We are looking for new members to join our Youth Advisory Council (YAC)!

Do you know someone who:

  • Is between the ages of 14-24
  • Lives in Peel Region (Brampton, Caledon or Mississauga)
  • Is passionate about making things better for young people in Peel, is ready to contribute and wants to take on a leadership role
  • Can commit to a meaningful volunteer opportunity that offers skill-building and professional development

Encourage them to apply for a position on the PCYI Youth Advisory Council.

The Council gives input to the Peel Children and Youth Initiative and makes recommendations to inform priorities and work. They take the lead on consulting their peers, and also run their own initiatives for youth in Peel based on what they think is important and what they would like to get some experience working on.

“We are in place to make sure that the organizations offering programs and services for youth actually hear from youth.”

We review applications not only on merit, but also with the lens of ensuring our Youth Advisory Council members are a diverse cross-section of Peel’s youth population. To apply, submit this form. For any questions, contact Tobi Ajibolade, Youth Engagement Coordinator, at [email protected].

Welcome Tobi Ajibolade, PCYI’s new Youth Engagement Coordinator

Tobi AjiboladePlease join us in welcoming Tobi Ajibolade to the PCYI team. Tobi has joined us as our Youth Engagement Coordinator.

Tobi is a passionate social service and youth worker, with strong leadership, counselling skills and extensive experience working with marginalized youth. Since graduating from Wilfrid Laurier with an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree, Tobi has lent his unique blend of experiences and passion for youth to organizations, including the Beating The Odds Conference in Kitchener-Waterloo, the Youthdale Treatment Centres, the Wilfrid Laurier Diversity Office and Brampton’s Who’s Up Next Movement. Tobi has mentored and trained youth, supporting them in their career aspirations, and creating programming for a diverse youth population.

In addition to holding a BA, Tobi has completed the Introduction to Narrative Therapy Certificate at the Narrative Therapy Institute, the Conflict Resolution Certificate at the Crisis Prevention Institute and the Intercultural Effectiveness Certificate at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Outside of his work endeavors, Tobi’s passions include songwriting, mindfulness meditation and empowering others to achieve their goals. He looks forward to working with PCYI’s Youth Advisory Council, as well as all of our partners across Peel Region. Please join us in welcoming Tobi! He can be reached at [email protected] or 289-201-1099 ext. 405.

Annual Collaborative State of Mind Conference – “Starting With The ‘Self’: Self-Regulation For The Adults Who Care For Children & Youth”- Wednesday, April 27th at the Mississauga Grand

Is it that time of year again already!? Spring has almost sprung and following suit, tickets to the sixth annual Collaborative State of Mind conference have almost sold out.

If you haven’t bought yours yet and work with children or youth in any capacity and would like to hear renowned speakers Dr. Stuart Shanker, Dr. Brenda Smith-Chant and Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo share their expertise on self-regulation for the adults who care for children and youth (that’s you!), we hope to see you there.

Register here: http://bit.do/bKVsX DPCDSB or contact [email protected] or 905-507-9360 x 302 with any questions


Welcome, Denise De Campos, PCYI’s new Community Planner!

Denise DeCampos October 2015 2I’m happy to announce that Denise De Campos will be joining the PCYI team in the role of Community Planner, effective October 13, 2015. Please join us in welcoming her to our community!Denise comes to us with a superb skill set that we feel is a perfect match for our organization and this role in particular.  She brings eight years’ experience in community health planning, including supporting the work of community planning tables, and ten years’ experience leading and managing community, regional and provincial-level projects and programs. Prior to joining PCYI, Denise has represented the Region of Peel Public Health Unit, Heart & Stroke Foundation and Canadian Diabetes Association at 40+ community planning tables. She has worked on campaigns that contributed to policy change, government funding commitments and new programs, including a multi-year funding commitment from the provincial government for diabetes; the passing of Making Healthier Choices Act 2015, restricting youth access to flavoured tobacco and e-cigarettes; and the establishment of Peel Region’s first-ever regional Public Access Defibrillator Program.

Denise is a Caledon-resident and an active community member, who has been a Crisis Line Counsellor at the Sexual Assault Rape Crisis Centre of Peel and an In-School Mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from York University and a Community Outreach and Development Diploma from Sheridan College. She looks forward to working with our partners in the Region of Peel in her new role as Community Planner. Denise can be reached starting Tuesday, October 13th at [email protected] or 289-628-1646 ext. 413.
Graham Clyne, Executive Director
Peel Children and Youth Initiative


Comings & Goings at PCYI: Welcome Monica Valencia & Good Luck Cris Renna

monica-valencia-2015Fall is a time for new beginnings, and with that in mind, PCYI has two staff announcements to share.

We’re excited to announce that Monica Valencia has joined PCYI in the role of Success By 6 Manager, so please join us in giving Monica a warm, PCYI welcome. You can follow her on Twitter @MValencia_SB6

Monica’s work with children aged 0-6 is vast and varied, and we are looking forward to seeing her apply this incredible skill set at PCYI. She has on-the-ground experience working as a teacher and researcher, during which time she conducted a study with newcomer children in Peel to learn about their settlement experiences by giving them an opportunity to share their stories. This study was featured in The Toronto Star and was published in a book called Imaginative Inquiry: Innovative Approaches to Interdisciplinary Research. She has also worked as a consultant for CMAS, a non-profit organization that monitors and supports child care programs for children of newcomer parents. In previous roles she acted as a Knowledge Exchange Officer at the Centre of Excellence For Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS) at York University, and as Project Lead for the Regional Diversity Roundtable

Monica developed her strong project management and stakeholder engagement skills by leading and facilitating Peel’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter initiative, where she engaged stakeholders by organizing focus groups and community consultations in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga.

Monica is trilingual, holds a BA in Journalism, a Master’s Degree in Immigration and Settlement Studies, and most importantly, is passionate about the well-being of children in Peel. She looks forward to working with our partners in the Region of Peel in her new role as Success By 6 Manager.

And for our second announcement, PCYI would like to bid a fond farewell to Cris Renna, Community Planner. Cris will be moving on to work with the City of Toronto as a Policy Development Officer. She will be missed here at PCYI, and we wish her the best of luck in her new role! Stay tuned for our announcement of PCYI’s new Community Planner in the coming weeks.

PCYI Executive Director Graham Clyne Talks: Introducing Self-Reg to Schools & Communities – What Are We Learning?

PCYI’s Executive Director Graham Clyne recently did a short video for Peersite, to outline four points from his keynote presentation at last month’s Self-Regulation Summer Symposium: expertise, fidelity, best practice and being receptive to critics of self-reg.

If you’re not yet familiar with the concept of self-regulation, self-regulation refers to the ability to monitor and control our own behaviour, emotions or thoughts, altering them in accordance with the demands of the situation.

Take a minute to take a closer look at self-regulation here.



PCYI is pleased to welcome Theresa Micallef to the role of Communications Manager on a one-year contract. Our current Communications Manager, Krista Murray, has headed off on maternity leave. Please join us in wishing Krista well on her new adventure!

tmicallefTheresa is a creative marketing & communications strategist with over ten years’ experience delivering ROI-driven campaigns.

With a diverse consulting background in both Canadian and U.S. Public Relations environments, Theresa brings a unique understanding of various industries and a collaborative business development approach in helping shape future successes. Her latest role, as Director of tenfour Communications, she led her team to develop strategies for a range of clients in areas including non-profit, consumer, corporate, retail and entertainment sectors. Clients have included Amnesty International, The MuchMusic Video Awards (MMVAs), Girls Who Believe Fest and The 411 Initiative For Change.

Prior to tenfour, Theresa led a team at The MuseBox in New York City, and worked as a media relations consultant at Fontana North where she assisted in developing marketing & communications plans for a variety of brands.

Committed to lifelong learning, growth and improvement, with a strong desire to affect positive social change, Theresa’s areas of focus include children and youth, community, arts & culture and mental health. Theresa attended York University and holds an Honours Public Relations Diploma from Humber College.

Theresa looks forward to working with our partners over the next year. Please join us in welcoming her!

Taking action against bullying: a Peel teen shares her story

The following a guest post by youth kindness and anti-bullying advocate, Simrat Heer. 

My name is Simrat Heer, I am 17 years old, and I am a survivor of bullying and an anti-bullying activist. I was eleven when I was first told that I was not pretty enough to have friends at school. At this time, I was living in England, the country I was born in. I suffered for years with the side effects of bullying. I was constantly reminded by myself as well as others, including my friends, that I was not good enough. Whenever people would say unkind comments to me, it chipped at my confidence until it wasn’t present. I began to see myself as the names I was known for. Having friends never came easy to me since.

Simrat with Molly Thompson and Lauren Paul, Kind Campaign co-founders
Simrat with Molly Thompson and Lauren Paul, Kind Campaign co-founders

I moved to Canada in 2011. In 2014, I won a competition to get a girl-against-girl anti- bullying campaign to come to my school, Kind Campaign. I had the opportunity to speak at this event and host this assembly in front of 500 female students. After this assembly, I had groups of girls telling me that this had impacted them immensely. It was that day that I decided that I wanted to make a difference to girls’, as well as boys’, lives. I was going to use my years of suffering positively. That is how I have spoken twice for Peel Children’s Centre and have three more events outstanding with them.

It is my hope that I can start up my own campaign for anti-bullying and speak with people all around the world to tell them there is hope. I could never see the end of the tunnel at the time, but now, if I could go back in time and tell my younger self one thing, it would be that high school was not going to be the end of my life. I thought it was at the time but I am typing this message, positively and with my head held high, hoping that victims of bullying and depression know that there is a future. I hope to continue on with speaking to people around the world, including Peel Children’s Centre, about my journey, how being kind is always the best option, and being the up-stander instead of the bystander.

‘For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with knowledge that you are never alone’ – Audrey Hepburn

Simrat Heer just completed grade 11 at Streetsville Secondary School in Mississauga. She is a local ambassador for Kind Campaign, a global initiative to end girl on girl bullying. Simrat has been speaking to her peers about personal her experience with bullying and the steps she has taken to overcome the effects of bullying to inspire others. Simrat is interested in speaking engagements and can be reached at [email protected]

A poem Simrat's first true friend sent her while she was overcoming her challenges with bullying
A poem Simrat’s first true friend sent her while she was overcoming her challenges with bullying