Role: Cofounder & Director
Vent Over Tea is a nonprofit organization that connects people who need to talk to a volunteer listener. The meetings are free, confidential and take place in local cafés around the city.
Our mission is to offer a casual and accessible platform that promotes connection and community cohesion through the power of conversation.
Vent Over Tea is currently active in Montreal and is projected to grow to other cities late 2017.
Role: Co-creator and co-facilitator
Social Skills Program for Teens was an eight-week workshop series specifically designed for teenagers who experience social anxiety, low self-esteem or have trouble communicating or understanding social cues.
The workshops were designed to open space for teenagers to feel vulnerable but safe in a supportive and structured social learning environment. Learning opportunities came both from the content of the workshops and from the weekly interactions and relationships built between participants. Each workshop consisted of exercises, discussions, scenarios as well as "Real World Homework" which gave chance to participants to take positive social risks (i.e. starting a conversation with someone at school) and return the following week to share and receive feedback.
The series was run at and supported by Clinique Psy Santé, a holistic wellness centre in Pierrefonds, Quebec.
Role: Curator and Facilitator
Kalu Yala Wellness Weekend was an experiential wellness event that I created and ran in March 2017. Kalu Yala is a modern sustainable town being built in the Panamanian Jungle. I was led there through my interest in the intersections between psychology and nature. More specifically, I wanted to learn about the link between wellness and the closeness with which one lives to the land.
While I was there, I designed and facilitated a weekend dedicated to supporting multi-dimensional wellness for KY residents through both student and staff-led workshops and activities. The event consisted of workshops, activities and individual sessions that focused on educating and experiencing wellness across eight different dimensions (physical, mental, emotional, social, occupational, intellectual, environmental and spiritual).
Role: psychosocial consultant
Psychosocial consulting is a one-on-one approach to holistic wellness and lifestyle coaching. For a year and a half I worked under the supervision of clinical psychologist and holistic psychotherapist Stephane Bensoussan at Clinique Psy-Santé, a holistic wellness centre in Pierrefonds, Quebec.
Sessions consisted of evaluations of holistic wellness, client-centered goal setting, guided mindfulness meditation,
Role: psychosocial consultant
In spring of 2017, I moved into a co-working and co-living space in Rio de Janeiro to act as a one-month consultant for Edventurists, an alternative education nonprofit organization that seeks to connect social entrepreneurs to impact projects around the globe.
While there, I designed a corporate personality test, modelling the Myers-Bryggs personality test and adapting it to suit corporations. This tool is designed to help the organization find best matches between social entrepreneurs and impact organizations.
Role: dance facilitator
Chakra dance is an interaction of movement and music that brings alignment to your Chakras, the seven swirling energy points in the human body. It fuses ancient knowledge and modern music in a flowing energetic dance that moves its participants through a series of vibrations in order to release trapped energy and to bring a sense of centeredness and alignment to participants.
I have led several chakra dances, in Montreal and Panama for groups ranging from 8 to 40 people. Following the chakra dance is a group meditation.
Role: Creator and Author
The Nomad Library is a project started in August 2017 during a road trip with a creative collective across the USA.
The goal of the Nomad Library is to leave messages of love scattered in books across the world in an effort to foster a sense of interconnectedness among humans from all walks of life.
With a similar mission as Vent Over Tea, the idea is that the simple moment of connection created between the reader and the "stranger" or author of the note is the intrinsic value of the note and the end goal. The relationship is temporary, anonymous and beautiful in this way.
Check out the notes left by The Nomad Library here.
In the summer of 2017, I joined a Brooklyn-based creative collective Future Clear Productions on a cross-USA tour, installing a mobile pyramid art piece in public spaces in order to open space for community gatherings.
Together, we lead sound meditations and yoga sessions as well as served food to participants.
Above all, the pyramid held space for us to talk and connect to people from all walks of life, bringing together strangers and reminding us of the core facets of humanity that connect us despite cultural or political differences.
Bell Let's Talk is one of the largest mental health campaigns across the globe. Since 2010, the campaign has become a wide-reaching, multi-year program designed to break the silence around mental illness and support mental health all across Canada.
Each year the campaign culminates on January 31st for Bell Let's Talk Day. On this day, for every text, phone call, tweet, or social media video view 5 cents is donated to support mental health initiatives across the country.
Please read my story with mental illness for this initiative here.
Please view the video content here.
Role: Creator and project manager
Presence for the People is an initiative generously funded by TakingITGlobal, one of the world's leading networks of young people learning about, engaging with, and working towards tackling global challenges.
As part of a youth service initiative, Presence for the People is a reoccurring event in which young people come together to spend time with people living on the streets of Montreal. The idea is to be present with those who often get ignored hundreds of times a day, connecting with those who make up an important part of our community.
In addition to friendly conversations, participants are also offered care packages that include water, warm socks and gloves, hygiene products, and a hot meal of their choice.
Please read our first event recap here.
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