KYWANA BONAPARTE

CO-FOUNDER YOUTH ADVISORY LEAD

Kywana Bonaparte is a graduate student in Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of British Columbia. She completed her Bachelor of Biological Sciences with Distinction at the University of Calgary, in her hometown. During her academic pursuit as a first-generation Canadian of Jamaican and Grenadian heritage, she encountered countless systematic racism incidences in the education system. This motivated her involvement in organizations that focused on helping minority youths navigate in academic settings. Her seven years of volunteering experience at the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society tutoring immigrant youth in all academic subjects has made her more conscious of the challenges faced by minority groups in the educational system. During her tenure, she was involved in coordinating events that celebrated and fostered the expression of cultural acceptance. She also acted as a mentor to many individuals, providing advice on post-secondary education. She is eager to share her knowledge and experiences to help others reach academic success and overcome adversities.

YASMIN T. POPOOLA

LEAD YOUTH AMBASSADOR

As the child of immigrants experiencing life in a western country, I have faced my fair share of difficulties. From subtle forms of prejudice to being blatantly denied opportunities due to my race, I have had to find a way to respond to the obstacles placed in my path. I’d walk into school and be greeted by slurs and would be told to “deal with it” because ignorance is a consequence of youth. But I never understood why I was being forced to endure ridicule and hatred. Facing issues related to your race can be difficult when there is no one to talk to, and I hope to be a guide for younger children and teens just like me, who need a community of people like them to listen and show them that they are more than just their colour. Now more than ever, young people of colour need to be uplifted, and I hope to be a force in young black students’ progression and advancement. I have gone through years of school where I felt isolated and rejected by my white counterparts, and through this program, I could ensure that all the participants are equally connected. I am currently involved in many other programs geared towards encouraging equality such as, The Pen and Paper Foundation, which is devoted to providing accessible education to disadvantaged communities internationally, and the Nigerian Canadian Association of Calgary. This organization encourages Nigerian culture in Canada. In more recent years, I have found a community that has lifted me up and given me every opportunity to achieve success, and I plan to do my part in ensuring that all children can realize their potential.

HEBAH ADELADAN

AMBASSADOR/YOUTH LIAISON

Brought here at a young age, Hebah Adeladan was a child unknown to culture shock. She never noticed microaggressions and believed that everyone was equal regardless of their features. It took a long time for her to get as comfortable with herself as she is today. If she had an organization like RYP to confide in and support her as she matured, self-acceptance would’ve been a familiar word. It is hard to find projects that uplift African descendants, and Hebah knows this because she’s tried before. Volunteering with the Yoruba Foundation of Calgary opened her eyes to her heritage and how rich Nigeria is in its totality. Realize Your Potential does that for the entire Black diaspora and enhances the sense of belonging.

DESIREE HENRY

FOUNDER, MANAGER, PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Desiree Henry is an individual passionate about mental health and community engagement. Her diverse educational background in Television Broadcasting, entrepreneurial experiences, and Mental Wellness Coaching allow her to lead our Youth program with tenacity. Desiree sustained various roles with Canadian companies to assist in their growth and supporting youth programs for different Not for Profit groups. Desiree’s passions are with serving her community and creating constructive and accessible spaces for black youth. In her current role as Programs Manager at Realize Your Potential Youth Society. she oversees the effective planning and implementation of the NewLife Youth ReGeneration Programs. Desiree is also the Co-Founder of the original 2013 RYP Dreamers Program.

KRISHA FRANKLYN

CO-FOUNDER MANAGER, CURRICULUM SECTOR LEADERSHIP

Krisha has been teaching in the Calgary Board of Education Public Schools for nine years. During that time, she has had amazing opportunities building meaningful and impactful relationships with a diverse array of students, parents and staff members. Her experiences with team teaching and looping in Division 2, and her willingness to provide engaging, personalized, and discipline-based inquiry learning opportunities for all learners are a few of the accomplishments she has achieved during her time as a teacher.

Prior to obtaining her undergraduate, Krisha completed the Early Childhood Care and Education diploma program from Mount Royal College, which is now known as Mount Royal University. While attending Mount Royal, she also completed several psychology courses and received her minor in Psychology. In 2010 Krisha was awarded her Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta.

Upon receiving her teaching degree, she spent several years volunteering with a variety of programs and working with students with varying learning needs. When hired by the Calgary Board of Education to be an Elementary Generalist, Krisha began teaching in the primary grades at Falconridge Elementary School. After spending six years working with under-privileged children in Kindergarten and grades five and six, most of whom were English Language Learners, Krisha moved on to teach at George Stanley Middle School, where she taught grade seven, and where she’s currently teaching grade eight Math and Science.

Krisha’s experiences in education have shaped her pedagogy and belief in the absolute importance of relationships to student success, achievement, and happiness. It is her belief that there can be no significant learning in the absence of significant relationships. She believes that students need to feel cared for, successful, safe and respected for each to take ownership over their learning, take risks, identify and solve problems, and form meaningful relationships with peers and adults alike. She is a firm believer that communication is likewise imperative to a successful learning environment as children need to know what they are trying to accomplish and what they are doing right, in order to identify their next steps in learning. This balance of strong relationships and pedagogical rigor is one in which Krisha’s students have always found a safe place to take risks, explore new ideas, and re-examine old ones. Students in her classroom encounter deep, meaningful and engaging tasks and discussions around discipline-based inquiries that are personally relevant, current, and thoughtfully created. Through opportunities for collaborative learning experiences combined with formative assessment practices, her students actively work toward achieving personalized learning goals, with clear expectations for excellence in achievement. With having such strong beliefs about education, Krisha is very excited to be an Advisory Board Member for the Realize Your Potential Youth Society of Alberta, where she will have an opportunity to work with other professionals to empower black youths to be future leaders.

As mother of two young girls aged three and five, this opportunity allows Krisha to pave the way for a brighter future for not only her own children, but for children in the community.

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

GRACE POTTINGER

CO-FOUNDER SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP ORGANIZATION OUTREACH

Grace is a long-time community leader. Grace’s generosity of spirit and tireless advocacy for black children illustrate the principles she held dear. Grace serves her community with humility and compassion, and In leadership, she represents traditional values with a quiet dignity that earned her the community’s respect. Her most noticeable contributions included playing key leadership roles in many organizations, such as the Jamaican Association of Northern Alberta. Grace was one of the Black Achievement Awards’ co-founders and was instrumental in the planning and successful execution of the Edmonton awards program. The Organization sought her wisdom and guidance daily.

TYRRELL CORNWALL

CO-FOUNDER, BUSINESS OPERATION CONSULTANT

Tyrrell Cornwall is an accomplished technology and business leader with over 20 years of experience in executive management. Tyrrell prides himself on investing in effective activities in the community and mentoring young people to excel at their chosen profession or endeavour. Tyrrell believes that young people have so much more to offer than they are allowed to show. Exposing young people to new possibilities and opportunities will shape their views and positively impact their aspirations. He has demonstrated a genuine interest in promoting the community’s well-being, emphasizing young people through his deeds over the years, retaining the same energy level, and burning passion for their progress and development.

EDNA CORNWALL SHADD

CO-FOUNDER MANAGER, WELLNESS SECTOR LEADERSHIP

Passionate changemaker focused on amplifying the excellence within youth. Edna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work along with a Diploma as a Developmental Services Worker..

For the last 30 years, Edna has worked in the mental health field with consumers aged 16 and up. Presently in her role as Mental Health Care Coordinator, she works closely with a psychiatrist and other healthcare practitioners. She provides counseling support, facilitates groups, completes assessments, and plays a lead role in running the psychiatric clinic. Edna’s interest centers around education and training, and her greatest joy is helping others to see the value in themselves and achieve the goals they have set for themselves.

STEVE SHAKES

CO-FOUNDER MANAGER, FINANCIAL LITERACY SECTOR LEADERSHIP

A knowledgeable professional with 20 years of experience in stock investment, saving and budgeting. Through a multi-dimensional learning experience, he has supplied one on one coaching in addition to developing, counselling, mentoring as well as conducting investment education classes and workshops for beginners of all ages.

Steve believes access to opportunity is the most impactful way to help the youth to expand their perspective about money and create new financial possibilities.

Steve is passionate about self development which has led to him coaching and mentoring within his community. He has co-founded a leadership group that has implemented workshops at local community centres across the Toronto GTA area which focuses on instructing, and teaching individuals how to make, save, and invest money in the stock market.

He volunteers as a Black Belt Martial Arts instructor for students of all ages.

He has recently obtained a Certificate in Adult Education and Staff Development from Seneca College in 2018.

JASMINE-ODETTE JEFFERIES

CO-FOUNDER COMMUNITY RELATIONS

Jasmine-Odette is a 5 th Generation Black Canadian, born into a family with multi-cultural roots from Africa, the Caribbean, and Indigenous Peoples. Jasmine comes from a family with a long lineage dedicated to service by way of the military, volunteerism, mentorship, education, or through outreach. Jasmine believes by serving within a community, it helps to ensure the people in that community are supported and valued. We can all make a difference in changing and improving the lives of others.

As a descendant of the Black diaspora, the mission and vision of RYP Society is in full alignment with Jasmine’s personal beliefs and passion in helping people acquire knowledge and skills that aid in providing empowerment, equality and opportunities for excelling in all areas of Canadian society.

Jasmine’s credentials include a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, with a Psychology major and Sociology minor and certification in Adult Education. Her resulting career path has spanned various industries including Information Technology, Project Management, and Quality Assurance which has taken she around the globe. Currently, she is entering her 20 th year in the Financial Services industry and takes pride in providing Financial Advising to share her knowledge through financial literacy presentations, Preparatory Licensing instructor, Licensed Securities advising, Life Insurance advising, and providing mentorship to junior advisors.

Jasmine is looking forward to tapping into her business skills, education, lived experience and people centric solutions in advancing the RYP Society’s vision into the future.

JOVAN SHADD

CO-FOUNDER

Jovan holds a bachelor’s degree in English Rhetoric and Media Studies, an area they were drawn to explore the art of writing. While working with a Public Health Unit before their studies, they focused on smoking cessation with the youth. Within this role, they prepared speeches and participated in public talks. They also have an interest in mental wellness and had volunteered with an Early Psychosis Program. Jovan is very much interested in providing our youth with the support they need to reach their hopes and dreams.

ANTHONY HEADLEY

CO-FOUNDER MANAGER OF IT SUPPORT SERVICES

Civic duty is in Anthony's DNA. There are times when a single tragedy, set within a larger context, can profoundly impact the psyche of societies at large. Anthony shared the story in 2020 with our founder about a 15-year-old black girl who chose suicide over having to go to school another day and face the racial bullying and isolation she has been subjected to and Realize Your Potential Youth Society was created.