After completing her degree in psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University in 2019, Anne worked with children and youth in a variety of supportive roles. She completed a graduate certificate at George Brown College to gain more knowledge of autism spectrum disorder in order to better support her clients. In her work with children, youth, and their families, Anne discovered that her true passion lies within empowering families in the process of navigating services and accessing support. This encouraged her to continue her educational journey and pursue a Master of Social Work. As an MSW candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University, she is thrilled by the opportunity to learn and grow with the Common Compass community. She is committed to social justice and continues to refine her skills of anti-oppressive practice through continued learning and unlearning.
When she’s not studying, Anne loves snuggling with her cat, spending time with family and friends, and going for walks to coffee shops. She also enjoys hosting game nights with her neighbours and learning about gardening through their expertise.
Ava (she/her) is a registered Social Worker (MSW RSW). She received her Honours Bachelor of Science and Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto.
In her current role, Ava provides psychotherapy treatment in the healthcare sector. Ava has experience working with children, youth, and adults to support them with system navigation and their psychological health. She has over 5 years of experience curating and facilitating engaging mental health workshops for adolescents and adults. Ava is passionate about preventive, accessible, and equitable mental health care; therefore, she resonates deeply with the goals of Common Compass.
In her free time, Ava enjoys hiking to new and old places, travelling, striving to make the perfect cup of coffee, and painting.
Jenna Dolly wants to live in a world where people are free to live, work and play without systemic oppression and discrimination and where social systems actually work for people not against them. Balancing a family with two young children, Jenna openly navigates the challenges of work/life balance in her roles as a social worker, policy advisor, therapist, and labor movement activist. With a Bachelors and Masters degree in Social Work, Jenna’s career expands 15+ plus years of frontline community work, direct client support, and policy analyst experience. A true advocate at heart, Jenna lives and breathes community, disrupting structural oppression and values meaningful dialogues.
Jenna is one of the founding members of CUPE Local 905’s BIPOC Collective, the first human rights committee within the Local. She also was elected as an Executive when she became the first Black Lead Steward for her unit in 2020. Through her work within the BIPOC Collective, Jenna continues to work to dismantle and eradicate anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination within the labor sector.
In her free time Jenna enjoys spending time with her family and friends, completing DIY projects, baking and jamming to 90’s R&B and Hip Hop
Jill Pulford-Thorpe is a recently retired high school teacher from the Toronto District School Board. Jill is fortunate to say that she loved her job for over 30 years as a phys ed and science teacher. The best part of the job included the challenge of motivating young people to strive to achieve. It is not uncommon to feel distracted and overwhelmed in high school. As a teacher, Jill attempted to follow the subject curriculum but managed to fit in as much about life and coping skills as time allowed. Much of her focus over the past few years has been in developing the grade 12 leadership course and thereby, mentoring seniors to lead workshops aimed at encouraging healthy social and emotional learning with attention on gender-based relations. She feels that there is more information and support needed at the high school level and hopes to share some of that research based knowledge during the workshops that she leads.
When not involved with Common Compass or occasional teaching back at her high school, Jill enjoys physical activity like skiing, running and fitness training at home or at the cottage. She has two children, both at university and a new black lab puppy that makes her family complete.
Julia is a registered Social Worker (MSW RSW) having obtained her Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto. She completed her Bachelor of Social Science in Criminal Justice from Humber College. Julia has worked with youth and adolescents for over 8 years supporting and addressing their psychosocial needs.
In her full time work, she currently provides psychotherapy in the health care system. She continues to extend her social work knowledge and expertise with Common Compass as an enthusiastic, genuine, and communicative facilitator. Julia has facilitated workshops around mental health, adaptive coping skills, and building leadership capacity. She looks forward to expanding her work with Common Compass and reaching more students. She is most passionate about fostering meaningful conversations around mental health to normalize seeking help, increase individual agency, and enhance resiliency.
In her spare time Julia enjoys being active – whether it is hiking outdoors, a spin class, or lifting weights; spending time with family and friends, including giving all the love to her nieces and nephews; cooking meals, and cozying up with a book and a cup of tea.
Julianna recently graduated from the Bachelor of Social Work program at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University). During her studies, she discovered her love of working with youth and supporting LGBTQ+ communities.
Julianna is passionate about mental health, self-care, and ending stigmas found in day-to-day life. She is hoping to soon complete her Masters of Social Work, but first would like to travel in order to find her calling.
Currently, Julianna is working at a queer cookie shop in downtown Toronto (and she love love loves it)!
Kate Lee is originally from Calgary, Alberta, where she completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in psychology. She is a recent Master’s graduate from York University and is currently a PhD student in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology program. She is completing her clinical practicum at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, where she completes complex psychological assessments with adolescents. Kate has always been passionate about working with youth and hopes to practice as a therapist for children, adolescents, and families in the future.
Kate’s goals are to conduct clinical research to inform and develop evidence-based interventions and programs, with the aim of helping youth achieve positive development and psychosocial health. She joined Common Compass because she resonated with the organization’s goal of delivering research-informed workshops to enhance mental health and positive well-being for youth.
Sumu Sathi is a Labour Relations Specialist for COPE Ontario representing workers in the government, private and non-profit sectors by leading negotiations for better wages, benefits and safe working conditions. Prior to joining COPE Ontario, Sumu was the first racialized person to be elected as Chair for York Region Unit and Long-Term in CUPE and represented approximately 4000 frontline public servants. She was also the co-founder of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour Human Rights Committee and has over 10 years of frontline caseworker experience at York Region Social Services. Sumu has extensive experience in social justice and human rights work both in the labour movement and government sectors. She holds a B.Sc from U of T and will be completing her BSW in April 2023 at the University of Manitoba. Sumu will be pursuing her Master in Social Work with a specialization in Social Justice and Diversity at the University of Toronto starting Sep 2023.
Laura Cooper is a social worker in healthcare, with experience in managing chronic illness and mental health. She has a longstanding history of working with young people to support their mental health — from running junior leadership programming in summer camps, to mentoring university students in residence life, and more recently working in youth psychiatry and facilitating groups for teens whose parents have cancer. She champions acceptance, empowerment, and values-based therapeutic work. She was one of the original facilitators at Common Compass, and enjoys bringing a sense of authenticity and play to facilitating workshops on challenging and thought-provoking topics.
Dr. Maria Wallis is a community capacity builder, an academic/scholar, and a registered Social Worker. Dr. Wallis is also currently in the second of a three-year Program at the Toronto Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in her eventual certification as a Psychotherapist. She has over twenty years of community engagement experience in the immigrant and settlement sector and in feminist organizing in Toronto. Dr. Wallis has a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, a Masters of Sociology from McMaster University, a PhD, and a Master of Social Work from York University. In 2019, Dr. Wallis completed a Master Certificate in Project Management through The Schulich Executive Education Centre, The Schulich School of Business, York University.
Dr. Maria Wallis has over twenty years of academic teaching as a contract faculty at York University and has co-edited three academic books. Dr. Wallis has also taught at Ryerson, McMaster, Wilfried Laurier, Western, and the University of Calgary. She has conducted diversity, discrimination, and social inclusion work including Diversity training in organizations that include the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the City of Hamilton, Centennial College, and the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. Dr. Wallis is a subject matter expert in systemic/ institutional discrimination and harassment, and interventions to address these barriers. She has also worked with individuals from marginalized communities to build resilience and the capacity to develop to their full potential despite systemic, structural barriers.
Dr. Wallis has worked with “at-risk” youth and children at the Toronto and North York District School Boards and the former Ontario Anti-Racism Secretariat. She has worked to be both a mentor and role model to students as she works with them on projects to develop their full potential and, specifically, their anti-racism skills and leadership capacities. Dr. Wallis identifies as a South Asian-Canadian woman for Employment Equity purposes.
Tsa Alexander grew up in Toronto, Ontario playing competitive soccer for her province, before earning a scholarship in the United States. Tsa Alexander graduated from the University of Akron, (Akron, Ohio) earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice. She then returned to Ontario and completed a diploma in Social Service Work at Loyalist College in Belleville, ON.
After graduating, Tsa began a career in social services, where she worked directly with children and families facing a wide array of challenges for over 10 years in the field. Using solution-focused brief therapy and mindfulness-based approaches, she aims to empower her clients with the skills they need to overcome obstacles.
She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto—OISE, earning her Master of Education, in Counselling Psychology. Tsa is a Registered Psychotherapist (Q) and also a certified guided meditation facilitator. Her passion is working with youth and helping those in need.
Nour Ramzi is a first-year Master of Social Work student at Wilfrid Laurier University, with an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Studies, Political Science, and equity studies from the University of Toronto. She graduated with an International Baccalaureate diploma from the American Community School in Abu Dhabi, where she was born and raised before immigrating to Canada at the age of 18. She is also currently an intern at Common Compass and a Research Assistant at Laurier. Nour is passionate about working with immigrant and racialized communities to navigate and critique systems and institutions and improve access to essential resources. In her free time, Nour enjoys working in theatre and caring for her growing plant collection!
Esmeralda Ismaili holds a doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Tirana (Albania) with a focus on child problem behaviours and parenting styles. She has extensive experience in teaching and research, in public and private universities in Albania. Esmeralda has taken part in national and international studies, conferences and publications, both as leading author and coauthor, with a focus on assessing children and youth’s emotional and psychological well-being and recommending intervention strategies.
Before coming to Canada, Esmeralda had developed a rich portfolio of training and workshops in raising awareness on mental health issues, domestic violence, bullying in school settings, diversity and inclusion, as well as empowering youth and women. Esmeralda believes that raising mental health awareness and training resilience skills in children and youth is an important conversation to be held in schools. She is excited to continue her work and professionally grow with the Common Compass community.