Meet the mentors passionate about providing health services, community support, and counselling in the community!
Physiotherapist & Life Coach
I am so excited to be a part of the netWORKING mentorship program! My name is Alisha Morgan. I’m a born and raised Torontonian to parents from Trinidad. I went to the University of Toronto where I majored in Biology and minored in Psychology and French. I did my graduate degree in Physical Therapy and I’ve been working in a hospital as a paediatric physiotherapist for over 12 years. A few years ago, I decided to pursue my passion of helping people to live happier and more fulfilled lives and I became certified as a Life Coach. I then started my own coaching business. I love doing one-on-one coaching sessions and workshops where I support people with things like confidence, the inner critic, and finding fulfillment and joy in their lives. I have many interests outside of my professions including reading, watching movies, dance and travel. I look forward to getting to know the women in this program and I look forward to us sharing with and learning from each other!
Project Management & Housing Consultant
Ijenna Ndukwe is project management professional with over a decade of both private and public sector experience in business transformation. Ijenna holds a Bachelor in Arts from University of Waterloo and currently works as a Consultant with the City of Toronto, where she is currently working towards increasing capacity in the housing system to better accommodate equity–deserving groups and agencies as well as streamline access to affordable housing and benefits. Ijenna is devoted to poverty reduction and inter-government service system continuous improvement as a way to better the lives of the City’s most vulnerable.
As a strong believer in the systematic change to improve diversity and the power of collaboration in the workplace and in the community, Ijenna has worked to lead change in her past role as a diversity champion at CIBC, her current tenure as well as her and support of the City’s Anti-Black Racism and Equity Lens initiatives.
Ijenna credits her most important job as being a devoted mom to her 6-year-old son and an example to her family, friends, community and the diaspora. She values the importance of pushing the status quo, standing in your truth and leading positive disruption to make a difference.
Community Health Worker & Founder of All Things SLAYAH
My name is Léa and I am a proud to be black woman with a vision and a purpose. As a woman walking in her purpose, I cease opportunities which allow me to help my counterparts walk in their own purpose as well. I do so because I believe that the best leaders are those who teach others how to lead. Black women have been predisposed to self-hate through various platforms. Hence, the holistic well-being and progression of black women and black communities is important to me. I work in the field of health and community services, and I am the founder of All Things Slayah. The community work that I do is rooted in combating anti-black racism while improving social determinants of health impacting black communities. I have a genuine passion for giving back to the black communities and helping black people develop skill sets that will allow them to discover their purpose and skills that can push them to excel in their lives & career. I believe this mentorship project is mutually beneficial for everyone involved, because mentors can also learn from their mentees and not just the other way around. I am excited to continue being a mentor with Women’s Health In Women’s Hands and I look forward to building a meaningful & trusting relationship with my mentee.
I am a Toronto born Jamaican/Nigerian. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in physical and biological sciences. I also have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. I have worked in multiple areas in nursing and I have worked in multiple GTA hospitals. Currently I work in public health in the community, visiting parents with young children and soon to be parents. I tell people that I teach parenting. I enjoy the work that I do and seeing the positive outcomes of the families that I visit. I am honoured to have the opportunity to mentor black, afro and Caribbean women and to see their positive outcomes. I enjoy discussing health holistically and I am finding the balance between my business aspirations and self-care. I really enjoy volunteering and I see it as part of self-care being able to support my community.
Personal Trainer & Fitness Entrepreneur
Hi, I’m Kara Stewart-Agostino, owner of KSA Fitness in Toronto. I became a certified personal trainer when my son was 4 and my daughter was 1, looking for a carer that would give me some flexibility as a parent but would also give me a sense of making a positive impact in people’s lives. I quickly fell in love with my work and launched my company at the end of 2015. Building community through authentic connections is at the centre of everything I do. I use fitness as a way to build community whether its through my group classes that are open to anyone or my group 30/30 Strong which is only open to BIPOC women. I’m passionate about social justice, feminism, and building communities that care for one another. I didn’t have many examples of Black, female entrepreneurs when I started down this journey and I look forward to being part of a program that will show young Black women all of the possibilities that are open to them. As an entrepreneur I’ve learned more about myself than I ever expected — the extent of my resilience, creativity, and goals. I started out with just a handful of clients that I would visit in their homes or in parks and now have a full roster, 10+ group classes per week, youth fitness classes and an on-demand workout library. I have managed to successfully grow my business every year (even during the 2020 pandemic) by pivoting my business, creating different revenue streams and fostering positive client relationships. I would love to walk alongside another young Black women as she navigates the struggles and successes that building your own business can bring. When I step away from work, you can find me with my husband and kids who are now 9 and 12. We are either playing baseball, exploring hiking trails with our two dogs or on a road trip to find the best ice cream/pizza/beef patty/any delicious food that a city has to offer!
Psychotherapist, Registered Social Worker & Consultant
She is the owner of Francis Psychotherapy & Consulting Services, where she provides Individual Therapy, Mentorship to other therapists, as well as Consultation to various organizations addressing topics such as Mental Health in the Workplace, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Burnout, and Women’s Issues. Roxanne is a sought after podcast guest, and a media mental health expert who often shares her insight on various newscasts and print/on-line publications. In 2020 Roxanne was recognized as one of Canada’s 100 Black Women to Watch. You can follow Roxanne on Instagram @francispsychotherapy on LinkedIn at @Roxanne Francis, MSW, RSW or visit her website at http://www.francispsychotherapy.com.
Hey all! My name is Kavita Bailey, I am currently a full time registered nurse working at William Osler Health systems in their pediatric and neonatal ICU units; I also work part-time with the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation division. Both allow me to be involved in my community and give me access to opportunities within the hospital and community; I am also a part of a community support group at the University of Toronto that often posts volunteer and learning opportunities all of which I would love to pass on! Hit me up if you have any questions, about *anything*, let me know your interests so I know what opportunities might interest you. If you feel you need an ice breaker in your email, I love Disney movies and the Harry Potter series J #kidatheart. I went to a predominantly Caucasian high school, where in my experience, you could feel the awkward tension (that actually rose into incidents a few times, even with teachers!) between the white students and the black students as well as the underlying homophobia. We, the black students (at the time there was approximately 20 of us), didn’t feel represented so we did something – I helped create the Black History Everyday group and co-founded the school’s first Gay Straight Alliance. Both groups gave me the opportunity to help others and myself along the way. I helped create and present innovative educational campaigns to spread awareness regarding issues of racism, sexual orientation and marginalization. I continued to volunteer there after I went to University to help other students take the reins. I attended to the University of Toronto, twice, once for my Bachelor of Science degree (majored in Human Biology and Psychology, minored in French), then again for my nursing degree. Both degrees I did while volunteering with various organizations and working *several* part-time jobs including: City of Toronto Parks and Recreation where I teach science, creative writing, skating and karate. Work-life balance has been a persistent theme in my journey, it gets tough but I try to face every day it with positivity and give it my best! I don’t always succeed, but every day is a new day to do better! I was born and raised in Rexdale. I love my community and I see all of its potential so I take any chance I can to give back, whether it be in my work at the hospital and community center or volunteer opportunities. I’d like to share my experiences, pass on opportunities and see the youth in my community succeed! Many opportunities are based on access, who you know and how you were able to find out, so let’s get netWORKING and show them our amazing potential!
Physiotherapist & Clinical Manager
My name is Jennifer Kyere; I was born here in the GTA and am of Ghanaian heritage. I have had a wonderful life to date! I completed by undergraduate education at U of T in Biology and English and went on to do my Masters in Physiotherapy at D’Youville College. I was lucky enough to be able to engage in travel physiotherapy throughout the United States for 6 years, which provided me with a wealth of experience in various arenas. I did a few mentorship programs in urban centres high schools in the cities of Buffalo, Philadelphia and Chicago, which taught me a lot about privilege and accessibility among other things. I have continued in the healthcare field as a Physiotherapist for the most part but more recently, as a clinical services manager of an inpatient unit at a busy GTA hospital. My experience thus far has shown me that i have a strong passion for equitable access to healthcare at every level. It has also made clear to me the very palpable disparities to whom services cater. I am very passionate about equalizing the playing field. What do I mean by this- I want to see systems that speak to and serve all people. I want to see information that takes into consideration my skin tone!
I also want to highlight that I am a wife and mother of two beautiful black babies who I want to make sure I do what I can to ensure their black excellence!
Gerri Nakirigya Lutaaya
Gerri Nakirigya Lutaaya (she/her) belongs to the Ngonge clan within the Buganda kingdom. She is a professional fundraiser with United Way Greater Toronto.
With 10 years of fundraising experience, Gerri has a solid understanding of how to effectively build meaningful relationships grounded in respect, trust, honesty and joy. She has worked for internationally recognized charities including the Canadian Cancer Society, Plan International Canada and the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Gerri graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Global Development Studies from Queen’s University and a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) degree from Carleton University. She also holds a Certificate in Fundraising Management from Algonquin College and was a 2016 Inclusion and Philanthropy Fellow administered by the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada.
In her spare time, Gerri enjoys spending time with her parents and younger brother in Ottawa, baking, riding her bike and exploring the many different parks, trails and waterfalls around the GTHA.
Disability Case Manager
I feel so honored to be a part of netWORKING mentorship program. My name is Victoria and I’m a first-generation immigrant from the British Virgin Islands/Jamaica. I came to Canada as an international student and recently graduated from a joint program of a Bachelor’s in Psychology from York University and a Certificate in Rehabilitation Services from Seneca College. During my time at university, I also served as the first black Co-President of the Undergraduate Psychology Student Association.
I have been working in the disability insurance field for 2 years. I take pride in my identity as a Caribbean-Black woman and have always acknowledged
the challenges and extra “hurdles” I’ve faced with my ethnic background. Our experience as marginalized women can be viewed as a struggle but I believe that we have so many unique strengths and experiences that can make us exceptional leaders. Many black female leaders inspired me throughout higher education and I would love to provide that same feeling to other young black women. We all deserve to feel inspired and like we belong in traditionally non-black, non-female identifying spaces.
I hope to eventually pursue a graduate program in Counseling Psychology and eventually start my dream of owning my own private practice as a psychotherapist. Outside of academics/work-life I enjoy staying physically and spiritually active.
My name is Stacey Ottley, and I am a first-generation Afro-Caribbean Canadian, born and raised in Montréal, Québec.
I am the first in my immediate family to hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. I complete my undergraduate degree in Sociology at Concordia University. After moving to Windsor, Ontario to complete my graduate degree, I secured employment in various cities across Ontario such at Chatham, Barrie, Cornwall and more recently Ottawa.
I’ve worked in the field of banking, employment consulting, corrections and more recently education administration. I specialize in case management and working people struggling with mental health.
I co-founded a non-profit organization mandate to address systemic racism in Cornwall and recently launched an anti-racism consulting agency for businesses in small and rural communities.
Monique Abbott RSW, MSW, largely known for her work within the Region of Peel, is a registered Social Worker providing services to the community. Monique’s educational background includes a Social Service Worker diploma from Centennial College, a Bachelor of Social Science, Bachelor of Social Work with Honor and Masters of Social Work degree from York University. Monique also completed her Family Mediation certificate from York University which allows her to confidently mediate conflict and assess for family violence.
She has over 15 years of professional experience within the not for profit sector. Her experience spans from child and youth programming, employment counselling, mental health therapist, immigration & settlement programming, developmental and intellectual disabilities support, grant writing, counselling and systems navigation support. She works from a trauma informed, anti-oppressive and anti-black racist lens. She firmly believes in transparency, confidentiality and upholding her ethics outlined by the College of Social Workers, to respect the intrinsic worth of the persons she serves in her professional relationships with them.
Monique enjoys working in the community assisting both service providers and end users to meet their best potential. Her bilingualism allows her to communicate with the francophone community.
“Mentorship is important as it offers an opportunity to give back to my community, more specifically Black girls! My aim is to provide young girls an opportunity to navigate systems with assistance.”
Social Service & Personal Support Worker
Hello! My name is Shanice Harris. I was born in Windsor, Ontario and shared my time through Windsor and the states as my dad is American. I am a young mom, a full-time student and working full-time so learning how to balance it all is something I pride myself in and knowing that self-care is a true gem to utilize. I am a Humber alumni from the PSW program and I am currently in my final year at Seneca in the SSW program. A few of my hobbies include outdoor trails, arts and crafts, dancing and taking pictures of memories! One thing I would like to bring to my future mentees is helping them create the space they want, the way they want with words of encouragement and support. I want to help young, black women uplift who they are!
Health Researcher, STEM Advocate & Entrepreneur
Irene Duah-Kessie is a multifaceted, first-generation Ghanaian Canadian woman, encapsulating all dimensions of a community builder, mentor, advocate, researcher, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Rise In STEM, a grassroots organization that aims to increase access to STEM learning and leadership opportunities for Black and underserved youth. She is also a Research Coordinator at the Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre, Irene is coordinating the Young Black Women’s Anti-Racism Insights to Action Project, which explores the unique barriers Black women experience in the GTA. Through this work, the hope is to build evidence of experiences and centralize Black women’s ideas in addressing these barriers with other relevant stakeholders. Irene holds a Bachelors of Science in Life Sciences from McMaster University and Master of Science in Sustainability Management from the University of Toronto, and is also part of the Editorial Team for the Turtle Island Journal of Indigenous Health, a graduate-student-run academic journal housed at the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute. For leisure, Irene enjoys bird watching, hiking and baking new treats.