Do you believe that every child deserves a bright future? 

Do you feel strongly that young mothers deserve the tools and supports to achieve their dreams?

Youville Centre is looking for compassionate, engaged and motivated individuals to join our Board of Directors. If you are passionate about helping adolescent mothers and their children become self-sufficient and successful, please consider applying, and support our non-profit organization in this important volunteer capacity.

Read the job description here to learn more about the role of a Board Member.

The recruitment and selection of volunteers for Youville Centre’s Board of Directors reflects the principles of transparency, objectivity, and attention to matching the needs of the organization and representing the diversity of our community. Youville Centre strives to be an accepting environment free of discrimination and harassment, and align with our Guiding Principles found here.

Apply now! Online Application for Youville Centre Board of Directors

*New applicants will be considered for any vacancies for the 2020-2021 year; AGM is held annually in September.

*We currently seek people with expertise in one or more of the following areas: Fundraising & Development, and Child and Youth Mental Health.



Youville Centre Board of Directors

Youville Centre is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Our current Board Members are listed below. Scroll down for full biographies.

Executive President




Manager (Retired), Adult Basic Education & Literacy, OCSB

Executive President - Shailja Verma

Shailja Verma retired after 35 plus years of service in education as a teacher and then as the Manager of Continuing and Community Education for the Ottawa Catholic School Board. She has always believed that providing opportunities for self sustainment leads to a brighter and better future in building communities and strived to ensure that access to quality educational programs was at the forefront. Over the years Shailja Co-Chaired the National Working Group on the Development of the Canadian Language Benchmarks, was involved with TESL provincially and nationally, held various offices on the Boards culminating as President of TESL Ontario and TESL Canada. Shailja also represented the Ottawa Catholic School Board on the Governing Council of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership Board and was involved in anti-racism training for the local and national police forces. In recognition of her work she has received many awards some of which are the Ottawa Citizen Literacy Award, the YM-YWCA Woman of Distinction and the Ontario Newcomer Champion Award. More recently Shailja has been on the patient advisory committee for CCAC to provide a voice for those who are primary caregivers trying to navigate the Ontario health care system.

Lawyer, Sevigny Dupuis LLP

Secretary - Lauren Benoit

Lauren is a lawyer practicing in the areas of labour, employment and human rights. Lauren represents both employer and employee clients in a wide range of employment-related matters. She is a passionate advocate for her clients and strives to ensure they feel supported while navigating the legal process. Before going to law school, Lauren earned a Master’s degree from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, and a degree in Global Development and Political Studies from Queen’s University.

In her spare time, Lauren enjoys traveling, cooking, hiking and exploring new restaurants. She is very excited to contribute her time, energy and legal expertise to supporting the extremely important work done at the Youville Centre.

Regional Office Manager, Consulting, MNP

Treasurer - Valerie Caterino

I grew up on a farm in the Ottawa Valley but have been living in the Ottawa area for over 30 years. I am the Regional Office Manager for MNP LLP, an accounting and business advisory firm. I have a passion for helping people. I have coordinated committees at A Hundred Answers Inc and now MNP LLP to give back to our community by volunteering at the Snowsuit fund distributing snowsuits, delivering Christmas and Easter hampers for the Food Bank, and organizing a scholarship for Aboriginal youths with the University of Ottawa to name just a few. I have two children and one grandson. I was a single mother with my daughter and am very aware of the challenges of raising a child on your own. I am now the Treasurer on the Board of Directors at the Youville Centre. I support the Youville Centre because I am a strong believer that education is a key element in making the best life possible for oneself and your children. The Youville Centre supports young women in achieving this goal and I am proud to be a part of this organization.

Community Member

Director - Chantal Guay

Chantal is a highly motivated bilingual executive with a successful track record in association management, business development, people, operations, and financial management. She has excellent communication skills, with the ability to build, mobilize, and lead successful teams. She is driven by high quality standards with a customer-focused approach. Chantal is a member of the Women’s Golf Club, plays recreational volleyball, and volunteers for NSERC for the Engineering Design Chair Committee, as well as the Women in Science and Engineering Chair Committee. Her passions include gardening, reading, golfing, sports, singing, cooking, and travelling. She has joined the Youville Centre Board with a goal of empowering young women, especially those who are in difficult situations and have children to care for.

Communications Professional

Director - Kellie Major

Kellie is a communications consultant, who has also worked in politics. She has lived in Ottawa for about 25 years, but actually grew up on a small town in Manitoba and came to Ottawa to attend Carleton University for Journalism School. She is married with 2 kids, a 21 year old daughter and 16 year old son. Along with her husband, she owns two companies in the construction business. Her hobbies are obsessing about political current events, reading, baking, hanging out with friends and family, walking her two dogs, travel and spending time at the cottage. Along with volunteering on the Youville Centre Board of Directors, she is also a Mentor in the Mentorship Program.

Lawyer, Warren Camacho LLP

Director - Stephanie White

Stephanie has practised as a civil litigator for over ten years, specializing in commercial litigation, employment matters, and family law. Stephanie represents and advises local, national and multinational corporations on employment issues, insurance claims, and general breach of contract disputes. In her family law practice, Stephanie provides expert guidance to individuals on a broad range of issues including custody and access, child support, spousal support, division of property, and domestic contracts. She regularly appears before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and assists clients at Mediation.

Outside of work, Stephanie is the mother of an active toddler and an avid ultimate Frisbee player and national silver medalist. Stephanie leads a full life and looks forward to devoting her energy, commitment, and compassion, along with her legal expertise, to supporting Youville in performing its important community functions.

(Retired) Correctional Services Canada

Director - Lee Redpath

In 2019 I retired from the Federal Government, where I spent 30 years with the Correctional Service Canada. The last 11 years of my career were as an Executive at our National Headquarters and one year as a Warden at a maximum-security institution. During my career I had the privilege of leading a team of Canadian correctional staff as we assisted the United Nations in their work with the Kosovo Prison Service; rebuilding the prison service after the Kosovo War in 1999. I previously volunteered with the City of Ottawa at the Centrepoint Theatre, providing home cooked meals for artists who performed there. Since retirement I have worked with the United Nations in Nigeria, developing of a series of tools to assist the military screening and categorizing captured individuals who are accused of being members or associates of Non-State Armed Groups. My personal hobbies include kayaking, cycling and cooking.

Associate Executive Director, Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre

Director - Natasha McBrearty

Natasha McBrearty is a Registered Psychotherapist and health administrator with over 20 years of experience working in community mental health, including Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre, the Youth Services Bureau, and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with, and learning from, incredible people every day. I am constantly inspired as I witness them making significant changes in their lives, moving closer to their goals and aspirations. That is what drives me. I am passionate about the important services that the Youville Centre provides and I am committed to ensuring that young moms and their children receive the best possible care. Outside of work, I can be found running; running on the beautiful Ottawa canal or running after my 3 children and my new puppy.

(Retired) Chief Operating Officer, Aon Canada

Director - Susan Ernst

I have recently retired after thirty plus years of executive positions in the private sector focusing on Information Technology, Client Services, Operational Management and Organizational Design. Complex problem solving was a foremost career passion as was mentoring, coaching and developing staff. After many years of international business travel, I am delighted to be retired and have opportunities to contribute to our Ottawa community. Our three adult children, their partners and our five grandchildren make me happiest. I am an avid outdoor person and love golfing, hiking, and almost all winter and summer sports. I love cooking and having my table full of family and friends which has been a problem during Covid! I am a proud member the One World Grannies who are part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and their Grandmother-to-Grandmother campaign.

Manager, Internal Communications, NAV CANADA

Director - stefanie bourada

Stefanie is a communications strategist, with more than ten years experience leading communication and company culture initiatives in the private and not-for-profit sectors. She is currently the Manager of Internal Communications at NAV CANADA, where she is responsible for providing strategic communications and advisory support to internal stakeholders. Stefanie began her career in social services, where she gained valuable insight into the unique challenges often faced by our community’s most vulnerable population. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of Ottawa and is a certified Change Practitioner. She is the proud mother of young twins and has a true appreciation of the importance of providing mothers with access to support and resources, to help them thrive and achieve their full potential.

(Retired) Director, Health Canada

Director - Carolyn Harrison

Carolyn Harrison has over 30 years’ experience working for Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada in the field of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Her work has been devoted to infant, child and family health where Ms. Harrison was a key contributor to the development of national programs including the Postpartum Parenting Support Program, Nobody's Perfect Parenting Program, Community Action Program for Children, and Aboriginal Head Start, on and off reserve. She was also a key player in the development and implementation of national policy statements including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. As Director, Family Health, Ms. Harrison was instrumental in working with Indigenous communities and other government departments towards a single window approach to the delivery of Early Childhood Programming. Ms. Harrison is a true collaborator and has worked extensively with a number of NGOs including the former Canadian Institute of Child Health, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, The Canadian Paediatric Society, The Canadian Public Health Association, The Assembly of First Nations, and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami in order to ensure that the needs of children, youth, families and communities are met with respect to child and family health. Ms. Harrison holds a degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Toronto. Carolyn lives in Ottawa and has three children and four beautiful grand daughters.