Berkha is a queer south asian that has come to consider the GTA home for the last 14 years. Most of their work has been focused on increasing services/programming for LGBTQ people, especially youth and people of colour, while creating spaces for building community.
Away from Youth Line, Berkha can be found working on community projects like a colour deep, the monthly QTBIPOC meetup in Mississauga or other short(er) term projects related to (queer, trans) BIPOC communities. Berkha is really excited by web/online technologies so is often trying to keep up with what’s new in social media or online tools, learn how to make websites or fake their way through a poster design.
Tamar is a queer-as-can-be POC with ancestors from the Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Nevis as well as the Scottish lowlands. They move through the world with a keen passion for social justice and equity work, advocacy for people of colour and youth, and radical community-building. This Aries is so excited to be a part of the Youthline, and can be found finding creative new ways to decorate Outreach tables and dreaming up incredible workshops for LGBT youth!
Naomi is a Black queer cis girl hailing from the Blackberry heartland. She has strong opinions on Nicki Minaj (do I wanna be her or marry her?), orange juice (Tropicana or bust), and a myriad of other topics.Catch her at your local queer dance party discussing race theory over the music.
As a queer person committed to access and equity, Tanya is honoured to join Youth Line as the Fundraising Coordinator. Previously at Access Alliance, and working with various arts organizations, Tanya has extensive grant writing and networking experience. Tanya is working to improve Youth Line’s communications with donors and members, so expect to connect with Tanya to talk about the amazing work that LGBT Youth Line does and share your financial gratitude! Tanya also loves rainbows, poetry, cats, crayons and kids.
The Youth Line has four brilliant and talented shift supervisors. These folks listen to and support the volunteers who answer calls, texts, e-mails, and messages from Ontario’s youth. Their work is extremely valuable and appreciated. Without them, we couldn’t do what we do!
Youth Line has around 60 volunteers who range between 14-26 years of age. They go through an intensive 36-hour training program to be able to staff the lines. Our volunteers bring with them diverse experiences and knowledge of LGBT issues and much more These folks are really the heart and soul of our program, staffing the lines every Sunday-Friday, rain or shine. Volunteers bring so much to every call, but also to each other and to the organization. We wouldn’t be where we are without the amazing work of our volunteers. Thanks folks!
Adriana Chang has been a member of the Youth Line Board since September 2015. She is a self-described nerd that likes pop culture, research, politics, music, playing guitar and ukulele, singing, karaoke, dancing, and checking out queer dance parties. Adriana currently works at the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, where she works on housing and homelessness prevention program development and analysis. When she’s not working or board membering with Youth Line, Adriana also runs a queer and trans dance club that offers classes in salsa, west coast swing, and hip hop.
Adriana grew up in Vancouver, BC and made the move to Toronto about 10 years ago. She still misses the mountains.
Saira’s areas of expertise include marketing, communications, design, and hacking policy and organizational solutions. She is interested in applying lean start-up strategies to tackle resource and outreach challenges for community organizations seeking social change; and equally passionate about challenging socioeconomic and institutional barriers that affect visible/ invisible minorities and marginalized people.Saira currently leads the marcomm team for one of North America’s leading consultancies for building and infrastructure projects. In addition to being a board member for the LGBT Youth Line, she is also a content strategist for TechGirls Canada, an organization focused on mobilizing and amplifying support for women in STEM fields.
Amy is a member of Youth Line’s Board of Directors and sits on the Policy and Finance Committees. She completed her B.A. in History and M.A. in Gender Studies and Feminist Research at McMaster University and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Gender, Feminist, & Women’s Studies at York University. She has also been involved in LGBTQ community-building work for the past few years, helping to organize social and support groups, an anti-racist LGBTQ book club, and an anti-gentrification queer zine project.
Jeff Cooke is a former peer support volunteer and Board of Directors member from 2011-2015. Jeff has performed a variety of different roles such as serving as Co-Chair from 2012-2013 as well as Chair of the Fundraising Committee and Marketing Committee. With an honours degree in business, Jeff pulls on his professional experience working within the field of marketing and advertising to lead branding, design and youth-focused campaigns/projects.Completed projects involve spearheading the redesign of the organizations website and rebranding as well as producing a fundraising initiative called ‘Axe Out Homophobia’ which pits advertising agencies across Toronto in a tournament of axe throwing. An avid supporter of Youth Line, Jeff has remained involved by acting as the Website Administrator and volunteering on the Fundraising Committee.