THE YOUTH LEAPS TEAM
Liban Abokor, Executive Director.
Liban Abokor brings over 15 years of experience and leadership from his previous roles in the public policy, healthcare, housing, philanthropy and social service sector. Various levels of government and industry partners often seek his expertise on various issues which include education reform, social innovation, philanthropy, civic engagement and youth involvement. Liban has previously advised on and contributed to creation of the Premiers Council on Youth Opportunities, Ontario's Youth Action Plan, Youth Opportunities Fund, Youth Employment Fund and Toronto Community Housing's Participatory Budgeting Process, among many others. Liban studied at York University to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and a Certificate in Social Work at the University of Toronto. Liban is also a committed and passionate volunteer having previously held roles as Board Director and Chair of the Granting Committee at the Laidlaw Foundation and Vice-Chair of the Board at Central Neighbourhood House. Most importantly, however, Liban is rumoured to be his mother's favourite child and claims to hold title as the "Raptors Biggest Fan".
Sam Tecle, PhD (C), Director of Programs and Services.
Sam Tecle has been a community worker and advocate for over 15 years. He has worked with the Jane and Finch Boys and Girls Club, Success Beyond Limits and now as Director of Research, Programs and Services at Youth LEAPS. He has worked in both traditional and alternative classrooms and always advocated for the tearing down of barriers racialized youth face in the education system. Sam has also spearheaded the first official program offered by the TDSB aimed to reintegrate youth who have had contact with the criminal justice system. In addition, Sam has been a commentator on youth issues, violence and police interactions in the Globe and Mail, CBC's Metro Morning and The Current. Sam is currently a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education at York University.
Adi Dasgupta, Program and Services Coordinator.
Adi Dasgupta is a brilliant and engaging educator. As a Programs and Services Coordinator, Adi's works with institutional and community-based education partners to develop high quality leads learning opportunities that help young people achieve their education goals. Adi is passionate about the utilization of culturally responsive and reflective curriculum, student-teacher designed learning tools and connecting classroom activities with community service. Born and raised in Scarborough, Adi's passion in community work and education was on display early on from his previous roles volunteering and working in summer camps and after school programs. Adi holds a Bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing, as well as a Bachelor's in Education. In his spare time, Adi enjoys reading, writing, and all things creative with an ever-curious head in the clouds.
Siham Rayale, PhD, Research Coordinator
Siham Rayale is a researcher specializing in qualitative research methods, program design and evaluation. She is a public speaker and frequently writes on issues relating to women, peace and security in the Horn of Africa. Siham has conducted research for UN agencies and INGOs. She has written op-eds for Open Democracy, LSE Africa and Oxfam blogs. Siham received her PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Her doctoral work focused on the use of Somaliland women’s narratives to impact the way we conceptualize political spaces and subjectivities. She received her M.A. from York University in International Development Studies, and her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto.
Abdi Aidid, JD, Special Projects Advisor
Abdi Aidid works on Special Projects for Youth LEAPS. Abdi has worked in a number of non-profit and local government roles, including for the New York City Department of Education, the Office of the Mayor of the City of Detroit, ACCESS Community Capital Fund and JUMP Math. Abdi received his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 2016.
Conrad Cumberbatch, Administration Coordinator.
Conrad Cumberbatch has held various positions within the public and private sector. His previous roles include Content Manager for an urban music magazine, Client Service Coordinator for a major retail company and an intern at the United Nations Association of Canada. Conrad is also an avid sports and music fan which means he can often be found cheering on our local sports heroes in the crowd or putting his karaoke skills on display in the audience listening to the hits from one his favourite artists. Conrad holds a Diploma in Business Marketing from Centennial College.
Jeremy Bennett, Youth Animator.
A former graduate of our Learn2Work Initiative, Jeremy Bennett joined our Youth LEAPS team as a Youth Animator. Jeremy is also a talented young musician, artist and savvy entrepreneur. He previously started a landscaping and lawn maintenance. When he's not running a successful small business, Jeremy is using his art to inspire hope and bring positive change to the lives of his peers, family and community, as well as his own.