Executive Director: Rachel Roth
Rachel grew up in Perth and has worked as an Executive Director in the Not-for-Profit Charitable sector since 2006. She excels in financial management, implementing strategic plans, ensuring best practices, building a team environment and creating strong administrative frameworks.
Previous to her current role, she led Greenest City in Toronto. Here, she prepared and achieved national Accreditation with Imagine Canada, sat on the West Toronto Community Legal Services BOD. Prior to this Rachel was the Executive Director of BYTE Empowering Youth Society in Yukon Territory. In the Yukon, she also worked as an Education Officer for Kluane First Nation; taught in a grade 7 classroom and led an employment program through the operation of a commercial greenhouse for the town of Haines Junction and Champagne Aishihik First Nation. During this time, she was also the Co-Chair and the National Director for the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition – Climate Action Network.
She has sat and sits on several board of directors: Parkdale Neighborhood Land Trust, Earth Day Canada, Small Change Fund, UNESCO Youth Steering Committee, Toronto Urban Growers, Whitehorse Youth Coalition, TakingItGlobal, Canada Women’s Economic Council, National Addiction Awareness, Community Resources on Wheels, and the Otty Lake Association.
She has a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Social Science; she attended Lakehead University’s Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism Degree Program and has completed three Administration and Leadership Courses towards her Master of Education with the University of New Brunswick. Rachel also has a love for gardening and growing fruit, vegetables and lots of flowers.
Community Liaison & Support Staff: Allison Graham
Allison Graham was born and raised near Perth. After graduating from high school, she studied psychology and drama at Queens University (Kingston, Canada). She then auditioned for, and was accepted to, The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts (Los Angeles, California), where she spent two years studying theatre. Following graduation she was asked to join the Academy ‘Company’, and in collaboration with nine other actors, enjoyed a challenging and rewarding third year performing theatre pieces. She finished her formal education at Pasadena City College, majoring in creative writing. This combination of schooling provided her with an Associate Degree in Theatre Arts, and has enabled her to strike a fine balance of working both in front of, and behind a camera. Career highlights, as an actor, include: A Piece Of My Heart (Theatre), Look Back In Anger (Theatre), Rumours (TV Series), and The Line (TV Series). Writing endeavors that bring her the most pride are: Caterpillar Soup (Children’s Story), The Whistler Blower (Short Story), Scarlet Grace (Screenplay), and Gentle Bend (TV Series). Allison returned to Canada in 2000 and works in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, but still calls Perth home.
Child and Youth Program Manager: Samantha Snyder
Samantha Snyder was born and raised in Perth. After graduating from PDCI high school, she attended Fanshawe College and completed the Social Service Worker Program. Feeling like she was lacking real life experience, she set out to Jasper, Alberta to work at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and later the Banff Springs Hotel. She developed a love for hiking, being in nature, self-care, and taking care of our planet! In 2017, Samantha moved to Ireland and lived in Dublin for two years, where she worked at the Convention Center Dublin and met people from all over the world and traveled and explored Paris, Venice, Rome, Edinburgh, Berlin, England, and Barcelona. These experiences have provided her with the life experience and ability to view different perspectives needed to become passionate about mental health, the importance of travel, learning about new cultures, and creating a life you feel content about! In 2019, she moved to Ottawa and after the pandemic decided to head back to college. Samantha recently graduated with honors from the Community and Justice Services program at Algonquin College, where she became passionate about restorative and transformative justice as well as supporting youth in our community. She completed her placement with Lanark County Community Justice and continues to volunteer with them. Samantha also works part time with the Rose Garden Family Support Center in Smiths Falls and has become further curious and educated on child protection, safety, and well-being. She loves reading, hanging with her nephews, kayaking, hiking, playing her ukulele, saying your gratitude, and watching documentaries.
Joint Community Services Hub Administrative Coordinator: Michael Couchman
Originally from Toronto, Michael grew up in the Yukon and northern British Columbia. He holds a Master of Arts and a Master of Letters degree in Modern Historical Studies from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He completed his Ph.D. in History at Queen’s University, Kington, where he was awarded the Department of History Dissertation Prize for the most outstanding graduate thesis of the 2018-19 academic year. After graduating, he worked as a freelance copywriter and web content editor, while continuing to present and publish his academic work as an independent researcher. Michael and his wife moved to Perth during the pandemic and quickly fell in love with the community. He is currently a Board Member with the Perth & District Community Foundation, and volunteers at the Perth Wildlife Preserve, as well as with Barn Door Productions theatre company.
Youth Worker – Activity Leader Mental Health Focus: Stephanie Clyne
Takes the lead on our Mental Health Monday Workshops. She is trained in Mental Health First Aid, Trauma Informed Care, ASIST, Crisis Prevention Intervention, Standard First Aid, Conflict Resolution, and Naloxone administration. She is currently working towards her Addiction Counsellor Certification with The Canadian Addiction Counselors Certification Federation (CACCF). She also holds an Addictions and Community Service Worker Diploma from Willis College.
Over this past year, she has facilitated a number of workshops, covering various mental health topics including anxiety, depression, substance use, coping strategies, healthy choices, mindfulness, self-esteem/positive self-talk. She always ensures appropriate follow-up occurs with our participants, as well she creates and provides take-away resources after each session. In each of these workshops, she ensures a safe, non-judgemental environment is created and youth feel supported.
Previous to taking on her role with YAK Youth Services, she was an Educational Assistant at Maple Grove Public School and a Personal Assistant for many years at the Lanark Lodge. She also worked with Lanark County Community Living Association supporting adults with developmental challenges and with Lanark Community Programs, now known as ConnectWell, providing assistance, and one-on-one support to children with autism.
Youth Worker – Activity Leader LIT: Jason Neadow
Jason was born and raised in Perth Ontario and is currently a high school student at PDCI. Jason is an outgoing social person who loves to laugh and be around friends and family. Jason used to play high level competitive baseball out of Carlton Place and has experienced what it’s like to be a team player and how to think on the fly. He currently plans to go to college for social working and has worked as a LIT at YAKs summer camp the last two summers and throughout the school year as our Youth Worker Activity LIT at the after-school program. Jason wants to help children at summer camp and give them a positive and fun memory to look back on and to help children build long lasting friendships and bonds with peers.
Andy is returning this fall on Wednesdays and will take the lead on our fitness and sports programming.
Youth Worker – Activity Leader Support Staff: Casual On-Call
Volunteer Staff :
Joel Tamas (Music Nights)
2024 Student Placements:
Social Enterprise Contractor: Amica Hewitt
Bio to come…