Introducing and welcoming our 2011 Intern Team!

We are very pleased to introduce you to YAHAnet's new student intern team that will be responsible for some exciting developments in the coming weeks and months! The team will be working out of The Participatory Cultures Lab, the new research home of YAHAnet.

Read about each team member's passionate beliefs regarding youth, the arts, and activism, and please feel free to get in touch with the team members here. They would love to talk with you!

Chandra McIvor
I’m studying education and international development at McGill University. In the context of a world which largely criticizes today’s youth as apathetic, I value any contribution on the part of youth to be active participants in the world which surrounds them, both locally and globally. From small scale to large scale, I believe each step is one more in a positive direction, and I applaud all youth initiatives to get involved. To get involved means bringing your own flavour and creativity to the mix, and arts-based projects help highlight individual uniqueness while also promoting collaboration and building upon a community spirit! Get involved, be creative, come together, have fun, and bring out your inner artist!!

Emily O'Connor
I am a third-year student at McGill University working toward a major in the International Development Studies program and minor degrees in Spanish and Anthropology. Through my classes and life experiences in general, I have learned quite a lot about numerous injustices that affect our world—many of which are preventable—and this has made me realize the value of education and awareness. Youth activism is important for spreading knowledge to the community about issues such as HIV and AIDS and to help motivate people to help in any way they can. I think that promoting the arts as tools for education and activism is very useful for and accessible to youth around the world.

Alexandra Wolfond
I am currently in my third year at McGill University where my focus of study is elementary school education. I have always had a passion for merging community service and teaching. YAHAnet is the perfect place for me to combine community service and teaching through arts-based awareness. Awareness through different art forms has always intrigued me. When I was 12, I was very involved in leading a community service art competition that raised awareness on different mental illnesses. I am interested in working with YAHAnet to inspire youth to learn about the crucial issue of HIV/AIDS and teach them about the importance of standing up for causes they believe in.

Jason Wong
I am a fourth-year student at McGill University in International Development and Geography. To me, activism is a way for us to challenge ourselves and to reconcile what we're taught with what we see. Being part of YAHAnet and being an activist through art is a great way to reach past where we're from and to learn from others around the world. I look forward to getting to know the YAHAnet community, especially through radio and pocasts!


We are also very happy to have Esmael Njuguna on board as an honorary intern due to his busy schedule as a Sauvé Scholar at McGill University. He is currently working on two projects—one exploring strategies to reduce vulnerability among most-at-risk populations in Africa in order to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS, improve reproductive heath, and address questions of sexuality and the other examining the introduction of sexual pleasure into the discourse around reproductive health in Africa. His goal is to use his research to create an organization that will introduce a new approach to sexual health education in Kenya and create an enabling environment for expanded access to sexual reproductive health and rights information and services.

Born and raised in Kenya, he founded Impact Kenya Youth Initiative (IKYI) and has worked as a volunteer, youth leader, and Y-PEER Rift Valley Network Member to establish a regional network of stakeholders, including one hundred youth-serving organizations and adult partners. He has received advanced training in Harm Reduction Education (HRE) and innovative community interventions, including HIV management; counselling; puppetry; magnet theatre; and behaviour change communication; and anti-female genital mutilation advocacy.