Founded in 2014, Sustainable Youth Canada (SYC) is a 100% youth-led, federally registered non-profit organization with mission to unite every high school and university student across Canada through a common passion for sustainability. Since SYC’s founding 2 years ago, we have expanded to serve a network of 500+ members in 8+ affiliated regions across the nation, serving high school and university students across areas like Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, and Waterloo.
In the new millenium, sustainable development is becoming an increasingly important topic in our world, and it is up to our generation to take a stand for change. Believing in the power of unity, SYC was created to bring together and maximize the joint impact of thousands of separate local high school and university sustainability clubs, groups, and initiatives previously operating in segregation across the country, creating a shared identity and platform for exchange, dialogue and action. Before SYC’s founding, existing youth environmental and sustainability groups were scattered across the nation. Small, individual groups for sustainability operated largely unaware of each other, reinventing the wheel when holding events and initiatives. Here, individual student voices on the topic of sustainability risked being drowned out. Oftentimes, a student otherwise interested in getting involved with the sustainability movement was unsure of where to begin, and individuals furthermore lacked access to the full wealth of opportunities to get involved with sustainability in each region. The small sizes of environmental groups limited the scope of youth initiatives, and disadvantaged groups from potential opportunities to access and partner with NGOs and government agencies, closing off doors to creating large scale change at both the local and national level. All in all, youth across Canada lacked an empowering platform on which to share ideas, experiences, and unite in furthering the movement for sustainable development.
We are a rapidly expanding organization and movement brought together by a vision based on the twin pillars of Identity and Involvement. Through a growing network of affiliated regions across the nation, Sustainable Youth Canada aims to create a united, nationwide community of youth discussing and taking action for sustainable development. Our regional steering committees across Canada operate our own youth-led educational and hands-on initiatives while maintaining channels that connect our members with localized sustainability-focused opportunities in the regions. Acting as a unifying organization, SYC augments the power of individual students and groups to create change by providing shared tools that empower young people to lead local events, hands-on initiatives, and fundraisers in advancing environmental, social, and energy sustainability.
You can learn more about each region's latest activity by visiting the respective page in the navigation bar.
Are you ready to join young Canadians from coast to coast in taking action for a sustainable future? Get Involved Today!
Board of Directors
Our operations are driven by an active Board of Directors consisting of some of the premier youth leaders for sustinability in the nation. The regional directors meet monthly to strategize and share resources to strengthen the SYC community and mission. Each director oversees the operations of their SYC affiliated region, and ensures its smooth operation in organizing events and initiatives to promote sustainability from sea to sea.
Katia Forgues | Co-Directrice de Montréal
Katia Forgues, étudiante en sciences de l’environnement à l’Université McGill, s’intéresse au concept d’écosystème humain. C’est-à-dire l’impact des actions des humains sur leur environnement ainsi que l’influence de ce dernier sur la culture et l’identité humaine. Katia mène une vie qui reflète un désir de coexistence harmonieuse avec la nature, que ce soit par son choix de mode de transport actif, ou par les multiples plantes (comestibles!) qu’elle entretient chez elle. Enthousiasmée à l’idée de partager sa passion avec les autres, elle s’est impliquée dans le club vert de son école, a dirigé une recherche sur les espèces invasives et a fait du bénévolat dans sa communauté locale pour contrer l’insécurité alimentaire et l’injustice environnementale. De plus, elle travaille chez Parc Canada, où elle enseigne les rudiments du camping à des familles de nouveaux-arrivants. À ses yeux, nous disposons des outils nécessaires pour répondre aux enjeux environnementaux qui se présentent à nous; il ne manque que des esprits créatifs, prêts à s’unir pour repenser le monde. C’est ce qu’elle souhaite accomplir grâce à SYC. [See English Bio]
Shir Gruber | Co-Directrice de Montréal
Shir Gruber étudie en sciences pures et appliqués au collège Dawson à Montréal. À travers son intérêt dans gestion des ressources, elle souhaite réévaluer la relation de l’humanité avec son environnement et aider à construire une société qui travaille en harmonie avec la nature. La science lui a appris que nous vivons dans un écosystème où nos actions nous affectent les uns les autres. Sa priorité est d’être une force positive en éduquant les jeunes à atteindre leur plein potentiel. Elle souhaite les guider vers le développement durable en leur donnant l’opportunité de réaliser les projets qui leurs tiennent à cœur. À ce jour, elle est sur le comité exécutif du club vert de son école, une conférencière pour TEDx, une consultante en environnement pour l’association étudiante de Dawson et la fondatrice d’une série de conférences nommés GreenxTalks. Elle a aussi dirigé une étude sur la gestion des déchets de son école qui a eu des répercussions sur la politique de celle-ci. Elle est excitée de faire partie du développement de Sustainable Youth Canada au Québec. [See English Bio]
Emily Liu | Director of Ottawa and Ontario
Emily Liu is a Grade 12 student attending Lisgar Collegiate Institute in Ottawa, Ontario. She first tried her hand at environmental stewardship in Grade 3 when she initiated several playground cleanups during recess at her elementary school and has become a passionate advocate for sustainability in her community ever since. Now, as a finalist at innovation competitions and a dedicated researcher investigating diagnostic technologies and graphene-enhanced photovoltaic cells, Emily is bridging her scientific interests with her love for climate action as well. Emily is humbled and excited to expand the impact of the nation-wide organization of SYC even further and continue to bring fresh and engaging initiatives to the youth in the Ottawa region. As the Provincial Director of the newly instated Ontario branch as well, her aim is to encourage youth within her region, across her province, and around Canada to promote environmental awareness and explore their passion for climate change advocacy without boundaries. Emily greatly enjoys working with a team of spirited individuals and is honoured to be a part of a like-minded, determined community of youth. She aspires to further develop the link between her passion for innovation with her continual drive for the promotion of a green and sustainable future among a community of impassioned youth leaders.
Dana You | Director of Vancouver
Dana You is currently a Grade 11 student attending York House School. Discovering an affinity for environmental & sustainability causes in recent years, Dana constantly seeks the opportunity to advocate for such topics as well as simultaneously inspire others to become more involved within their community. Serving as both president & founder of the Civic Leadership Club at York House, she finds herself profoundly passionate about creating positive social change in her region by means of raising awareness around social justice, environmental issues, and other events concerning both the global and local community. Further, Dana’s participation in the Yale Young Global Scholars Sustainable Development & Social Entrepreneurship program this past summer largely sparked her passion and interest towards many of the environmental issues affecting our world today. Dana is honoured to be a part of the Sustainable Youth Canada team and is greatly anticipating the ability to promote and advocate for a greener, more sustainable future.
Amy Liou | Director of Waterloo
Amy Zi Xuan Liou is a current Environment and Resource Studies student at the University of Waterloo. Her motivation to engage in green initiatives was sparked one summer after visiting the Water Exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2011. Since then, Amy has led several initiatives, examples including petitions, writing, networking, eco-events and workshops. She is a natural eager learner and immerses herself in teamwork. Amy takes pride in the affiliated region of Waterloo. She believes in taking the ideas of youth and bringing them to life, which not only benefits communities but inspires youth to accomplish more. Learning happens outside the classroom, and Amy believes her peers should equally have this opportunity. Currently, Amy is discovering the importance of a plant-based diet for our health, the animals and the environment. Her interests include veganism and food security in the context of international development, agriculture and sustainability. Although she is no chef, she bakes delicious pineapple cake; if you become a member in the affiliated region of Waterloo, she just might bake you a patch!
Sukhcharhat Dhillon | Director of Winnipeg
Sukhcharhat is a grade 12 student at St. John’s Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg who has always been passionate about sustainability and taking care of the environment. In 2017, Sukhcharhat was introduced to SYC by a friend and decided to join as Partnership Chair. After an incredible experience, he is tremendously excited to return as 2018’s Regional Director! Sukhcharhat values the exposure one may gain from participating in every way possible within one’s community, so he does his best to remain engaged. In particular, this is why he is so proud to have joined the SYC Winnipeg Executive Team. Sukhcharhat strongly believes in the merit of understanding and appreciating sustainability as it has a direct impact on all citizens in Canada in their daily lives. Sukhcharhat is very interested in Politics and Law and aspires to one day represent Canada through the mechanisms of Diplomacy and International Relations, with Sustainability as a core focus behind his actions. Sukhcharhat looks forward to influencing and working with other individuals in Winnipeg who are ready to promote a more environmentally sustainable Winnipeg!
Raymond Wang | Advisor & Founder
Raymond is one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20, and an undergraduate at Harvard University. Since elementary school, he has been a strong advocate of sustainability, leading various campaigns and initiatives. Sustainable development and science are two of his strongest passions, because they allow him to apply his leadership, creativity, research, and problem solving abilities to tackle long standing problems with issues like energy and the environment. As he journeyed through his high school research career, meeting brilliant and motivated people through the Canada-Wide and International Science Fairs, he wanted to find a way to unite like-minded youth across the nation to actively advocate for sustainability, thus founding Sustainable Youth Canada. He is excited to be working with some of the brightest and most passionate youth across the nation to take action for a more sustainable future.
Rachel Jin | External Affairs Director
Rachel Jin is a third year undergraduate student in the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia. She has always had a strong motivation to engage in environmental sustainability and she is thrilled to be actively creating and connecting youth with environmental initiatives to make impactful change. As well, Rachel is highly involved in her community as a Fraser Health District Hospital Volunteer, Summer Camp Manager at St. Giles International, Senior Care Home Volunteer, and Debate and Public Speaking Mentor for high school students. She has developed strong leadership, problem solving, and communication skills through these experiences that she utilizes as the National External Affairs Director of SYC. Furthermore, Rachel is highly involved in debate and public speaking, earning awards on the regional, national, and international level. Notably, she won 2nd place at the HSBC National Public Speaking Competition and 2nd place at the Pan-American Debate Championships. Rachel is excited to work with bright and passionate youth across Canada, striving to expand projects and build partnerships to promote environmental and energy sustainability.
Madeleine Robitaille | French Resources Director
Madeleine Robitaille is a student at Centre scolaire de la Rive-Sud on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Since a young age, Madeleine has been interested in sustainability and the environment, and she has always been passionate about social issues. Madeleine has also always been interested in science, and she combines these interests to try to solve environmental problems. She has been to the Canada Wide Science Fair twice, both times with environmental studies, and she hopes to continue her research to help create a more sustainable future. As the vice-president of her school’s student council and a co-leader of the Youth in Action group, Madeleine is very involved with the student life at her school. She hopes to help the student population become more aware of environmental problems and how to solve them.