Our Team

EYA is committed to maintaining a staff team and board of directors who represent the youth who participate in our programs. We centre positionality and lived experiences and are working to nurture an equitable, anti-oppressive, and culturally-safe workplace.



Portrait of Cameron Wong.

Carmen Wong

Co-Executive Director, Fundraising & Operations

Carmen is mixed European and Secwépemc from High Bar First Nation on their mother’s side, and Chinese and Japanese on their father’s side. They grew up in the agricultural flats of Burnaby on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples. Carmen is a farmer by training and cooperatively cultivates and stewards a half-acre of land with a small group of friends. They enjoy building greenhouses, making dumplings, and befriending cats. Carmen lives in Mount Pleasant with their partner Arden, and can be spotted riding a motorcycle along the coastline or playing softball in the summertime.


Portrait of Erica Ellis.

Erica Ellis

Co-Executive Director, Programs & Operations

Erica is 2nd generation Japanese on her mother’s side and 6th generation mixed European on her father’s side. She grew up as an uninvited guest on the traditional lands of the Skwxwú7mesh Peoples in North Vancouver where she fell in love with nature. An upbringing on these lands inspired Erica to pursue a degree in Natural Resource Conservation, then a Master’s in Education for Sustainability at UBC. Erica can now be found in Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) with her partner Brennan and dog Valley, where she spends her time cooking Japanese food, spending time outside with family, and tending to her garden.


Portrait of David Palmer.

David Palmer

Director, Fundraising & Communications

David is a dual UK/Canadian citizen who grew up in the urban-rural fringes of London. A settler on unceded MST territories, he landed on the west coast following a Master’s in Gender and Sexuality at University of London and a year-long bicycle journey across Europe and Asia. David is passionate about restoring ecological balance and loves connecting with nature in and out of the city. He lives in East Van where he enjoys growing food and medicine, fibre art, and playing the piano.


Portrait of Deandra Atmojo.

Deandra Atmojo

Manager, Land-Based Education

Deandra is a settler from Indonesia with mixed Chinese and Southeast Asian ancestry from both parents. She grew up in a small town called Malang in East Java and moved to the Coast Salish territories in 2015 to pursue a degree in Natural Resources Conservation at UBC. Deandra is a passionate educator and a life-long learner who enjoys gaining knowledge on horticulture and Indigenous medicinal plants. In her spare time she likes to hike, do plant walks with her friends, or bury her head in a book.


Portrait of Jess Duncan.

Jess Duncan

Manager, Sites & Stewardship

Jess is a second generation settler who’s ancestors come from England, Scotland, and Trinidad. She grew up on traditional unceded lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ territory and studied Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, where she found a love for talking to people about plants and a passion for creating accessible spaces for people to create personal connections with nature. When she isn’t talking about plants, you can find her practicing yoga, reading, riding her bike, knitting, or hiking, snowboarding, and exploring the natural areas of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ territory.


Portrait of Mahki Pelletier.

Mahki Pelletier

Program Coordinator

Mahki is Indigenous and mixed-settler: Métis and Cree descent with roots in the Qu’Appelle valley on their father’s side as well as Romanian and Irish descent through their mother. Born and raised primarily on Stó:lō territory, their love for trees and native plants led Mahki to pursue a degree in Environmental Sciences at SFU. Nowadays Mahki lives with family on Katzie, and Qayqayt territory in Surrey where they volunteer with the Surrey Indigenous Youth Advisory Council. An artist by blood, Mahki spends freetime beading, crocheting… and jigging – so don’t be alarmed if you hear sudden horse gallops!


Portrait of Maria Paula Serrano.

Maria Paula Serrano

Coordinator, Fundraising & Communications

Maria Paula is an Ecuadorian citizen who grew up in the coastal city of Guayaquil. A recent settler in unceded Coast Salish territories, Maria Paula came to Vancouver in 2017 to study a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. In addition to her Geography studies, she pursued a minor in Creative Writing. Maria Paula is passionate about climate action, communication, community engagement, and enjoys cooking, dog-watching, and practicing yoga and photography in her spare time.


Portrait of Mehar Imran.

Mehar Imran

Program Coordinator

Mehar is a first-generation Pakistani settler, born and raised on the traditional unceded territories of the Katzie, Semiahmoo, and Kwantlen Nations. As a kid, she was always climbing trees and learning how to garden from her father, and in 2016 she moved to Coast Salish territories to pursue an undergraduate degree in Urban Forestry at UBC. Mehar is an advocate for community empowerment and equity and bringing people closer to nature and its gifts. These days you can find her experimenting with new cake recipes, hiking with friends or daydreaming underneath her favourite tree.


Portrait of Nasya Moore.

Nasya Moore

Program Coordinator

Nasya is Nisga’a and Leq’a:mel and grew up among many plants and bears in the Nass Valley in Northern BC. She now studies Land and Food Systems on unceded Musqueam Territory, and is interested in learning about plants as medicine for people and the land. Nasya is excited to pass on the teachings of plants from her own Nations, as well as lessons people and plants have shared with her on Haida and Ahousat Territories. She spends her free time searching for places with strong coffee and funky lichen.


Portrait of Niki Westman.

Niki Westman


Niki is a 3rd/4th generation settler of western European ancestry. She spent her childhood on unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin territory. Before becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant, Niki wrote a Master’s thesis in English Literature on the pedagogy of Indigenous ecological principles in fiction by First Nations’ authors. Inspired by the teachings of northwest coast Indigenous voices, Niki transplanted herself to Coast Salish territory in 1997 where she enjoys growing beans in the community garden that she founded, as much as she loves counting beans for EYA.


Board of Directors

Portrait of Amy Nugent.

Amy Nugent


Amy Nugent is a sixth-generation Irish settler who grew up on the Algonquin territory known as Pembroke, Ontario and has lived as an uninvited guest on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations for 18 years, currently near Cottonwood and Strathcona Community Gardens with her family. Amy works as the Executive Director at Urbanarium, serves as a board member for the Black and Indigenous Design Collective, and enjoys growing The Sculpture Fund, gardening, and taking off swimming.

Portrait of Joey Levesque.

Joey Levesque


Joey is a Vancouver local of mixed Indigenous and settler ancestry. He graduated from the Allard School of Law at UBC, and studied at the Peace Palace and Leiden University while living in the Netherlands; he now practices securities and corporate law downtown. Joey grew up immersed in the Canadian wilderness and spends as much time as possible scuba diving, sailing, motorcycling and skiing, with his dog Peanut in tow.

Portrait of Max Kittner.

Max Kittner


Max is a third-generation settler of Ashkenazi Jewish and German/Irish heritage. Prior to settling in Coast Salish territory for school at UBC, he was raised and grew up in Piscataway territory (so-called Washington, DC). Since graduating from university in Geography and Urban Studies, Max now works at a local First Nations administration as a research assistant analyzing land rights. In his free time, he camps on summer weekends, and occasionally DJs at CITR. At home, Max can be found planning his next getaway or drawing fictional maps while watching TV and eating M&Ms on his couch.

Portrait of Njoki Mburu.

Njoki Mburu


Njoki Mbũrũ is a grandchild of subsistence farmers who was born & raised in Kenya’s Rift Valley region. She graduated from the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in International Development. Informed by her experiences and observations of the evolving political and environmental landscape in the places she has lived, Njoki feels drawn to public policy & social impact, focusing on land justice and food sovereignty for Indigenous communities across the world. She currently lives on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

Portrait of Paula Hay.

Paula Hay


Paula is a 12th generation settler with European ancestry, grateful to be living and working in the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ Nations. She currently lives on Nexwlélexwm (also known as Bowen Island) in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory. Paula has lived in several countries, including South Africa where she explored her interest in community-driven solutions to climate change. She loves her current work as a community planner with Indigenous communities and she is passionate about engaging Indigenous youth in planning. Paula spends much of her free time supporting various environmental initiatives and also loves hiking and dancing.

Portrait of Pravallikha Samuthirarajan.

Pravallikha Samuthirarajan


Pravallikha is a third culture kid from Chidambaram, India. Her social confidence and ability to thrive alongside people convinced her to pursue MBM in Aotearoa. Her passion for creating a fair and equitable world led her to become a policy advisor, helping with economic recovery efforts from the pandemic in NZ. Now, she works as a senior policy analyst in BC. On top of her involvement in environmental and climate justice initiatives globally, she promotes low impact living through her social enterprise. She is often found snorkeling, swimming, diving, or dreaming about her next backpacking adventure.

Raymond Au


Raymond is a first-generation settler from Hong Kong with ancestry from China. He is grateful to be living and working on the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. As a Chartered Professional Accountant, Raymond enjoys working with people in the not-for-profit sector. He has been in various leadership roles and is currently the Finance Manager at YMCA BC, working on financial planning and analysis, scenario modeling, and performance reporting. Raymond can be found biking or exploring new restaurants in the city, and possibly playing badminton with his friends during Sundays.

Portrait of Shogofa Alizada.

Shogofa Alizada


Shogofa is a Hazara who moved to the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations in 2017. She is pursuing a BA in Environment and Sustainability and a minor in GIS and Geographical Computations at the University of British Columbia. Shogofa is passionate about community development and is currently involved in youth volunteer programs focusing on climate adaptation, conservation, and community engagement. She currently works with non-profit organizations to support refugees and newcomers with their settlement process across the lower mainland. Shogofa enjoys connecting with friends while exploring the city and the nature outside it.

Portrait of Wendel Vistan.

Wendel Vistan


Wendel is a first-generation settler from the Philippines who was raised on her grandfather’s rice farm on the traditional lands of the Aeta Magbukún peoples. She grew up as an uninvited guest on the unceded territories of the Tsawwassen, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, where she was able to explore her expanding interest in nature and community. She is currently a student at KPU studying Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. In her spare time, Wendel loves to go on bike rides, make art, and go on walks around her neighbourhood admiring people’s gardens.

A group shot of EYA's team wearing t-shirts with the EYA logo. They are sitting and standing outdoors and posing.

Youth Advisory Circle

EYA’s Youth Advisory Circle consists of 8-10 youth who have previously participated in our programs. Youth Advisory Circle members meet four times each year, and offer their skills, knowledge, and lived experiences to advise EYA on various aspects of our operations and programming.

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