what would the world be like if we all chose to make our mark?
Would it be a world where we lived out our true calling and passion with absolute freedom? Where we rose above self-doubt and fears in the pursuit of realizing who we are and how we want to show up in the world? Where we chose to unapologetically believe in ourselves and awaken our potential?
The first step towards attaining such a world is to “dare to be YOU.” The Dare to be Youth Charity (DTBY) is a movement dedicated to empowering high school students and young people (14-24) in the Halton/Hamilton region, and beyond. It’s a platform to unlock their potential and empower them to make their mark and achieve the life they genuinely want to live.
Our core shared values are the deeply ingrained principles that guide all of dtby’s actions; they serve as its cultural cornerstones and reflect the spirit of who we are as an organization.
Our Core Values
Our shared values are the deeply ingrained principles that guide all of dtby’s actions; they serve as its cultural cornerstones and reflect the spirit of who we are as an organization.
Inspiring 14-24 year olds to build life skills and develop healthy community connections.
A future community where all youth are resilient and empowered to make an authentic impact.
DTBY is dedicated to supporting young people (14-24)
we inspireWe inspire highschool students and grads to build and grow a healthy foundation of resilience. To navigate through life’s noise and challenges, and create to a community of future leaders who motivate positive change.
we mentorWe mentor individuals on how to develop their mental wellness, resilience and confidence through educational programming, peer to peer support and workshops offered throughout the organization.
we buildWe build community engagement through various volunteer and leadership opportunities. When youth grow and become better, they DO better and then go on to inspire and mentor others to do the same.
Drew Simon Bio
Drew joined DTBY in 2021 as the Director of Development, with the goal of helping DTBY grow its programs and impact in the community. Drew brings over ten years of leadership experience in the non-profit and higher education sectors. Drew holds a Master of Education Degree from Brock University, and a Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University. He has served as a Senior Leader, Director, and Advisor for multiple non-profit and charitable organizations, and has helped charities working all over the world secure millions of dollars in funding to support their charitable efforts.
Anthony Busija Bio
Anthony is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), with over 20 years of experience working with various corporations and organizations, both big and small. He started nuAGE cpa, to put a different spin on the world of accounting. Anthony’s Firm is committed to leveraging the latest technology to help organizations simplify their processes so they can truly understand their ‘numbers’. He has also spent the last two decades working alongside other various non-profit and charitable organizations, helping them thrive and surpass their goals. Whether as a member of a Board, or by directly supporting a client, Anthony has a passion for helping organizations understand the needs of the community, and applying his skill set to help support those needs.
When not ushering his threes kids around or beating them in sports and video games, Anthony enjoys travelling, music and a little bit of golf.
Nicole Kenny Bio
Nicole Kenny is an industry trailblazer with over two decades of experience in infection prevention, public health education, and content marketing. She doesn’t just educate; she fosters collaboration and innovation in the field of chemical disinfection. Her storytelling abilities, showcased through articles and media appearances, have inspired countless individuals. In 2014, she earned recognition in the “Who’s Who in the Infection Prevention Industry.”
In 2021, Nicole embarked on a master’s in educational technology at the University of British Columbia, driven by her passion for knowledge translation and commitment to nurturing individuality and unconventional thinking. As a neurodivergent advocate, she champions the unique attributes associated with conditions like ADHD, emphasizing their role in enhancing collaboration and innovative solutions.
Nicole’s journey from an infection prevention expert to an advocate for neurodiversity and educational technology exemplifies her belief in fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion for all learners. She hopes her story inspires those dedicated to making a positive impact in their fields.
Makayla Cherrett Bio
Hi, my name is Makayla and I am excited to continue as DTBY’s Event Coordinator for the second summer.
I’m from Hamilton and I have just completed my undergraduate Business Management degree with a major in Consumer Behaviour at Western University. I have plans to pursue a law degree and one day open my own law practice. When I am not working I enjoy weight training, playing soccer, cooking and hiking.
Kassia Vrhovnik Bio
Hi! My name is Kassia and I am the community liaison for DTBY!
I will be entering my third year at Western University in September 2023 studying Science with a focus in Biochemistry and Genetics. I have a passion for helping others and hope to pursue a future career in medicine. I started off as a participant in dtby’s programs in 2021. I wanted to further my leadership development and joined the Community Youth Council within my first year. Since then, I’ve transitioned into a student ambassador role and as of June 19th, I started my summer internship position as dtby’s community liaison. DTBY has given me so many different opportunities and I hope to share these with other youth in my community. When I am not learning something new, I enjoy hanging out with my three younger siblings, baking, and going for drives. I am super excited to see everything I learn from being in this position!
The future is held within the hands of today’s youth. We need to invest in them and give them the resources to develop their financial literacy and in turn their overall wellness will greatly increase.”
Youth Group Mentors
Miranda Ayim Bio
Miranda Ayim is a three-time Olympian in the sport of basketball and former flag bearer for Team Canada (Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremonies). She is a professional speaker and founder of Cultivate Co., an organization empowering people to show up where it matters most through mental fitness and foundational wellness. Check out her podcast.
Quotes from Miranda
“DTBY is an organization that just gets it. They go beyond the superficial support we often offer our youth, and instead, seek to empower them with skills and resources that help them grow into their best selves. They provide the platform for lessons and relationships that will last a lifetime and set them up for personal and professional success.”
“One thing that sets DTBY apart is their emphasis on peer mentorship through the CYC. I first saw the council in action during Inspire Day 2021. They were engaged, thoughtful, prepared—even wise! I knew there was something special here. I look forward to supporting the amazing work they’ve done by sharing some of the skills, strategies and mindset shifts I’ve implemented throughout my Olympic career and beyond.”
Kale Black Bio
Kale Black (He/Him) is a passionate Environmental Advocate, Meditation Facilitator and Community Organizer. Kale has been honing his skills as an advocate for positive change and as a facilitator for the past 16 years, with a wide breadth of experience in the environmental non-profit sector as well as in the fields of equity, diversity and inclusivity and holistic health.
He has facilitated environmental, holistic health and anti-racism workshops/seminars/events for over 20,000 people and his authentic sensitivities, empathy and sense of humour contributes to his knack for connecting with audiences of all ages.
Kale considers himself a Holistic Environmentalist, which simply put, means that he sees the health of our planet as intrinsically linked to human health (emotional, spiritual, mental, physical) with all of his efforts being connected to creating a healthier planet for all of us.”
Carolyn Swora Bio
As a trauma-informed leadership coach, consultant, and Human Spirit Ignitor, Carolyn is passionately committed to empowering leaders within purpose-driven organizations, helping them unlock their full potential and drive tangible change from the inside out.
Carolyn’s personal journey of resilience and perseverance is what drives her deep desire to make a difference. Since as early as her teenage years, she’s been coaching teams to high performance with success. She intimately understands the struggles leaders face because she’s walked that path herself. With over 28 years of corporate leadership experience and a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Carolyn’s dedication to fostering culture transformation and individual and organizational success is unmatched.
Carolyn partners with leaders who prioritize their people, designing systems and practices that elevate individuals in our ever-changing business landscape. The Certified Dare to Lead facilitator is also a best-selling author with books like “Evolve: The Path to Trauma-Informed Leadership,” featured on ABC and NBC. Carolyn also hosts her own podcast, “Evolve: A New Era of Leadership,” where she engages in profound discussions about creating healthy workplaces with fellow leaders, practitioners, and advocates.