Meet The Team
Our team and organization is taking a proactive step when faced with difficult decisions. We are now in the fortunate position to create a business with a plan to address an on-going crisis while providing our client base with reliable, researched, and sustainable solutions.
It is our personal goal to ensure that legal advocacy services are made available to the youth who need them most, by properly training and advising the individuals supporting them.
CEO & General Counsel
Michelle J. Bain (she/her)
As a practicing lawyer, I have over 10 years of experience within the public, private and non-profit sectors. As a result of my professional experience I am confident that the solution we have created, and will continue to create, are what is needed to address the challenges within our Child Protective Services, Education and Youth Justice systems. This journey began for me in May 2018 when I attended Youth Civic Action Day at Toronto City Hall. On that day I met over 300 youth and their adult supporters who had many questions about to access the legal system. Their questions alerted me to the face that far too many youth were facing unnecessary and recurring issues. These issues, when left unaddressed, often lead to much more serious consequences and a major drain on public resources. With my legal background I knew that it was time for solutions.
Director of Youth Engagement
Jackson Gates is a Former Youth In Care with lived experience in Ontario's Foster Care System. He is a recent graduate from the Paralegal Law Program at Mohawk College. Jackson's been advocating for child welfare clients since the age of 16 and is now at the point where the work and advocacy involves is critical to helping and saving those who are being victimized, traumatized, and abused by a system that by virtue of a Crown Warship is supposed to serve and protect them. As the Director of Youth Engagement in addition to additional YEY! duties I am responsible for engaging child welfare youth (both former and current) in openly speaking about their issues from within the System and also to engage them in legal advocacy training that will in effect turn them into better Social Justice Advocates, warriors for their own cause. Further, I will help facilitate in guiding these youth through legal processes that may need or want to undertake in order to get themselves justice for what has happened to them.
Director of Strategic Partnership and Innovation
Li is a community builder, educator and a successful realtor with experience from the non-profit,
government, corporate and culture sectors. She is passionate about making positive change in her communities through grassroots advocacy, housing and education.
She has been an advocate for increased access to justice for vulnerable and newcomer communities as a Senior Advisor at the Government of Ontario in the Ministries of Municipal Affairs & Housing, Indigenous Affairs, the Attorney General and as a Director at Legal Aid Ontario.
She has continually championed greater access to education through her work with the Smithsonian Institution, World Literacy Canada and is a professor at George Brown.
She is currently a member of Ontario Real Estate Association's first Presidential Advisory Group on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This is focused on steps that the Association can take to eliminate racism and embrace diversity and advance equality and inclusion in real estate and housing in Ontario.
Director of Communications and Digital Media
Ri-Ann Pully (she/her)
As a Visual Artist, Film/Video Editor and VFX artist, I have had over 10 years of experience in production and post-production. Having produced, filmed, and edited my first film when I was 16 years old entitled, “Youth Violence in Bermuda”, I have always enjoyed bringing real life issues to the forefront through an artistic lens whether it be through film or photography. Throughout my professional career I have completed projects for the Canada Media Fund, Canada Film Centre and worked on projects for Disney, National Geographic, Freeform, and Netflix. Though I have not had lived experience in the foster care system, I am dedicated to use my skills in providing accessible content that reflect the daily struggles of youth that have experienced neglect and abuse. As the Director of Communications and Digital Media, my job is to lead a team of passionate, dedicated, and talented individuals whose responsibilities are to create social media content, video projects, website design, and other media content that captures the essence of what it means to experience life before, during and after life within the foster care system in Canada. Creating opportunities and providing solutions for youth in care is the ultimate goal and I along with my team aim to improve the lives lived for youth in care.
Lead Advocate for YEY Warrior Program
Hii my name is Sadeqah. I have grown up in the Childrens Aid System since I was 6 years old. I am dealing with severe depression and anxiety and am somehow still able to keep fighting. I do smoke weed to cope but music has always had a huge impact on my life and will always be important to me. I am a part of YEY because I am doing a project called 'The System'. I tell my story and battles as well as the hope for other youth and adults who deal with the system. This work is important to me because I am still dealing with the system and I don't want other kids to grow up the messed up way I did. I dont want other kids to deal with my struggles and have the trauma. I know it is hard growing up in the system since I am still living it but on my own now trying. So my goal is to help as much as I can since it is what keeps me going.