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Deanna Alakoozai

Expansion Manager

Deanna Alakoozai is Expansion Manager at Best Buddies Canada. She has always been passionate working towards a cause and making a change in people’s lives. She graduated from George Brown College with a Counseling Diploma and a Bachelors of Social Work Degree from York University. While volunteering with children who have special needs, Deanna has learned that each child holds a unique ability. If you are a new school planning to start the program, she helps set you up and supports you along the way. She also checks in with current chapters to make sure that they have the support that they need. If you ever need some compelling new ideas for your chapter just give Deanna a call and she would love to run by some innovative ideas!

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Shaneika Brown

Program and Finance Manager

Shaneika is the Program and Finance Manager at Best Buddies Canada. Since joining the company in March 2020, Shaneika has enjoyed working with her team to help foster friendship and inclusion among persons of differing backgrounds nationwide. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the University of Technology, Jamaica and graduated from Humber College with an Ontario College Graduate Certificate in Global Business Management. Shaneika loves helping others, so please reach out if there is anything she can assist with!


Sabine O’Donnell

Program Advisor and Office Manager

Sabine is Program Advisor and Office Manager at Best Buddies Canada. She recently finished her Masters of Arts (Geography) at McMaster University, with a research focus on experiences of home for people with intellectual disabilities, and the ways this is connected to belonging and inclusion. This work has inspired her to find new ways to support people with ID in creating meaningful relationships in their communities. She is so excited to be a part of the Best Buddies team!



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Amina Sakhiyar

Program Advisor

Amina is a Program Advisor at Best Buddies Canada. She has her Early Childhood Education Diploma from Centennial College and her Child and Youth Care Diploma from George Brown College. Her work in the classroom exposed her to the challenges those with special needs face in their everyday lives, and taught her the importance of inclusion. This is what led her to Best Buddies to help make a difference in those lives!



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Eden Plater

Social Media and Program Advisor

Eden is the Social Media and Program Advisor at Best Buddies Canada. Originally from Sarnia, she earned a Bachelor of Arts, Honours (English Literature) degree from Queen’s University and a Master of Arts (English Literature) degree from Western University before relocating to Toronto. Eden amplifies the Best Buddies’ mission statement through social media channels and works closely with the Best Buddies team and Chapter Leaders to provide support, foster meaningful connections, and create inclusive spaces. She is thrilled to be part of the Best Buddies team.



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Anna Persaud

Grant Writer and Office Admin

Anna is the Grant Writer and Office Admin at Best Buddies. She has received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International Studies from York University, as well as a certificate in Business Administration. Throughout her career in the non-profit sector, Anna has been actively involved in assisting various youth groups in Ontario, tackling issues such as gender equality and providing affordable education, with a particular emphasis on diversity and inclusion. As a part of the Best Buddies team, she is eager to help find new ways to increase opportunities and accessibility for individuals living with an IDD.