National Youth Advisory Committee

Nilanga (Aki) Bandara

Nilanga (Aki) Bandara is currently a Master's student at the University of British Columbia studying Kinesiology. He is passionate about youth empowerment initiatives and evidence-based research. Being a part of the National

Nilanga (Aki) Bandara is currently a Master's student at the University of British Columbia studying Kinesiology. He is passionate about youth empowerment initiatives and evidence-based research. Being a part of the National Youth Advisory Committee (NYAC), was an exciting opportunity for him because it is a space where two of his passions intersected. In his spare time, Aki enjoys going hiking, swimming and running.
Youth Dating Violence

Gabriella Pelletier

"Hello, Bonjour, Bozhoo! I am Gabriella Pelletier from Thunder Bay, Ontario. I am so excited to have been a member of PREVnet National Youth Advisory Committee. I am looking forward to seeing all of our resources, which hopefully will be

"Hello, Bonjour, Bozhoo! I am Gabriella Pelletier from Thunder Bay, Ontario. I am so excited to have been a member of PREVnet National Youth Advisory Committee. I am looking forward to seeing all of our resources, which hopefully will be able to positively impact the youth of Canada. I’m a 15 year old Indigenous-Italian young woman who enjoys all aspects of high school, especially science. When not in class, I play softball a Youth Girls’ League, spend time with my family and friends, stream Netflix, and love to talk politics. In my future, I hope to make positive changes for our beautiful country of Canada.
Being a part of the Youth Advisory Committee this past year has truly been eye-opening. I have loved being able to talk with like-minded people and hear all of their opinions. This experience has truly been able to help my awareness of modern day issues and different perspectives that abound. I am very proud of what our group has been able to accomplish, and can not wait to see what the future holds. I will forever be grateful for the experiences and opportunities I have gained this past year."

Mitchel Hatton

Mitchel Hatton, 18, is a resident of Marathon, ON since 2013 after moving from the small
northern community of White River, ON. He is an active community member of Marathon and
White River, volunteer enthusiast, former Municipal Student

Mitchel Hatton, 18, is a resident of Marathon, ON since 2013 after moving from the small northern community of White River, ON. He is an active community member of Marathon and White River, volunteer enthusiast, former Municipal Student Councillor for the Town of Marathon, Marathon Public Library Board Member, and Student Council President at Marathon High School. Mitchel has gained an exceptional amount of political, entrepreneurial, and business knowledge. As an employee of the Marathon Public Library and the Peninsula Manor Senior Supportive Housing Complex, Mitchel has constructed many programs and services that enabled community members to become more engaged within their community. In his role as the Activities Coordinator at the newly established Peninsula Manor Senior Supportive Housing Complex in Marathon, Mitchel had single-handedly developed the facility’s recreational programming and facilitated partnerships for the seniors with local clubs and organizations.
These partnerships have made the Seniors lives more eventful and thus are helping to keep their minds and bodies active while reducing social and physical isolation amongst the seniors of Marathon and Biigtigong Nishnaabeg. Mitchel has continued his effect to provide services to the community of Marathon through his employment at the Marathon Public Library. Mitchel has organized a countless number of events and programs at the Marathon Public Library that have attracted patrons of all ages. These programs have provided opportunities to patrons who do not share an interest in the town’s sports teams/clubs. Mitchel has also been appointed to MP Patty Hajdu’s Constituency Youth Council as a representative of the Thunder Bay-Superior North District. Mitchel is a very active member with the community and has continually strived to better the lives of those around him.
NYAC Facilitator

Hayley Crooks

Hayley R. Crooks, Ph.D., runs a research consulting practice and is currently a Part-Time Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa. She has a passion for uplifting youth voices, particularly as this pursuit intersects

Hayley R. Crooks, Ph.D., runs a research consulting practice and is currently a Part-Time Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa. She has a passion for uplifting youth voices, particularly as this pursuit intersects with gender-based violence prevention, and her consulting experience includes projects with government, non-profit, and academic organizations. Her expertise includes youth participatory and arts-based research, youth programming, community-based research, qualitative data collection and analysis, and program evaluation. Hayley designs educational resources for young people, educators, and youth workers. She also creates research and outreach strategies around intersecting challenges that create barriers to young people’s equitable digital citizenship.

Alexis Holmgren

Alexis Holmgren is a 20 year old student from Red Deer, Alberta and she is extremely proud to serve as a member of the PREVNet NYAC. She represents both Experiences Canada and the Students Commission of Canada through their

Alexis Holmgren is a 20 year old student from Red Deer, Alberta and she is extremely proud to serve as a member of the PREVNet NYAC. She represents both Experiences Canada and the Students Commission of Canada through their national Be The Program project, training youth to help their peers make healthy decisions about relationships and teen dating violence. She was selected to represent this project on the NYAC.

Alexis is a recent high school graduate and aspires to become a genetic counsellor to help others like herself living with life-threatening rare genetic disorders. She is also highly active in her community and is a passionate patient advocate for the rare disease community, advocate for diversity and inclusion, a published writer, and a world traveller. In her spare time, in addition to being an active member of the NYAC, she; volunteers with Girl Guides as a Link Member and Trainer Candidate (she has been a member of the organization for 13 years and is the recipient of the National Fortitude Award, National Girl Greatness Award for Courage, and the Chief Commissioner’s Gold Award), is the Minister of Education with the TUXIS Youth Parliament of Alberta, volunteers with the Students Commission of Canada, is a member of the Transparency Project with the RCMP National Youth Advisory Committee Alumni, and volunteers at her local Humane Society.

As a Youth Accessibility Leader through the Enabling Accessibility Fund with the Government of Canada, she successfully created a project and lead a grant application that was completed in August 2020 to install ultraviolet light-blocking film on the windows of the G.H. Dawe Pool in Red Deer to make the pool accessible to those living with sun sensitivity disorders. One fun fact is that Alexis has visited all 3 northern territories, enjoying camping under the midnight sun in the Yukon, dogsledding and Northern Light viewing in the Northwest Territories, and visiting the Arctic Ocean above the arctic circle in Nunavut.

NYAC Facilitator

Alyssa Frampton

Alyssa Frampton, BA., works at the intersections of community, rights, health and policy. Alyssa applies a rights-based approach to her work and fundamentally believes that everyone should have access to a safe place to live and to what they need to be healthy.

Alyssa Frampton, BA., works at the intersections of community, rights, health and policy. Alyssa became passionate about youth inclusion in health as a young person who experienced significant barriers to receiving the healthcare information and services she needed. Over the past 8 years, Alyssa has led and advised many initiatives focused on youth and community engagement, health, harm reduction and advocacy. Alyssa applies a rights-based approach to her work and fundamentally believes that everyone should have access to a safe place to live and to what they need to be healthy. Alyssa is an associate with Wisdom2Action, sits on the ACCESS Open Minds National Youth Council, and is involved in several other projects around promoting community engagement and improving health outcomes for all.

In 2020, the NYAC worked together to create these three posters addressing important youth relationship topics. The posters will be sent to select schools across Canada and shared on PREVNet’s social media accounts.

View the Posters:

  • Building Healthy Relationships [EN FR]
  • 8 Warning Signs of Unhealthy Relationships [EN FR]
  • How to Ask for Help [EN FR]