Our core team of Program Coordinators are professionally certified teachers, outdoor experiential educators and social change leaders. Each year, they come together to design PSYL, and then facilitate activities and workshops throughout the program. They offer resources and mentorship to participants in developing their own incredible ideas and projects.
Below are detailed descriptions about our PSYL 2018 Coordinators.
Michelle Clarke has taught in many different settings from a classroom to a canoe. Michelle coordinated the Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club, while concurrently holding the director role at Camp McDougall during the summers. She holds a B.A. in Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Tourism as well as a BSc in Natural Science. Michelle completed her M.Ed at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, exploring how educators can Indigenize environmental education through participation in Land-based outdoor activities. Since completing her graduate studies, she has been renovating an off grid log home and has been working at Lakehead University helping students connect with the more than human world. She loves to travel and spend time in the outdoors, and can even throw a mean frisbee!
brad davis (MEd. RYT200) has spent his life working as a leadership and, ecological and social justice educator in schools, universities and communities. Internationally he has taught high school in Nigeria, created community-based theatre in the Philippines, and facilitated a university study-abroad program in India. brad spent a decade working with both undergraduate and graduate students in the unique travelling university ecological education and leadership program Audubon Expedition Institute (now Expedition Education Institute). He has taught about the importance of knowing where you live through the identification of local Sustainability Indicators, bioregional map creation, guiding river trips and teaching yoga. Since making his home on Vancouver Island (on Coast Salish land of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations) beside the Salish Sea in 2010, brad has integrated working at the Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership/PSYL each summer with teaching yoga and meditation while continuing a life-long practice of biking to most places, paddling his canoe when he can, and caring for gardens both literal and metaphoric. Occasionally, you will see him in headstand in his canoe, or practicing crow pose in a Gary Oak.
Faye Bontje loves to build things from scratch. She works with a diverse array of clients in government, healthcare, education, environmental sustainability, human rights activism, classical music and more, including the development of an organizational growth model based exclusively on the construction of self-sustaining bio-domes.
In case that last sentence didn't convince you, Faye is an enormous nerd with boundless enthusiasm for everything from emergent systems design to antique embroidery techniques. If you catch her staring up at the night sky, don't worry! Faye is also an astronomer, musician, and visual artist who will happily extoll the virtues of a particular star or constellation to anyone who will listen.
Faye holds a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University, a Certificate in Adult Education from Saint Francis Xavier University, and her Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP) designation with the Institute for Performance and Learning. She finds collaborative work infinitely preferable to sitting alone at a desk, and is honoured to share her identities and experiences in the service of helping others to find growth and comfort in their own.
Faye is currently Senior Learning Consultant with Future Possible Learning Inc. an organization providing inclusive, accessible career development training and one-on-one coaching. An alumnus of PSYL '07, she is thrilled to be returning as a member of the 2018 coordinator team.
María Escolán loves being immersed in creative community group work with people of all ages, whether it’s playmaking with fellow theatre artists, doing theatre of the oppressed workshops with youth, supporting kids’ literacy and numeracy skills, or doing art projects with families at her workplace in a community centre.
Born and raised in El Salvador, María also calls Vancouver home and values grappling with the question of being a settler on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
As an emerging artist, María is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance at Simon Fraser University’s School for Contemporary Arts. María also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice from the University of British Columbia. As an artist and community worker, she seeks to create spaces where systems of dominance, control, and certainty are brought into question through play and inhabiting the body.
Rebekah Parker is a PSYL alumna with a love for the beautiful, unceded Coast Salish territories she lives, works, and plays in. She is thrilled to return to the program for her fourth year. In 2017 she returned from a 9-month 10,000+km bike trip from Vancouver, BC to Cancún, Mexico then Calgary, AB to Vancouver, BC.
Rebekah wears many hats in her work life, from teaching climate change an renewable energy workshops with the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation, to substitute teaching at a forest school, to doing developing one-page infographics on gender diversity issues. She gives thanks to programs like Check Your Head and Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness (CRUW) where she continued to learn and practice her facilitation and curriculum development skills. In 2015, she learned from and worked with PSYL participants to research ecojustice learning as part of her Master's in Ecojustice and Sustainability Education at UBC.
Kathryn (Kat) Mc Cabe is thrilled to be returning to Vancouver Island to experience the community of PSYL once again!
Having spent her teenage years lost, with no real sense of self or purpose, Kat eventually connected with her passion in her twenties - when she found a radical masters in Australia called Social Ecology. It enabled her to engage with complex systems, design context specific change strategies and, crucially, feel inspired about what is possible when people feel respected and trusted to take the next step towards transformation. Kat has spent the years since then learning and unlearning; who she is, what the world needs and how she can contribute to…well…changing the world.
Kat's passion is for designing and facilitating emergent programs that can deeply meet the needs of the group. She values intersectional leadership that is personally empowering and enlivening, and that supports social justice and ecological wellbeing. Her area of focus is on personal and interpersonal relationship development, as well as a sense of ‘spiritual’ connection to place. Kat brings a complexity science
perspective that emphasizes actions and reflective practice that integrate personal, social, political and environmental concerns and possibilities. It allows for big picture thinking whilst generating local, context specific strategies for change.
Kat now works internationally (Ireland (Kat's homeland), UK, Australia and Canada) as an independent consultant and facilitator for groups that are engaged in transformational change.
Vrindy Spencer started designing and facilitating activities at international peace-education camps when she was 15 and has been drawn to continue this work ever since. She has staffed various camps, as well as, designs and facilitates her own group programs. She is inspired by the greater sense of self-worth individuals develop from being part of short-term intentional groups. She studied and wrote her undergraduate thesis at Quest University on “What conditions optimize a sense of belonging?” and looked at the question “How can I facilitate group intimacy?” She completed her adult education diploma and loves the realm of curriculum development, facilitation, and program coordination. Currently she is a Go Girls Program Coordinator at Big Sisters, volunteers as a program coordinator for a non-profit with the mission to increase self-awareness and connection globally, admins a gift economy community Facebook page, and is an avid swing dancer. Being a Program Coordinator at PSYL has been a dream of hers since she was 17 and she feels grateful and honoured to be part of the team this year.
Miranda Bahng has currently finished her second-year at university and is working towards finishing her undergraduate degree! After volunteering with many social justice organizations, as a workshop educator and cohort member, she is stoked to find herself being part of the PSYL community! Miranda first landed on Canadian soil in 2000, arriving from South Korea with her family. Growing up in Vancouver, her social justice journey started in high school, thanks to her wonderful social justice teacher that encouraged her to volunteer and question the world.
She actively works to implement youth perspectives into conversations in the world - and strives towards a world filled with understanding and openness. She is a strong believer that everyone has an impact and that anyone can make a difference!
Sonya Boya is thrilled to be returning to PSYL for a second summer as the wellness counsellor. She has spent most of her career working in not-for-profit community agencies, government mental health clinics and private practice in South Africa, Duncan, B.C. and Victoria, B.C. She is currently in full-time private practice in Victoria, and much of her work focusses on mental health, trauma, life transitions and relationships. She practices from an anti-oppressive, inclusive perspective and finds working with all ages very rewarding. When she is not working, she loves travelling, hosting international students, hiking, canoeing and spending time playing with friends and family!