group photo of NYC members

National Youth Council

The National Youth Council provides input and insights to Girl Guides of Canada's Board of Directors on the issues impacting girls' lives. Through consultation with other girls and youth, the council dives into what matters to girls and ensures that girls' voices and perspectives are front and centre in decisions shaping the future of Guiding. The National Youth Council consists of 9-12 Rangers from across Canada.

Find out more about Youth Leadership at GGC!

Instagram: @ggcnationalyouthcouncil

Members of the National Youth Council

Anya Morgan

Anya
Why are you in Guiding?

Hi! My name is Anya, I live in Canmore, AB, and I'm a second-year Ranger. I'm in Guiding because I think it's an awesome way for girls to have a positive impact on their communities, and because I love being part of a Movement that accepts and supports everyone.

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I applied for the Youth Council because I care about the issues facing youth today and want to challenge our society's views on them.

What are your goals for the year?

This year, I hope to broaden my horizons by meeting and collaborating with other members of the Youth Council,  take action on the issues that youth experience and to make the world a more inclusive and supportive place for everyone.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I am a proud, self-proclaimed nerd, para-alpine ski racer, and 70s/80s music enthusiast.

Caitriona Federico

Caitriona
Why are you in Guiding?

I have been a part of Guiding for over 11 years. I have continued in the organization because it is an inclusive, safe space for me to share my thoughts and ideas, while gaining new experiences and perspectives that help shape my views. Guiding allows me to grow and learn by providing a variety of different opportunities I wouldn't have otherwise. I meet new people from many different walks of life and create amazing connections and new friendships.

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I wanted to join the Youth Council to learn about the organization's goals and to help GGC continue moving in the right direction by providing my insight and ideas. I am also interested in learning from others about different perspectives and ideas for positive change.

What are your goals for the year?

My goals for this year are to actively share my ideas and opinions and be attentive to the ideas of others. I would like to make a difference in younger girls' lives by making them feel more included, empowered and heard. I want to give everyone a platform to share their perspectives and raise new and important points.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

In my free time, I am very interested in genealogy and have been researching my family history. Learning about the stories of family members is such an interesting way to learn about where you came from.

Cassandra Gillen

Cassandra Gillen

Profile:

Hi! My name is Cassandra and I’m from the island of Montreal in Quebec. I’m currently 16 and am in my second year of Rangers. Outside of school and Guiding I love to volunteer. I’m in my fifth year of volunteering with an organization named WIAIH and have been a Special Olympics coach in track and field and softball for two years. Personally, Girl Guides has been a community in which I have been given the opportunities to flourish into the person I am today. It’s been and is still my second family. I don’t know what I would do without the girls I have spent half my life with. I’m really excited to help make a difference in the Guiding community.

Claire Hooey

Claire
Why are you in Guiding?

My name is Claire, I was born in Ontario and moved to Nunavut when I was 7 years old.
I love being in Guiding because I have opportunities to meet new people, travel, and become more involved in my community. I like that Guiding is inclusive to everyone and has always welcomed me. I joined Sparks in Ontario and moved through Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and am now a first-year year Lone Ranger in Iqaluit. I have attended Guide camps in Ontario and IGGNITE in Ireland, as well as participating in annual camping trips in Iqaluit. I also have spent several years in the Air Cadet program.  

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I was drawn to the National Youth Council because I would like to learn from the other members about the Guiding program in their communities. I like that the youth council is a way for the voices and interests of the girl members to be heard.

What are your goals for the year?

This year I would like to raise the profile of Guiding in Nunavut, encourage more girls to join and find ways to support leaders and develop more awareness of Guiding in the different communities.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I like baking and drawing.

Ella Hsu

Ella Hsu

Profile:

My name is Ella and I’m from Kingston, Ontario! I’m 16 years old and have been in Guiding since I was 7. I enjoy building and playing with robots, but also love relaxing with a knitting project and a cup of tea. For me, Guiding has presented me with so many different opportunities, and I’ve had the chance to be myself and try things I wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else. I look forward to using my spot on the Youth Council to promote forward change in Girl Guides, helping young women and girls find their place in the future.

Ellie Ahmed

Ellie
Why are you in Guiding?

I joined Guiding because my friends were Girl Guides but I continued with it because it was an outlet to express myself and make new friends. My Guiding unit is a place for me to learn and gain life experiences while having fun and I know I can always turn to my unit leaders and other Guiders for support and help.

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I wanted to join Youth Council because I believe that there is always room for improvement and I want to be able to make changes to Guiding for the better. I also want to make sure that other girls in Canada get the most out of Girl Guides.

What are your goals for the year?

My goal for the year is to really spread the word about Girl Guides in my community and around Canada. It has been so helpful for me and I want other girls to experience the same benefits.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

A fun fact about myself is that the number of countries I have visited is the same number as my age – 15.

Emily Spurrell

Emily Spurrell

Profile:

Hello, my name is Emily Spurrell. I am from a fairly large community outside of St.John's in Newfoundland and Labrador. As a member of Guiding since the beginning, I am going into my fourteenth year. I love all things hiking and outdoors. As well I enjoy getting to volunteer with my local Sparks unit and inside my community. I look forward to seeing what this next Guiding year will bring and the impact we as girls can create. 

Giselle Alfred

Giselle Alfred

Profile:

Hi my name is Giselle Alfred. I live in a rural First Nations community off the northern tip of Vancouver Island. I am 15 and enjoy crafting as well as walking and hiking the different nature trails around where I live. This will be my fifth year in Guiding and I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and skills this coming year.

Katherine Tonner

Katherine Tonner

Profile:

Hi my name is Katherine and I am from Calgary, Alberta! Since I started Guiding in Sparks I have been given so many opportunities. Opportunities to improve my leadership skills while bridging with younger units and to increase my knowledge about the nature around me. I am excited to help girls, leaders, Link members and all the volunteers who make Guiding possible share their input and make sure it gets heard.

Michelle Quaye

Michelle Quaye

Board Director, Chair-National Youth Council

Profile:

Michelle Quaye is a member of the GGC Board as Director and Chair of the National Youth Council. Michelle is a strong believer in empowering young women and girls to be the best they can be and is committed to fostering diverse representation within Guiding. A long time GGC member, she is currently completing her final year of medical school in London, Ontario. Outside of Guiding, Michelle enjoys travelling to new places and trying out new recipes!

Sophie Bezanson

Sophie
Why are you in Guiding?

Hello! My name is Sophie. I am 16 years old, and I live in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. This year marks my twelfth as a Canadian Girl Guide. As a Spark, I joined Guiding determined to become an avid cookie seller and an adventurous camper, not to mention being able to socialize with my friends. However, I soon discovered that there was much more meaning to Guiding than pitching tents and roasting marshmallows. Now, I choose to represent this organization that empowers countless girls and young women in Canada, and around the world. Guiding provides me with the opportunity to reach my full potential by inspiring others through my talents and abilities. It is a safe and inclusive environment where girls are encouraged to be confident, resourceful and, most importantly, they are encouraged to be themselves. Guiding's diverse atmosphere and its vast range of identities have established a welcoming space for all. I am proud to say that I am one of the millions of girls globally who embody this organization that provides countless opportunities, experiences, and resources to help girls achieve their dreams and become "everything she wants to be". 

Why did you want to join the Youth council?

I joined the National Youth Council eager to broaden my Guiding experience. I am keen on contributing to the evolution of this organization, by providing a youth perspective for those eager to be heard. The National Youth Council serves as a key platform to advocate, inspire and create meaningful change. I would like to use this platform to help shape the future of Girl Guides of Canada into a positive "Girls First' environment, based from its core values: Relevance, Empowerment, Diversity & Inclusion, and Agility. I believe that I will find the opportunity to learn and grow from this experience, and my fellow council members. I am excited to inspire girls to reach their full potential!  

What are your goals for the year?

This year, I am eager to carry on my efforts advocating for gender equality. I would like to continue working toward ending the systemic barriers facing girls and young women by action planning on issues that affect their lives and providing them with opportunities for leadership and community action. I am keen on establishing more resources within Guiding to eliminate possible barriers and bridge its demographic gap. I am equally excited to explore a new area of advocacy as a member of the council this year; sustainability and environmental issues are becoming a growing concern in many communities. I look forward to taking global action that influences sustainable lifestyles while encouraging others to create meaningful change in their communities. I am eager to influence Guiding's future direction and create a positive impact in the lives of girls. 

Share a fun fact about yourself.

One day, I hope to visit developing countries to halt the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I would like to participate in HIV prevention efforts by providing peer education, access to resources and advocacy for those in need. 

 

Youth Council Alumni

  • Madeleine Deschenes
  • Kaitlin Strugnell
  • Emily Lints
  • Emily Vandermeer
  • Carolyn Huang
  • Carena Binder
  • Erica Bennett
  • Keona Simmons
  • Andrea Chakma
  • Bailey Walton
  • Hari Ilangomaran
  • Kianna Benson
  • Lauren Hill
  • Mackenzie Furey
  • Nayah Mang
  • Nerissa Kassis
  • Shelan Emre
  • Sophie McCafferty

Past Projects

Each year, the National Youth Council develops initiatives around ideas girls have identified as important and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors. Among the topics they've explored: marketing of Girl Guides, girls' survey, Indigenous issues and engagement, socioeconomic bridging, new merchandise, bridging-year programming, addressing the member drop-off (after Guides) and International connections. The Youth Council has also provided content and been highlighted in several GGC publications, blog posts and social media channels.

Stories of Youth Leadership