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Tropical Leaves

2023-24

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Michelle Zhang

President

Michelle Zhang, a grade 12 student at John Polanyi C,

is the President of TYEC. Spending their 4 years in high school with TYEC, Michelle has learned to grow alongside the Toronto Youth Environmental Council and hopes to continue to ignite the spark in youth activism. Michelle is a sucker for long walks in the park, soft jazz and a good book– their current favourite being Pride and Prejudice. Michelle takes heavy inspiration from their peers within TYEC, including eco-ambassadors and fellow executives. Michelle strives to continue to learn more about the intersection between social justice and environmentalism while raising awareness for environmental education. After TYEC, Michelle hopes to pursue environmental education in hopes of being part of the change for a more green future. Michelle is so excited for their 4th and final year with TYEC!

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Kathy Dong

Director of Communications 

Kathy Dong, a Grade 12 student at Victoria Park CI,

is the Director of Communications at TYEC. Having been part of environmental initiatives at school since Grade 7, Kathy has been constantly empowered by the knowledge, skills, and community she gained through environmental activism. Outside of academics and environmental activism, Kathy enjoys reading a good book (not the ones for English class), watching reality TV with family and having late-night-deep- philosophical convos with friends. She is super excited for her second year as part of this inspiring community of youth environmental leaders at TYEC and she is motivated to support this community.

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Olivia Huang

Director of Research and Development

Olivia Huang, a grade 12 student at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute,

is the Director of Research and Development at TYEC. She enjoys watching musicals, reading, and discovering new restaurants. In her free time, she can be found in the kitchen trying out new (and often toxic) cooking experiments. Whenever she can, she takes long hikes on nature trails. She aspires to raise awareness to the many pressing issues surrounding the environment. She also hopes to inspire others to take action and promote changes in the world.

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Anushka Kelkar 

Director of Media

Anushka Kelkar, a grade 11 student at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts,

is the director of Media at TYEC. She is inspired by the world around her, especially the nature that she is so appreciative to be a part of. She loves to create art inspired by the environment/themes of nature. She loves listening to music including Steve Lacy, and more recently, BADBADNOTGOOD. Along with that, she enjoys gardening! Giving and getting back from a garden is one of her greatest joys. Anushka is very excited to be a part of TYEC and hopes to empower youth to take action against environmental issues and make change!

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Kalashree Vyas

Vice President

Kalashree Vyas, a grade 11 student at Etobicoke School of the Arts,

 is the Vice-President of TYEC. There is nothing she loves more than the Earth, which is reflected in all of her work, especially at TYEC. Kalashree’s passion for environmentalism has been influenced by Hindu traditions of respect for the environment, as well as her belief in the importance of considering all perspectives. Kalashree advocates for an end to environmental racism and uses her work to empower young people like herself. On top of environmental science, the arts are extremely important to Kalashree. She believes art, especially music,  is an amazing outlet to inspire any kind of change. In her free time, you can find Kalashree sitting at her MIDI keyboard writing songs, baking fusion desserts in the kitchen, or taking a walk in a local green space. Kalashree is so grateful to be at TYEC for a third year!

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Charlotte Cichy

Director of Marketing

Charlotte Cichy, a grade 11 student at the Etobicoke School of the Arts,

is the Director of Marketing at TYEC. With her yearly goal of trying new things, Charlotte enjoys unique missions and hopes to discover even more interests and opportunities. When she isn’t crocheting, dancing,  or reading a good book, she loves to be outdoors in the fresh air. Beginning with her childhood fascination for rescuing worms, Charlotte takes joy in connecting with like-minded people about the environment, with hopes to reach an expansive and unique group of people. Excited for the next year, Charlotte hopes to collaborate with passionate individuals and create a lasting impact throughout the youth community with TYEC.

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Koshin Bathmax

Director of Finance

Koshin Bathmax is a grade 10 student at Earl Haig Secondary School,

is the Director of Finance for TYEC this year. He’s been inspired by cultural influences as well as innovative solutions to combat the climate crisis. By embracing all sides of environmentalism, he tries to find ways that his community and country is able to improve its infrastructure and prioritize climate action. Koshin believes that forms of art, in addition to the sciences and activism, are a powerful tool for sustainability and social change. During his free time, he’s always trying to learn a new language (currently French), at the gym, or searching for new flights around the world. Koshin is excited for his second year at TYEC and where it takes him!

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Audy Noor

Events Coordinator

Audy Noor, a grade 12 student at Agincourt Collegiate Institute,

is the Director of Events at TYEC. Her strong passion for solving environmental-related issues from a young age has blossomed into one that seeks to achieve environmental justice for both people and the planet. When she isn’t chipping away at the next scholarship application, you can find Audy sitting on the edge of her bed writing in her journal or keeping up her Duolingo streak. As an aspiring urban designer, Audy also finds herself doodling on the edges of her school worksheets and going on walks around her community to subconsciously analyze its urban planning elements. Audy is eager to contribute to meaningful change alongside like-minded peers through her involvement at TYEC.

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2022-23

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Stephanie Yan

President

Stephanie Yan, a Grade 12 student at Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute,

is the President of TYEC. She enjoys living a simple, yet fulfilling life through her personal core values of growth, connection and love, passion, contentment, and sustainability. In her free time, she tends to find a comfy spot wrapped in a blanket to read, binge youtube, or take a good ol' nap. When she can, Stephanie finds joy in swimming long distances to clear her mind and going to Wonderland to experience the thrill of the Leviathan, Behemoth and many other rides. In the future, she hopes to pursue an education in environmental engineering/sciences to bridge the gap between activism and pure scientific analysis. Throughout it all, her goal is to connect with like-minded people, spark meaningful conversations and generate actionable change guided by her passions.

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Kathy Dong

Director of Media

Kathy Dong, a Grade 11 student at Victoria Park CI,

is the Director of Media at TYEC. Having been part of environmental initiatives at school since Grade 7, Kathy has been constantly empowered by the knowledge, skills, and community she gained through environmental activism. Outside of academics and environmental activism, Kathy enjoys reading a good book (not the ones for English class), watching reality TV with family and having late-night-deep- philosophical convos with friends. She is super excited to be part of an inspiring community of youth environmental leaders at TYEC and she is motivated to support this community.

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Olivia Huang

Director of External Affairs

Olivia Huang, a grade 11 student at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute,

is the Director of External Affairs at TYEC. She enjoys watching musicals, reading, and discovering new restaurants. In her free time, she can be found in the kitchen trying out new (and often toxic) cooking experiments. Whenever she can, she takes long hikes on nature trails. She aspires to raise awareness to the many pressing issues surrounding the environment. She also hopes to inspire others to take action and promote changes in the world. 

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Kalashree Vyas

Director of Research and Development

Kalashree Vyas, a grade 10 student at Etobicoke School of the Arts,

is Director of Research at TYEC. There is nothing she loves more than the Earth, which is reflected in all of her work, especially at TYEC. Kalashree’s passion for environmentalism has been influenced by Hindu traditions of respect for the environment, as well as her belief in the importance of considering all perspectives. Kalashree advocates for an end to environmental racism and uses her research to empower young people like herself. On top of environmental science, the arts are extremely important to Kalashree. She believes art, especially music,  is an amazing outlet to inspire any kind of change. In her free time, you can find Kalashree sitting at her MIDI keyboard writing songs, baking fusion desserts in the kitchen, or taking a walk in a local green space. Kalashree is super excited for her future with TYEC!

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Rinelle Francisco

Vice President

Rinelle Francisco, a Grade 12 student at Jarvis CI,

is the Vice President of TYEC. She takes pride in her most listened to artist on Spotify: Beabadoobee. When she’s not playing volleyball, you’ll catch her on her phone looking for a place to eat. She’s a firm believer that restaurants are only as good as their appetizers. Over the course of the next year, Rinelle hopes to make a lasting impact with TYEC by confronting issues head-on and transforming them into opportunities for youth to take action and become ambassadors for the issues that matter to them.

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Milan Dechêne

Director of Marketing

Milan Miville-Dechene, a grade 12 student at the Etobicoke School of the Arts,

is the Director of Marketing at TYEC. He enjoys crafting musical soundtracks to his life and collecting vinyl records. When he isn’t listening to music, you’ll find him playing instruments, creating videos on his laptop, and practising his hand-lettering skills. Milan is interested in the use of media arts for environmental advocacy, and is inspired by young creatives connecting these two fields to forge their own paths. In addition to environmentalism, Milan is passionate about Musical Theatre performance, as well as studying and teaching the French language and its global societies. Through education, media projects, and the arts, he hopes to inspire young students to identify what makes them unique, and develop it into passions of their own.

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Koshin Bathmax

Director of Finance

Koshin Bathmax is a grade 9 student at Earl Haig Secondary School.

His passion for the environment formed at the start of the pandemic when he began a social justice group at school with his friends. Through this community, he learned to celebrate global diversity and fight various social issues, though the climate crisis always stood out to him. As of now, he has strong interests in eco-technologies, indigenous environmentalism, and everyday sustainability. Besides this, Koshin enjoys a balance between the arts and academics in his day-to-day life, enjoying acting on set one day and learning about a country’s history the next. He believes that this mix supports a creative and analytical balance to solve the problems he encounters. In his spare time, Koshin treasures his book collection, tv shows and any new experiences he may have. At TYEC he hopes to showcase his elated personality when working with external connections, fellow execs, and eco ambassadors, all to support his environmental impact now and in the years to come.

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Michelle Zhang

Events Coordinator

Michelle Zhang, a grade 11 student at John Polanyi CI,

is the Events Coordinator at TYEC. Michelle is a huge fan of reading cookbooks, reworking their Spotify playlists, and showing off their newly polished album collection! When Michelle isn’t napping with their cats, you can often find them cozied up under a blanket, watching the most recent video essays available or even a random nature documentary. In addition to her love for the environment, Michelle aspires to seek out new and innovative methods to empower youth in being part of the conversation of environmentalism in order to bring further awareness and action towards making a change.

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