Jennifer Appleby is a strong leader in program delivery at the local, provincial/territorial and national level. She has experience working in the inclusion community and is committed to enriching the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Jennifer spent the last 11 years with the Prosserman JCC and the Schwartz/Reisman Centre, most recently as Vice-President of Programs and Outreach. Before that she served for 12 years as the Director, Program Development for Special Olympics Canada and Special Olympics Ontario. Her daughters are proud participants of the Best Buddies Canada program at their high school.
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 is eager to work with her team to find additional meaningful resources to share with the Best Buddies community in the hopes of further enriching the lives of every member. Shaneika loves helping others, so please reach out if there is anything she can assist with!
Deanna Alakoozai is the Expansion Manager at Best Buddies Canada. For the last 5 years, Deanna’s role has been pivotal in expanding the organization’s reach and ensuring that every school can implement the values of inclusion through friendship.
Deanna’s journey in social work began with a deep-seated commitment to serving a cause greater than herself. With her recently obtained Master’s in Social Work from Yeshiva University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from York University, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her position at Best Buddies Canada. Her academic background has equipped her with a strong foundation in the field of social work, enabling her to better understand the diverse needs of the community she serves.
Deanna guides and supports chapters every step of the way, ensuring that the program is set up smoothly and effectively. If you are seeking information about starting a chapter, Deanna is here to assist you. Her creative ideas are a testament of her commitment to continuous improvement and her unwavering dedication to the Best Buddies mission.
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 experience is what led her to Best Buddies to help make a difference in those lives!
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.
Eden is the Social Media and Program Advisor at Best Buddies Canada. Originally from Sarnia, she earned a Bachelor of Arts, Honours degree from Queen’s University and a Master of Arts degree – both in English Literature – 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.
Safwen is the Bilingual Program Advisor at Best Buddies Canada. He holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Business Analytics from Tunis Business School. Additionally, he has completed a certificate in leadership and conflict resolution from Portland State University. Safwen has extensive experience managing projects with international partners, including USAID, to support the development of programs aimed at assisting Tunisia’s vulnerable population.
Moreover, Safwen has worked as a capacity-building specialist for higher education in Tunisia, leading projects with the Ministry of Higher Education and USAID. His focus was on developing and organizing training programs for career centers, with the goal of strengthening workforce development for recent graduates .
Since relocating to Canada, Safwen has worked as a consultant specializing in fundraising and proposal writing for associations at the University of Sherbrooke. He looks forward to spreading Best Buddies’ mission in Eastern Canada.
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