Hamzah AlgodiFood and Community Gardener Animator
Born in the United Arab Emirates, Iraqi National, Hamzah Algodi was heartily welcomed to Milton's community in 2013. He learned at Hawthorne Village Public School before going to White Oaks Secondary School for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Now, he heads to Western University to earn a Bachelor of Health Sciences. Hamzah has always committed himself to working with and for the community, most recently volunteering for the Milton Liberal Youth Association. Hamzah has also been always involved with youth engagement; notably, he worked 4 years as a soccer coach for a U-10 team. Lastly, Hamzah loves gardening and the environment. Gardening is a strong part of his Iraqi culture! Now, working with Halton Food as a Community Garden Educational Assistant, he gets to combine those 3 passions into one! Hamzah has an outgoing personality and can communicate in English, Arabic and French.
Stephanie BushDeputy Director of Halton Environmental Network
Stephanie worked as a Social Worker for nearly 15 years. During that time, she completed a Certificate in Project Management and worked as a Family Engagement Coordinator. A break from that work found her rediscovering her passion for environmental protection, conservation and now, climate change action. With two young children, and climate change concerns increasing, Stephanie has re-dedicated herself to working to preserve the planet for the future of all. She is working with Greening Sacred Spaces as a Program Manager to support those in various faith communities to reduce their carbon emissions for the greater good.
Heather GovenderHalton Environmental Network’s School Programme Director
Heather graduated from the University of Toronto in 2018 with a PhD in Cell & Systems Biology, and Collaborative Program in Environmental Studies. She is an Ontario Certified Teacher and a passionate environmentalist both personally and professionally. Heather strives to live her life as close to zero waste as possible, and shares her waste reduction tips and tricks with family, friends, and the public through means ranging from casual conversations, to educational workshops, to formal presentations. Anyone who participates in her waste reduction workshops or presentations can expect to learn how their personal "garbage footprints" relate to over-consumption of the earth's resources, our growing problem of ocean plastics, and climate change. Heather has run the Halton Green Screens program and much of the educational programming for HEN since 2015.
Afreen GhouseHalton Environmental Network Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ)
Afreen obtained a B.Sc. in Biology, with a minor in Psychology. She aspires to be an advocate for the younger generation and provide them with the voice + necessary tools for climate action change. Fiercely passionate in raising awareness for our deteriorating Earth, she is determined to motivate all who will listen - put on your eco-hat, and let us sprint together to create the universal change needed for a sustainable future. Utilizing her strength in creativity and event planning, she hopes to engage communities in an interactive way to promote this message. While a perfectionist to a fault (working on it), she whole-heartedly enjoys the detailed planning that goes into launching an event. To take breaks in between the adrenaline rush from coordination, she is an avid reader. Through the books she consumes, she loves becoming immersed in her imagination. She uses this to fuel her own writing style, and enjoys learning new mechanics in creating vivid descriptions and eloquent sentences to draw in a reader. Time is a luxury we do not have, so she is constantly searching for more opportunities to volunteer her time and make a difference.
Food and Community Garden Animator
firstname.lastname@example.orgAlicja Jazwiec graduated from McMaster University as a Master of Science in Hydrogeology, after completing her undergraduate studies in Earth and Environmental Science. Currently, Alicja is completing her Bachelor of Education at Brock University. She hopes to combine her passions for the environment and the local community with her love for teaching. Alicja loves teaching the next generation about our local environment, sustainability best practices, and the steps we can take as a community to protect our shared environment. Her love for the environment translates into her personal life, where she enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, reading, travelling, and of course, gardening.
Halton Environmental Network Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ)
Waste Diversion Manager
Studying with a math and science focus at Thomas A. Blakelock high school, Dorian is committed to constantly innovating for a better future. Dorian has been incredibly involved in his community from a young age doing volunteer work for the Town of Oakville, the YMCA, Junior Optimist International, Tech Under 20 and even with the Halton Environmental Network just to name a few. Dorian wholeheartedly believes that to have a prosperous future, the paradigm of sustainability has to be a core focus. That’s why Dorian always strives to make a positive environmental impact however he can whether that’s by joining local school cleanups, helping to lead youth sustainability initiatives or by innovating his own solutions to solve tough environmental problems. As an incoming freshman to the Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences program at McMaster University, Dorian is excited to put his passion into action and make a meaningful impact.
Lisa KohlerExecutive Director
Lisa’s career in the environmental not-for-profit sector spans more than twenty years in the U.S. and Canada. Lisa has a degree in environmental policy and analysis and certifications as an Accredited Partnership Broker and an Al Gore Climate Reality Leadership Corps trainer.With internationally-recognized leadership for inspiring climate change initiatives, Lisa has an influential role in Halton. She initiated the Halton Climate Collective, a dedicated team of regional and municipal leaders focused on advancing local action. In addition to engaging the community in climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, she champions successful HEN programs including Halton Green Screens, Oakville Ready, and Greening Sacred Spaces Halton-Peel Chapter. Lisa is skilled in collective facilitation, transitioning innovation and developing inter-relational strategies integrating climate action, environmental sustainability and the green economy.Lisa serves on the Community Energy Task Force for the Town of Oakville, Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable, Halton District School Board’s Environmental Management Team, Green Communities Canada National Board of Directors, iMatter Canada National Board of Directors, and the Halton Region’s Natural Heritage Advisory Committee.
Alyson Prokop-BakerCommunity Garden Coordinator
Alyson has been with Halton Food since 2018, as Education Coordinator coordinating our community gardens in Burlington as well as developing and delivering programs for Burlington elementary and high school students and the community. Alyson's passion lies in local food production and strengthening our connection to growing food. With a BSc in Plant Biology, MSc Plant Pathology, as well as a Diploma in Outdoor Education Alyson has worked for certified organic farms and built a rich career as a botanical instructor and community garden coordinator the past 15 years. Alyson loves teaching others about the benefits of being able to grow their own food and make good food choices - especially through applied learning and you'll often find her in the garden with compost-encrusted hair, mud on her face and always with a cup of tea in hand.
Helen StephensonCommunity Garden Coordinator
With nearly 200 square feet of vegetable gardens in her backyard, a certificate in Horticulture from the University of Guelph, and a degree in Biology from the University of Waterloo, Helen has extensive knowledge in sustainable urban agriculture. Helen joined Halton Food Council, now Halton Food, in 2017 but had been leading the Junior Gardening Program through the Oakville Horticultural Society for many years before that. Her program included lessons on vegetable growing, weeding, watering, harvesting as well as talks by experts on soil, bugs, milkweed and bees. She has also spent many years independently studying, identifying and growing species native to the Carolinian Region. She is committed to remaining up-to-date and involved with current trends in horticulture.When she isn’t gardening, Helen is actively involved with the sport of curling.