About Us

Youth Empowering Youth (YEY) was founded on a desire to provide access to justice to children, youth, families and supporters who are impacted by Child Protective Services. With 10 years of experience as a criminal defence and family lawyer our President & CE0 Michelle Bain recognized a clear gap in services in a market crying out for answers. 

YEY is now faced with a tremendous opportunity to bring legal advocacy training and other services to School Boards, Ontario Courts of Justice and Child Welfare Agencies in select cities across Ontario.

In Spring 2019, the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth was closed; making Ontario the only province in Canada without a mandate to protect the rights of our at-risk youth population. 

History

In April 2019, the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth (Advocate Office) was closed leaving a large gap in services across Ontario. In response - Youth Empowering Youth was formed. Our team provides legal information and self-representation training to Child Welfare Youth and their Trusted Adult Intermediaries in select locations across Ontario. 

Our programs teach youth and adults how to advocate and find justice for children, youth, and families impacted by Child Protective Services. the system is broken and must be fixed. 

Our business platform is based on:

1. Efficiency

2. Cost Effectiveness

3. Sustainability

Image by Jed Villejo

Helping Marginalized Communities

Access Justice

A large section of our target audience identifies with marginalized communities in Ontario: the LGBTQ community; young women and girls; Black and other radicalized groups; Indigenous, Metis and Inuit Youth. Our target audience is additionally impacted by socio-economic barriers. Our services will be available at High Schools, Children's Aid Societies, Youth Correctional Facilities and Ontario Courts of Justice etc. 

Our team is prepared to provide services in select locations across Ontario: commencing with Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa. Our information will be available via print materials, online information, virtual and in-person training. 

The New Youth

Advocacy Office

Why?

YEY exists because there are far too many children, youth and families facing hardship and adversity as a result of their involvement with the Child Protective Services/ Foster Care System. There are real legal answers to many of these systemic barriers and challenges. YEY is here to deliver those answers.

2

Who?

YEY was founded by social justice lawyer, Michelle J. Bain. Together with a dedicated team of advocates, the YEY team is comprised of individuals who have a passion for working toward systemic change with effective, efficient and sustainable training.

3

What?

YEY offers legal advocacy services to organizations and individuals who need reliable answers; peer to peer to capacity building and legal advocacy training. 

4

Where?

Our services are offered out of Toronto, and will be expanding into Hamilton, Ottawa, Durham Region and beyond.

5

When?

YEY became a registered non-profit organization in Ontario in 2019. Youth Advocacy Consulting was registered as a business in 2020... Coming in 2021 - Youth Advocacy Legal Services. Within our first 5 years, we anticipate registering all 3 entities under Non-Governmental Organization status. 

6

How?

We provide our services though in-person and online training options. We are currently building out our service delivery platform. 

Meet The Team

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Michelle J. Bain

CEO & General Counsel

Michelle is a lawyer and social justice advocate dedicated to equality. As a former Legal Aid lawyer, she has many years of experience assisting Ontario's most vulnerable individuals and their communities.

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Jackson Gates

Director of Youth Engagement

Former Youth In Care and recent graduate from the Paralegal Law Program at Mohawk College, Jackson has been involved with YEY! since it's inception in 2018.

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Li Koo

Director of Strategic Partnership and Innovation

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Ri-Ann Pully

Director of Communications and Digital Media

Ri-Ann Pully with a degree in Digital Media and Communications has had many years of experience as a Filmmaker, Editor, Videographer and VFX Artist. She is eager to lend her talents to raise awareness for all youth in and out of care.

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Sadeqah Tahir

Lead Advocate for YEY! Warrior Program

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