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.

Shannon Tobinfounder & ceo

Our Core Values

Caring

We are respectful, kind, helpful, compassionate and value our team and the young adults we serve.

Community

Our community inspires us to support young adults and empower them to make a difference.

Impact

We apply our knowledge and insight to help young adults make a positive impact.

Commitment

We are self motivated with a drive and dedication to our mission.

Inclusive

We welcome everyone, respect one another and embrace our differences.

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.

Our Mission
Inspiring 14-24 year olds to build life skills and develop healthy community connections.

Our Vision
A future community where all youth are resilient and empowered to make an authentic impact.

#DareToBeYou

DTBY is dedicated to supporting young people (14-24)

we inspire

We 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 mentor

We 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 build

We 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.
who we are

operations team

Shannon Tobin

founder & ceo

Anthony Busija

cpa / finance

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.

Makayla Cherrett

manager of communications

Nicole Kenny

director of operations

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.

2024

Student Interns

Alexa Fairfield

event coordinator

Alexa Fairfield Bio

Hello! My name is Alexa Fairfield, and I am honoured to be an event coordinator for DTBY!

I am currently in my third year attending McMaster University and am committed to advocating for youth within our community because we are all leaders who help to inspire and initiate change in our future! DTBY has provided me with the opportunity to pursue my love for public speaking and grow as a leader in learning from and connecting with like-minded individuals.

In my spare time, I love to spend time with family and friends, exercise, read, and write! I am so excited to start this new chapter with an amazing group of individuals!

    Kassia Vrhovnik

    community liaison

    Kassia Vrhovnik Bio

    Hey there! My name is Kassia Vrhovnik, and I am DTBY’s Community Liaison.

    My dedication to supporting others, particularly young people, is what drives me and DTBY has provided me countless opportunities to make a difference. In the fall of 2023, I was honoured to receive DTBY’s Service Above Self award highlighting my personal growth, accomplishments, and commitment to giving back over the past three years. This award speaks volumes to me, highlighting every connection I have made and the growth I have experienced with fellow youths along the way.

    Currently, I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science with an Honors Specialization in Biochemistry and Genetics at Western University. Alongside my studies, I am an emergency first responder for the Student Emergency Response Team (SERT) and serve as the president of FRESH, a peer-educated nutrition club on campus.

    Beyond academics and leadership roles, I enjoy going for walks outdoors, hanging out with my friends and family, and baking for others. I am super excited for a second summer with DTBY and look forward to everything to come.

    2022-Present

    Youth Group Mentors

    Miranda Ayim

    youth group mentor

    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

    youth group mentor

    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

    youth group mentor

    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.

    Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much – helen keller

    CYC embraces the movement of purpose, authenticity, and most importantly, peer mentorship. We are stronger together!!!

    “Paying forward the action of giving back creates a chain effect that lasts a lifetime. All you have to do is create the first link” dtby mentee

    who we are

    board of directors

    Brittany Phillips

    chairperson

    Brittany Phillips Bio

    Brittany Phillips is a passionate marketing and communications professional. She serves as the Marketing and Digital Media Manager at SB Partners, a regional accounting and business advisory firm located in Burlington.

    Brittany employs a “human first” approach to her career and is a strong advocate of community because when the community thrives, we all succeed!

    Karl Wulf

    co-chairperson

    Christian Mukendi

    secretary/treasurer

      Kyla Devereaux

      governance

      Kyla Devereaux Bio

      Kyla Devereaux has spent her career working in Global Learning and Human Resources developing and implementing programs to support a great employee experience and exceptional service culture in recognizable brands such as Fairmont, Accor Hotels and most currently Scotiabank. Kyla has a passion for learning & leadership, loves to see others grow and develop. Kyla resides in Oakville with her husband and 2 kids.

      Zakia Jamal

      governance

      Megg Markettos

      Megg Markettos Bio

      Megg comes to DTBY with over 25 years of professional experience in various sectors and with various forms of philanthropic giving and corporate partnership work, sales and marketing. Her degree in Behavioural Science coupled with her passion for community lends itself to a focus on organizations that have people and community at the core. Megg wishes to drive forward with strategic fundraising plans, and a broader scope for DTBY moving forward.

      The mother of four girls in their teen years, giving back, modeling volunteerism, and sharing experiences beyond their immediate scope are further important reasons why Megg is looking to make a difference as a Board Director with DTBY. Megg also serves on other boards that have a community initiative while she works full time and raises her children.

      Scott Wodhams

      Scott Wodhams Bio

      Scott is a lawyer at Stoner & Company Family Law who grew up in the Burlington community. Scott received his Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2021. In law school, Scott was involved with the mooting program, the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights and Downtown Legal Services. Prior to law school, Scott received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where he was significantly involved with the start-up community. In his free time, Scott enjoys documentaries, reality TV shows such as Survivor and Deal or No Deal Island, and playing and watching sports, in particular hockey and soccer.

      Wendy S Andrushko

      Wendy S Andrushko Bio

      Wendy has spent her career working in customer facing, commercial roles at DuPont. She is an experienced leader with expertise in people management, business management, growth, and strategic alignment. Skilled in industrial products, M&A, sustainability, talent development, and diversity & inclusion. She is passionate about delivering results for customers and empowering people. She leverages thought leadership and collaboration to ensure every voice is heard and respected. Wendy resides in Burlington with her husband.

      CJ Hinds

      CJ Hinds Bio

      Hey, my name is CJ Hinds. I enjoy long walks on the beach and, truthfully, I’m a kid at heart. My background consists of being a touring musician, playing with bands such as illScarlett, Darenots, and as a hired bass player for Walk Off The Earth. I have a passion for technology, creating and inventing concepts and ideas, as well as innovating. I currently work for a lighting production company that focuses on lighting solutions for film and television sets, concerts, music festivals, and corporate events.
      My most recent ventures include developing a mobile app and making promotional videos for real estate, home development, and local businesses using specialty cameras and drones for aerial videos. I enjoy collaborating, networking, and meeting new people with the same passions. My goal in life is to one day open a unique school for post-secondary education, teaching young adults life skills and how to pursue their passions.

      who we are

      founding trustees

      Bob Parker

      founding trustee

      Glenn Caldwell

      founding trustee