Jessica Wall, Program Director

Jessica has a passion for working in collaborative ways that strengthen communities. She loves being at the forefront of social innovation and helping launch new socially-conscious projects and businesses. Through her studies in Community Development, Food Hub Management, and Health Services, and her hands-on experience working with grassroots organizations, Jessica combines both theoretical and practical approaches to empower people to develop sustainable solutions together. In her free time, you can find her running the trails, teaching yoga, exploring New Brunswick in her vintage camper van, or enjoying a meal with friends and family

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Gregory BURTON, Administrative Assistant

Gregory grew up in Wolfville NS, amidst the Annapolis Valley’s abundance of community spirit and local agriculture. The son of two musicians Gregory moved to Montréal at the age of 18 to pursue an education, both academic and experiential. Originally a Sociology major, Gregory holds a BFA in Integrative Music Studies from Concordia University and spent 14 years working in Montréal’s vibrant and creative music scene. An experienced venue manager and co-founder of a worker’s cooperative, Gregory is committed to grassroots approaches to community development and social justice through his experience with on-the-ground planning and coordination. Having recently returned to the Maritimes and now living in Dorchester NB with his partner Tessa, he looks forward to bringing his lived experience in the arts, as well as his love of community to bear in contributing to the exciting work with CCYP.

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Madison recently graduated as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Soon after, she began working with the Bouctouche Farmers Market and discovered her passion for cooking. This led her to pursue the Culinary Course offered by her school and to become a lifelong learner about food. Growing up she worked on many different farms and discovered her passion and the importance of developing local businesses. She loves to travel and has already lived in three provinces and visited eight provinces and territories. Madison loves to wake up in the morning to her excited and happy dog, and you can find her in her free time going on adventures with him. She also loves to sing, play music, make art, and read whenever she can.

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Maygen Sioux Lafford has a passion for working with youth, especially Indigenous youth. She will be graduating from the Criminal Justice program at the Nova Scotia Community College this June and plans to continue her educational journey by enrolling in the Bachelor of Arts Community Studies degree program from Cape Breton University. She is determined to help, support, and pave paths for the youth in her community, as well as the ones she will be working with. The criminal justice program at the Nova Scotia Community College has allowed Maygen to gain skills in motivational interviewing, interpersonal communication, risk assessment, and identifying needs to create meaningful programs. Maygen plans to incorporate cultural identity and traditional teachings and practices into her workplace and by doing so, she hopes to offer a sense of identity and a space that enables cultural healing for the youth.

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Laylia Bennett, program coordinator

Laylia Bennett is an individual who is committed to fostering cross-cultural learning, grassroots movements, and social innovation. She has served her community by taking on the role as a Co-President of the Mount Allison Indigenous Student Support Group, and as a member in the University’s Indigenous Advisory Circle for the past 2 years. Through these roles, and many others, she has been involved in many projects such as Mount Allison’s first annual Powwow, the permanent Mi’kmaq flag raising ceremony, and the ongoing development of the University’s first Indigenous Studies Program.


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Derrick beardsworth, program COORDINATOR

Derrick Beardsworth is the owner operator of Parkindale Productions Shepody House in Dorchester. He has spent the past ten years working in the non profit sector with children and youth; both as Executive Director and Program Director for the Boys and Girls Club. Derrick is a certified canoe and kayak instructor with Paddle Canada and enjoys teaching and coaching youth. Furthermore, his volunteer work extends to hockey, baseball, and soccer in the Riverview area and has been ongoing for 14 years. Heavily involved in the music and art community, Derrick’s company was recognized by Music NB as the music business of the year in 2018 and the music venue of the year in 2017. In Derrick’s free time, he enjoys taking part in anything that involves music or art and being active in the outdoors with his family and four young children.