As a social innovator, facilitator, mentor, and communicator I have focused my energy and efforts on making Kingston a sustainable, livable & smart city. I also work to educate young people, and to give them the skills necessary to make informed choices about living sustainably in a changing world. With over 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship, sustainability and social innovation, my work is always community-based and serves the purpose of changing a system to a more sustainable model. My formal education is in entrepreneurial management, and strategic leadership towards sustainability; I have also taken focused workshops on community-based social marketing hosted by Douglas McKenzie-Mohr and Advanced Learning Design, which reinforced and built upon the principles and practices of Dialogue Education.
changing the culture and ridership of our transit system
I am one of the architects behind the internationally recognized Kingston Transit High School Bus Pass Program – a program which has grown high school ridership from 28,000 to over 600,000 rides yearly from 2012-2016 through onsite transit orientation and free bus passes. We have found Grade 12 students, on average, use the transit pass three times more frequently than Grade 9 students. This shows that as students become older and gain more experience with transit, they become more frequent transit users.
Building COMMUNITY-based projects
While my travels and life abroad in Europe and Asia have taught me so much, Kingston will always be my home. For the past decade I have been involved in building successful community-based projects. Whether it be the Commuter Challenge, the Kingston Sustainability Centre, school gardens, water festivals, the Kingston Climate Action Plan or the creation of the integrated community sustainabilty plan, my work is always community-based and rooted in social innovation.
Helping create a more sustainable public school system
During my three and a half years teaching English in South Korea and eight years working for Limestone District School Board, I experienced the impact that experiential learning has on youth firsthand. Those experiences have lead me to pursue further youth-focused projects and initiatives that help create our more sustainable schools. These projects and initiatives include school food gardens, a board-wide Earth Hour, school-wide recycling systems; water festivals and transit orientation.
Making Community Television
I paired my love of speaking with my passion for connecting with community innovators as the host of my very own TV show, Kingston Change Makers on YourTV, a show entirely run by volunteers. In this role, I have written and produced more than 40 segments on YourTV Kingston about local sustainability initiatives, with the "Sustainable Kingston Community Partner Profile" series having won a provincial Star Award in 2012