Meet the Staff

Youth Project Staff Team

Carmel (they/them) Executive Director and Support and Advocacy Coordinator

As the Support and Advocacy Coordinator, Carmel provides resources, referrals, and supportive counseling to youth and families. Counseling sessions may be conducted over the phone/skype, here at the Halifax office, or out in the community. You can book an appointment online with them at: Carmel comes to this work from a community education background and aims to work through an anti-racist and trauma-informed framework. They also collaborate and organize with local initiatives, artist-run-centres, and community partners with an aim to create wider 2SQTBIPOC community and support systems within the HRM. Carmel is also an experimental violinist/ noise maker, deep leo, lover of miniature pastries, art maker, avid bookworm.

Madonna (she/her) Cape Breton Education Coordinator

Madonna is a grassroots community organizer originally from New Waterford with a long history of activism and volunteerism.  She has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights and gender equality, the LGBTQ community and child poverty in Cape Breton.  Her passion for change has led her to be a candidate for the NDP in the last 2 provincial elections.  After 5 incredible years working for the Ally Centre of Cape Breton, Madonna is excited to join the Youth Project team and continue to fight for change on her island.  On a personal note, Madonna raised three sons on her own and is engaged to marry the woman she of her dreams.  She loves her dogs, endless cups of tea and watching Doctor Who.

Skye (she/her) Programming & Communications Coordinator

Born and raised in HRM, Skye has been involved with The Youth Project as a youth, volunteer, board member, and staff, since 2012. Outside of The YP she is a competitive chess player and also enjoys hanging out with her Pitbull (Odin).

Mateo (they/them) Creative Programming Facilitator

Teo Ferguson, a black non-binary individual with a fierce perspective on life and a firm stance in how they hold space for themselves and others. They can come off as intimidating as their passion for respect and justice for the underserved is high but their care and heart is open.
They help co-facilitate current creative programs at the YP and look to hopefully create more programs and opportunities for black queer youth and be a support that they can come to.

Tiana (she/her) French and English Community Educator

Tiana is a Brown French Lesbian, born and raised in Paris. She has a Master degree in Business and Marketing and a few years of experience working in that field has made it clear to her that the corporate life was not for her. She has traveled extensively before deciding to randomly come to Halifax in 2019. Tiana deals with anything French happening at the YP. When she is not educating folks on Gender or Sexuality, you can probably find her in a farm making cheese or charcuterie to be a full French stereotype or trying to express her feelings about life in deep conversations over wine or food.

Toby (he/him) Resource Development and Graphic Outreach

As Resource Development and Graphic Outreach, Tobias works alongside the programming and education teams to create visual adaptations of educational resources, including through illustration, typography, layout, and photo/video; and to promote programming through social media graphics. As a multiply-disabled trans person, Tobias approaches his creative work through a lens of disability justice, and through the Youth Project supports the creation of multi-format resources that work towards cross-disability access. Toby is also a printmaker, a comic writer, and a lover of extremely gay outfits.

Oliver (“Oli”) (they / he) Graphic Outreach Assistant

Oli is a queer, trans/non-binary artist & settler on the unceded territory of Kjipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki. Oliver has been involved with the Youth Project since their early teens and currently works as part of the Youth Project’s Graphics Team, contributing to social media posts, booklets and other visual resources. Aside from graphic work, Oliver also practices and studies art in his free time and enjoys combining this interest with his passion for community care. Oliver also enjoys playing video games, drag, drinking coffee and spending time with their partner and cat.

Calendula (she/her) BIPOC Support Services Educator

Calendula is a Two-Spirit, Non-Binary, L’nu & Nehiyaw educator from Sipekne’katik, Indian Brook Reservation. They are currently living and working in K’jipuktuk (Halifax) on the unceded/unsurrendered territory of Mi’kma’ki. Calen is now working at the Youth Project as the BIPOC Support Services Educator. Calen’s biggest passions include: practicing decolonial ways of teaching & holding space, uplifting young brilliance, coffee, and horror movies!

Rae (they/he) 2SLGBTQIA+ Housing Coordinator

Rae Paul (they/he) is a butch, trans and queer person of Indian-Chinese Guyanese and Sicilian descent. They are the 2SLGBTQIA+ Housing Coordinator for the Youth Project, where they work to connect youth with affirming and safer housing.
Born and raised in Tkaronto (Toronto), they completed their bachelor of social work at Toronto Metropolitan University in 2021. They have continued incorporating anti-oppressive and trauma informed approaches to youth work, primarily in sport and supportive housing.
They currently reside in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of Mi’kma’ki. Rae enjoys cooking for friends, growing veggies and flowers in their garden, playing hockey and going on hikes with their dog, Bauer.

Chris (she/her) Support Services Educator

Chris is a Trans Black activist and public speaker. She speaks and educates about her lived experience through her intersectionality . Chris works toward creating spaces for QTBIPOC people, as well as working with 2SLGBTIQIA+ youth to ensure those spaces will be upheld for years to come. Currently she is The Support Service Educator for The Youth Project. Chris also sits as the Vice Chair of Halifax Pride where she uses that platform to ensure equity for all of the the community ,while focusing on our marginalized and racialized communities .She is also known as her drag persona Elle Noir where she as fierce on stage as she is her activism.

Kate (she/her) PHAC Project Manager

Kate was born and raised in Kjipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki. Proudly African Nova Scotian and queer she studied Performance Acting at Ryerson University in Toronto, ON. At the end of 2016 Macdonald was fueled to challenge narratives that were being fueled by the election that year. So, she (co)Founded and Created The Magic Project. Which focuses on bringing marginalized brilliance to the forefront of social media using various forms of visual arts. Kate is a Community Facilitator, Programmer, Activist, Artist and Curator. She hopes to continue learning and co-ideating spaces, places and work that challenges the current systems and functions at large.
Macdonald has been long fascinated with all art forms she came across – always wishing to explore and understand more. Themes that especially interest Macdonald include themes of justice, healing, joy, magic, self, community, energy, shapes/movement, gender, the ocean, astrology, and ancestral connection/conversation.
Recently, Kate, Trayvone Clayton & DeRico Symonds created an African Nova Scotian community based, youth-led initiative called The Game Changers. Kate is very excited about her role at The Youth Project.
Kate also was selected for the Eye Level Artist in Residency 2021 and for the Bus Stop Writers’ Circle Grant 2021 which allows emerging writers to work on their craft and develop new ideas.

Hayden (they/them) Gender Affirming Items Coordinator
Hayden is a partially Deaf & Disabled person from Spryfield, Nova Scotia, where they grew up and first interacted with the Youth Project’s Connect the Dots program. They volunteered on the Youth Project’s Youth Board for four years before joining the staff team. At the YP, Hayden works to support 2SLGBTQ+ youth around the province by mailing out gender affirming items to those who cannot otherwise access them. Outside of the YP, Hayden enjoys bad horror movies, drinking too much coffee, and being tormented by their two cats (Swiffer and Joji).

Brody (she/her, they/them) Education Coordinator
Brody is a white settler, genderqueer trans woman who moved to Kjipuktuk (so called “Halifax, Nova Scotia”) from Kotequongong (so called “London, Ontario”) in 2018 to attend NSCAD University, where she is soon to receive her BA in Art History & Contemporary Culture with a concentration in art education and community-based art practises. With a passion for facilitation, education, and collaboration, Brody brings to The Youth Project a background in art education with queer and trans youth & elders across the maritime provinces. As a queer trans woman, she is passionate about community memory and queer/trans history, intergenerational spaces of learning, and creating environments for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth to thrive and become change makers in their communities.

Aron (they/them) GSA Coordinator
Aron is a Black, queer, trans, disabled person. Born and raised near Nogojiwanong (Peterborough, ON), they have been living in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) since 2018. Aron uses their free time for personal creative projects in a variety of mediums, from written word to sculpture. They have a keen interest in disability justice, as well as 70’s music and fashion. They are passionate about learning and appreciate that they have a chance to learn and connect with 2SLGBTQIA+ youth.

Jay (they/them) Community Educator (Cape Breton)

Jay is a two spirited mi’kmaq student, artist, activist, matriarch, and environmentalist. They are from Eskasoni, First Nation; Living on reserve for entirety of their life. They are in university part time in CBU’s Bachelor of Arts and Science in Environment concentrating on Mi’kmaq and Biology. They have experience in advocating for many different intersectional issues such as: Indigenous rights, MMIWM2S awareness, two spirits/queer identities, mental health awareness, rape culture, intergenerational trauma, decolonization, and more. They use their past trauma and hardships to try and help others heal by offering vulnerability and support.