Program Director, Canada
Cora-Lee Conway is an engaging educator with years of experience connecting with youth in Canada and abroad. From teaching English in Northern Quebec, supporting first-year university students living in residence, to providing career readiness workshops to youth in Ghana; a passion for education has always been at the core of her pursuits. And as a first-generation Canadian of Afro-Caribbean descent, the values of education she believes in have always involved the inclusion of marginalized voices and developing the capacity to understand the ways in which communities can support equity, diversity and liberation. Cora-lee is pursuing a PhD in Education from McGill University and holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Political Science from York University.
I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I believe that the time to address inequity and to pursue liberation is always right now. Young people have often been at the helm of social change and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of creating generative spaces for open and honest discourse that brings us closer to the reality I know we can have, together.
Vernon is a Managing Director of Mosaic Capital Partners, a Canadian-based private investment firm. Through 22 years in the investment industry, Vernon helped build several companies from start-up to acquisition or public listing, seven of which achieved valuations in excess of $100 million. Vernon sits on the boards of several public and private companies.
Founding Family, Canada
Ingrid is a Travel Advisor affiliated with TTI Canada. Her previous experience includes being a Clinical Instructor at Toronto General Hospital and has held numerous volunteer positions in community organizations.
Board Member, Canada Board
Tim is the owner of Tim Costigan Travel Design, a company specializing in creating culturally immersive travel experiences for companies and cultural institutions looking for extraordinary retreats and explorations for their leadership teams and donors. Tim has always been deeply involved in his community, sharing his legal and organizational skills with a range of charitable and not for profit organizations through service on boards and in other volunteer positions. His most important anf favourite role is Dad to three wonderful children, aged 16, 13 and 11 and husband to a highly successful wife.
Co-Founder, Chairman, and Global CEO
As Global CEO of High Resolves, Mehrdad has focused on rapid growth of the program in Australia and expansion into the U.S., Canada, China, Brazil and Africa. Mehrdad is Chairman of Alchemy Growth, a boutique strategy advisory firm. Previously, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company and co-leader of the Firm’s worldwide Growth Practice, and an Executive Director at the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. Mehrdad has degrees from Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School and Princeton University. He is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.
I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have seen and felt the impact of social division and hatred first hand. We need to think of prejudice, racism and hatred as public health issues and engage in immunization programs in order to eradicate these diseases.
Global Chief Operating Officer
Paul Kelsey was the inaugural CEO for High Resolves for ten years in Australia and is now the Global Chief Operating Officer. Prior to High Resolves, Paul was in various senior management positions in financial services for over 20 years.
I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am passionate about High Resolves more than ever now because I have three teenage children, and I see first-hand how difficult it is for young teenagers to develop a genuine sense of empathy for global issues and to feel empowered to make a difference.
CEO, North America
Josh Densen is the CEO, High Resolves North America. Josh began his career as a Teach for America Corps Member in Oakland, California in 2000. He relocated to New Orleans to open and lead the local office of The Achievement Network in 2009, a position he held for two years before starting to work on Bricolage, which opened in 2013. Bricolage Academy is a New Orleans charter school with the mission of advancing educational equity and creating innovators who change the world. Josh received his BA from Washington University in St. Louis and his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
I am passionate about working at High Resolves because…
I am inspired by how our world might be different when a generation of young people feel empowered to make a positive difference. Our world’s biggest challenges have both individual and collective elements – High Resolves addresses both
The Toronto hub started in the 2016-2017 school year with Kingsway College School signing on to be our first official school outside of Australia and Smithfield Middle School being our second.
In the 2018-2019 school year, we worked with nine schools across the private and public sector. Thanks to the Lobo and Costigan families and their networks we have been able to reach over 4000 students in the three years we have been in Toronto
High Resolves has worked with Kingsway College School for the last two years as part of the school’s broader leadership and citizenship program. In the upcoming school year, grade 7 students will participate in three Peak Experiences and complete a number of the Teaching Resources and Base Camp Series to continue their growth as global citizens. Students will then have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the school’s year-end leadership project.
Imagine a generation of young people working to create a better world. This is the invitation from High Resolves, a program that originated in Australia for grade 7-12 students about how to act as global citizens. This year, KCS became the first school outside of Australia to participate in this program! We were anticipating an affirmation of what we are doing at KCS in the area of active citizenship. We were not disappointed!
With funding from the KCS Pickard/Bulger Family Citizenship Fund, all grade 7 students participated in three workshops: Collective Identity, Independent Thinking, and Social Justice. In each of the sessions, our wonderful instructor and Canadian Program Director, Chantelle Kohn, captured our attention and expertly delivered the vital messages in a respectful, open-minded fashion. Students were initially curious, and even apprehensive about these new workshops, but very quickly they became engaged in these timely, interactive activities. Students were able to move around and engage in collaborative group challenges. This made the 2 hours workshops fly by! They learned about: attributes of global citizens, how to think critically about messages in the media, and how to work towards social justice. At the end of each session, students were encouraged to reflect on their learning and write “I Resolve” statements. These statements demonstrate how students plan to incorporate their learning into daily life as global citizens.
In addition, we welcomed over 25 teachers, administrators, parents, board members and social justice champions from across the GTA to KCS so that they could learn more about High Resolves. We shared our positive experiences with colleagues from other schools so that they too may participate in this program. It was an excellent time for all of the adults to discuss: social justice, student leadership, and how to inspire students to make a difference. Here are some of their insights from the students via an anonymous survey conducted after one of the sessions:
• “I think that the workshop was an amazing learning opportunity for everyone in grade 7. I learned a ton and will keep putting that learning forward to help the earth and the people that live there. I have a feeling that I can make a change in the world.”
• “The workshop was fun. The whole concept of the learning process really engaged me in the activities. The presentation was great and overall I learned a lot. Everything was also explained very thoroughly in a way that we could easily understand.”
• “It was stimulating, and made you think. I enjoyed it!”
• “The workshop was a life-changing and opinion-switching experience. The instructor/presenter was amazing and taught me and many of my peers about the world and how we can make it better.”
We took a responsible risk when we invited High Resolves to KCS, but we’re thrilled that we did! We are already looking forward to continuing our learning next year in grade 7 and expanding the program to grade 8! Thank you to Chantelle for the wonderful learning experiences and thank you to the Pickard/Bulger family for their continued support of citizenship education at KCS.
– Shelley Gaudet
Citizenship Education Coordinator