helping young people make positive career choices.
|Cynthia Legault||Development Coordinator|
|Elena Gurovsky||Communications Officer|
|Ivy Chu||Database Coordinator|
|Jennifer Pladzyk||National Coordinator of Mentoring Initiatives|
|Lee Rennick||Director of Corporate Partnerships and Strategic Projects|
|Margaret Douglin||Data Analyst|
|Melanie Ramos||Associate, Marketing & Communications|
|Michelle Greenspoon||Stewardship Manager|
|Nayna Trehan||Administrative Assistant, Resource Development|
|Nosheen Khan||Administrative Assistant, Resource Development|
|Petrona Eccleston||Research Manager|
|Rebecca Blaikie||Manager of Aboriginal Educational Strategy (Ottawa)|
|Shannon Moon||Director of Development Programs and Services|
|Maureen Thompson||Manager, Community & Planning, Policy & Practice|
|Tanya Yan||Research and Database Manager|
|Aneesha Ramanan||Communications Officer|
Fundraising Events Manager
Director of Programs and Community Development (Passeport pour ma réussite Québec)
Director of Research and Program Evaluation (Passeport pour ma réussite Québec
|Cindy St-Pierre-Brinkmann||Executive Assistant (Passeport pour ma réussite Québec)|
|Kevin Rodrigues||Knowledge and Program Services Specialist|
Learn About Us
- Founded in 2001, Pathways now operates in 15 communities across Canada
- The Pathways program provides a comprehensive set of academic, financial and social supports to youth
- By 2016, Pathways will serve over 10,000 students and alumni each year