Born out of 23+ years of experience working with young people to empower them to be agents of change, WE’s youth programs create a generation of active citizens who care and contribute to communities at home and abroad. We provide youth with the information, tools and support to make pro-social choices and become part of a movement aimed at systemic world-change.
As North America’s largest youth-serving organization, reaching over 3.8 million youth in 16,000 schools across North America and the UK, and inspiring tens of thousands of youth through annual, large-scale youth empowerment events, WE is well-positioned to bring this program into classrooms.
Lisa Pedrini has worked at HELP (Human Early Learning Partnership) as a National Scale-Out Project Manager. There, she helped launch the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI)—a self-report questionnaire completed by children in Grades 4 and 7 that asks them how they think and feel about their experience both in and outside of school—in Canada. Questions relate to areas of development that are strongly linked to well-being, health and academic achievement. Lisa has also held various roles in education, most recently as the Manager for Social Responsibility and Diversity for the Vancouver School District.
Leysa Cerswell Kielburger is a community-based mental health care advocate and doctoral candidate in clinical psychology. Leysa is the Partnership Lead of Community Programs at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, as well as an advisor to the WE Well-being program. Leysa focuses on building integrative mental health care networks in Parkdale and Regent Park in Toronto; the development and evaluation of culturally adapted mindfulness-based interventions; and training students, educators, and health care workers in North America, Southeast Asia and East Africa.
Safe Schools Coordinator in Coquitlam, BC, Marna MacMillan is a leader in social and emotional learning, curriculum and safe schools. A teacher for the past 28 years, she coordinates implementation of both the Grade 4 and 7 Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI), a self-report questionnaire completed by children in Grades 4 and 7 that asks them how they think and feel about their experience both in and outside of school. Questions relate to areas of development that are strongly linked to well-being, health and academic achievement.
Primary Author, WE Well-being Primary author for the Hawn Foundation’s MindUPTM program (www.mindup.org) and Committee for Children’s Mind Yeti mindfulness-based digital application (www.mindyeti.com), Molly Stewart Lawlor, M.A., Ph.D. candidate, has expertise in social and emotional development throughout childhood and adolescence. Her research includes the investigation of mindfulness and psychological adjustment in children and adolescents, and evaluations of social-emotional learning programs for children and adolescents in school settings. Molly has expertise in program development, specifically social emotional learning (SEL) programming and mindfulness-based curricula. She is the Director of Education and Research for Playing Forward, and developer of the Taxi Dog Social Emotional Learning Program (http://taxidogedu.org).
Jenny Mitchell believes that wellbeing is foundational to learning and uses this lens first and foremost as an educator, coach and community member. She is a Physical and Health Educator with over 10 years of working and learning alongside students and educators, currently teaching at the secondary school level. She also holds the role of health promoting school coordinator where she works to foster a culture of wellbeing at all levels through her influence in district led initiatives and everyday practices in school communities. She supports educators through mentorship and encourages youth lead action in wellbeing. Jenny holds bachelor’s degrees in Human Kinetics and Education, as well as a master’s degree in Athletic Leadership.
Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health and Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Mental Health Policy and Training at Dalhousie University, Dr. Stan Kutcher is a renowned expert in adolescent mental health and a leader in mental health research.
An award-winning television producer and interviewer, Maria has moderated many events featuring widely recognized leaders, including the Dalai Lama. Maria holds a M.Ed. with an emphasis on Social and Emotional Learning and is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC.