The real heroes of the impossible2Possible Youth Expeditions are the Youth Ambassadors. They not only defy any perceived physical or mental barriers in their own lives, but they truly inspire the thousands of students who follow their every step during an expedition.
These Youth Ambassadors will lead positive social action and are therefore ideal role models for today's youth. They are joined by the i2P Expedition Team; a group of passionate individuals that volunteer their time before, during and after expeditions. See links below for details!
Education & Research Team
Breanna is in her third year at Michigan Technological University, majoring in environmental engineering and minoring in Spanish and coaching. Breanna started
running at the age of 11, and it helped her to conquer her
struggle with anorexia nervosa. Breanna has since
participated in track, cross country, and rowing in high
school, while completing 7 marathons and ultra-races.
Breanna is the Vice President for the Rowing Club at
Michigan Tech. In August of 2011, Breanna ran from
Grand Rapids, MI to the Mackinaw bridge to raise money
for the rowing club and promote physical fitness on
campus. Last summer, Breanna worked as an intern for
the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in the
drinking water quality division.
Gillian grew up in Mississauga, Ontario and spent her
summers sailing on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, where she developed her love of nature and the
outdoors. Prior to moving out west, she was a Karate
athlete, and competed for many years. She was also
involved in other sports including skiing, cross country,
track and field, field hockey and swimming.
Now a fourth year Human Kinetics student at UBC
Okanagan in Kelowna, BC, Gillian is passionate about
being active, and leading a healthy lifestyle. She currently
lives in Fernie, BC - a beautiful mountain town where she
enjoys activities such as skiing, mountain biking, hiking,
and trail running.
Gillian is excited to have been chosen as a Youth
Ambassador for Botswana. She has been in a leadership
role in many different situations in the past, and is looking
forward to this next challenge. She looks forward to
seeing a completely new culture. There is a quote that
states: “adventure alters perspective”. The unofficial Fernie
motto is "Give 'Er". On the Botswana trip, she plans to do
Nansen has spent most of his life training and crosscountry ski racing. He has spent the last 12 summers
working at his family's wilderness adventure lodge "Arctic
Watch" - located on Sommerset Island, Nunavut, where he
has had the chance to guide and work with people from
around the word. Nansen's passion now is wildlife
photography and wildlife filmmaking. This summer at
Arctic Watch, he will be the principal photographer for
the Arctic Watch Beluga Foundation. With a friend this
past winter, he went on a hiking trip in Patagonia, and
hiked over 350 km throughout Chile and Argentina. Then
in April, he went to France and Switzerland and did some
AT skiing in the Alps. Nansen is always looking for new
and exciting adventure!
Saskia hopes to work with governments on international
environmental issues once she finishes her last year of
high school in her home city of Port Moody, a small
suburb of Vancouver.
Living between the borders of sea and mountains
inspired her love of wilderness and sport from an early
age. She backpacks, plays soccer, and runs cross-country.
She also founded the Green Team and led the Global
Issues Club at her school, where she is also an executive
member of her school district's Student Leadership
Council. In her spare time, she volunteers for a salmon
enhancement project, bands birds, and puts on
environmental stewardship camps for youth.
Hannah is a native of Kwa-Zulu Natal Africa, who now
lives in Ontario, Canada. She has never left her roots
behind and has maintained her commitment to Africa
through a number of initiatives designed to give back to
her homeland - including working with HIV/AIDS
orphans, supporting the Kids In Need Program, being part
of "Team Afrika," a group that toured South Africa to serve
the homeless and destitute, volunteering at a Safe House
in Cape Town.
Hannah is also an active member of community in
Canada, and enjoys spending time outdoors hiking,
running, and biking. Hannah is currently pursuing her
post secondary studies in Police Foundations and hopes
to serve her community as a Police Officer in the future.
Holly just completed her last year of high school in her
hometown of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Having grown
up in the Yukon, she has acquired a strong appreciation
for the outdoors and a passion for many of the activities
that it hosts (hiking, running, biking, paddling, skiing and
camping). Holly is a dedicated cross-country skier and
has been racing the national circuit for the past four years.
Throughout the ski season she is also involved in
coaching younger athletes. Her goal in coaching is to
provide the kids with a strong role model to help inspire
and nurture enthusiasm towards sport and a healthy life
style. Holly's other hobbies include having spontaneous
dance parties, singing in the car and playing/teaching
Hope is currently the Assistant Track & Field Coach at Connecticut College. She graduated with honors in June of 2012 from Ohio University with a degree Journalism. As Captain of the Varsity Track & Field team there, she broke two school records and competed at the Junior National Championships in the Heptathlon. As one of eight kids, she loves a hectic environment and enjoys making movies, going on adventures, and traveling to new places.
In high school, she traveled to El Salvador as part of a mission trip to teach children English and build a water pump for the local village, which ignited her passion for helping others. She has done work with Athletes In Action and the Special Olympics. In addition to volunteer work, she was named Athlete of the Year at Walsh Jesuit High School for having success on the Cross Country, Basketball, and Track & Field teams all four years.
Most recently in 2012, Hope was selected as a Youth Ambassador for the i2P Expedition Africa and will have the incredible opportunity to help Educate, Inspire, and Empower youth worldwide while running across the Kalahari Desert. In the future, Hope plans to join the Peace Corps to help others and to inspire change.
Marie is a recent graduate from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA with a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts. She mainly studied philosophy and theology, and on the side in the summer time took 2 years' worth of Persian/Farsi language courses, her eyes were opened to the social difficulties faced by those regions. This fall she will begin pursuing a MAster's Degree in the Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona; where she hopes to eventually devote herself to women's rights in the Middle East as well as improving international relations.
Outside the classroom, she began running in high school with 4 years of track and cross country; and also fenced epée for several years. In addition to running, she enjoys playing piano and singing in the school choir, and also absolutely love ballroom dancing. She is honored to have been selected as a Youth Ambassador and is beyond thrilled turn her passion for running into an opportunity to help others and make positive changes in the world!!
In 2006/7, Ray and two other runners ran the entire width of the Sahara Desert-7500 kms (4600 miles) in 111 days with no rest days-and in the process learned of the seriousness of the water crisis in Africa. The run was documented in a film directed by Oscar winner James Moll and narrated by Matt Damon. One of the goals of the film is to raise awareness for the water crisis in Africa. Ray is an established ultra marathoner and speaker who uses his athletic career to support intiatives and causes he believes in. Ray is official Athletic Ambassador for the ONEXONE organization and is a board member of the Ryan's Well Foundation. Ray has completed 8 major expeditions to date and was recently a member of the South Pole Quest, the Siberian Express teams and in early 2011 ran the length of the Atacama Desert. He is the founder of impossible2Possible. Visit RayZahab.com.
Bob Cox has been in athletics all of his life (a lifelong surfer with nearly 10 years in the surf industry) and has recently found his stride in endurance endeavors such as the Canada OnexOne, the Oceanside 70.3 Triathlon, multiple 50k's, and the San Francisco 24hour footrace race with a top ten finish. He spent much of his youth surfing in the Pacific Ocean and from those experiences his passion for our big blue planet was formed. Bob earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with an emphasis on Public Policy from California State University, Northridge. His appreciation for clean drinking water grew from his profession as a potable and recycled water Cross Connection Specialist in California. In October 2007, Bob met Ray at a Livestrong event in Texas and from that moment he knew his life had changed. From that day forward the two men have dedicated their lives to the message and ideals of i2P.
Kathy is an Environmental Advisor with a Crown Corporation of the Canadian government whose responsibilities include reviewing environmental and social documentation, benchmarking against international standards. Additional duties include risk reviews and monitoring of international projects. Kathy takes an active role in defining the relationships of i2P's many partners as it pertains to corporate social responsibility policies and initiatives. An experienced ultra marathoner, Kathy has participated in 2 of the i2P Youth Expeditions as both a mentor and coordinator. Kathy also continues to pursue her own athletic goals, with planned running expeditions in the future.
Ferg is a 53 year old father of two children, Carter age 21, and Connie age 18. He lives in South Surrey British Columbia with Cheryl his wife of 26 years. Ferg has been competing in triathlon, marathon and ultra marathons since 1989.
His triathlon resume includes a 9:27 Ironman and a third place finish at the three day Ultraman Triathlon World Championships in Kona Hawaii. Ferg has run a 3:01 marathon split at the Ironman and a 6:44 clocking in the double marathon leg of the Ultraman. Ferg also competed for Canada as a member of the Canadian National Triathlon team in 1991, representing Canada at the World Triathlon Championships in Surfer's Paradise, Australia.
In the sport of ultra marathon Ferg finished first place in the inaugural Eagle 100 miler, Canada's toughest trail run. In the world-renowned classic multi-stage Marathon des Sables, held in the Sahara desert in Morocco, his eighth place performance is the highest ever by a North American. Ferg has twice finished 2nd overall that the 135 mile Badwater Ultramarathon held in Death Valley California.
Ferg has also worked on the "Run For One Planet" team as a physical trainer and nutrition consultant during Matt Hill and Stephanie Tait's amazing 11,000 mile run around North America. This is Ferg's second i2P Youth Expedition.
Young, dedicated and passionate, Samantha has embraced the sport of ultra running and the unique perspective that it offers. Having completed her first major ultra marathon in RacingThePlanet’s Atacama Crossing (March 2010), she spontaneously set her mind to become the first female and youngest person ever to complete the series GrandSlam in that same year (250kms in Chile, China, Egypt and Antarctica). In 2011, she doubled the distance she had ever run before in completing La Ultra The High, a 222km non-stop race in the foothills of the Himalayas with an average altitude of 14,765 ft and reaching up to 17,000 ft at its highest point.
Since then Samantha has developed her love of the sport into a vehicle to raise awareness and funds for charities close to her heart. In 2012, Samantha created her first expedition under the mentorship and guidance of Ray Zahab and Impossible2Possible - a 379km single-stage crossing of the Simpson Desert - with the sole purpose of raising $69,000 for an early education program with Save the Children. A month after she completed the Simpson crossing, she coordinated fundraising efforts to raise $38,000 for Kate Sanderson and Turia Pitt, victims of the bushfire in the Kimberley 100km ultra. She is a keen Patron of Nutrition Plus, an Australian schools-based initiative designed to engage Indigenous and other low socio-economic children attending those schools, their families and communities in the pursuit of good health with a particular focus on improved nutrition.
As well as being a graduate lawyer at international law firm, Baker & McKenzie, Samantha is the National Ambassador for the League of Extraordinary Women and a motivational speaker to the corporate, non-profit and education sectors.
Samantha is extremely excited to continue her association with Impossible2Possible through the Botswana Youth Ambassador Expedition that embodies their shared vision of education and empowerment through adventure.
Dr. Geoff Outerbridge
Geoff is the clinical director for World Spine Care (www.worldspinecare.org), an interprofessional, international not for profit organization bringing research, education and clinical care for musculoskeletal disorders to underserved communities around the world. He and his family currently reside in Mahalapye Botswana, the site of the pilot project for World Spine Care where he is developing a model of care for Spinal disorders. From 2001 to 2011, Geoff owned a successful multidisciplinary health clinic in Ottawa, which integrated Chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, naturopathy, rehabilitation, and complimentary alternative medicine. His interests include the prevention and management of occupational and sports related injuries, integrating chiropractic with exercise protocols and soft tissue mobilization techniques. Throughout his career, Geoff has taught courses in physiology, biomechanics, anatomy and neuroscience.
A lifelong athlete, Geoff has competed in Gymnastics, pole vault, adventure racing, mountain biking, trail and road running, triathlon, water polo, and swimming. He has also taught rock climbing, white water kayaking, adventure racing, and coached gymnastics and pole vault.
Derrick is a trail, mountain, snowshoe and ultra marathon runner. He has been running competitively for over 30 years, including the past 22 years without missing a day of running. Derrick has competed in distances from 800 meters on the track up to 100-mile trail races and multi-day stage races. His current passion is the 100-mile distance. He has a number of podium finishes to his credit including wins at the Haliburton Forest 100 mile, Finger Lakes 50 mile and Seaton Trail 52 km.
Derrick's enthusiasm for running is also evident by his work with runners of all levels. As owner of Spafford Health and Adventure (www.HealthandAdventure.com), Derrick gets to pass on his knowledge not only to his coaching clients, but also through writing for various publications, organizing trail and snowshoe races, and through the promotion and sales within the sport of snowshoe running. Having coached runners in the past at the high school and club level, Derrick is especially looking forward to working with i2P Youth Ambassadors in the future.
Dr. Ewan Affleck
Ewan brings the combined skills of physician, administrator and ultra runner to the i2P team. A graduate of the McGill School of Medicine, and Dalhousie University where he studied history, he has worked and lived in Northern Canada since 1992. He is the long serving Medical Director of the Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority and Clinical Director of Family Medicine at Stanton Territorial Hospital. He has conceived designed and implemented numerous successful Health Information Technology projects. He maintains an active clinical practice, providing both hospital based and remote community services. He is passionate about designing sustainable health services for remote northern communities. Ewan has been running for many years, and much prefers to run on snow than on asphalt. He served as the Medical Director for the 2008 Arctic Winter Games, and volunteered as a physician at the Vancouver Olympics. He has won 2 northern ultra marathons. Based on his commitment to physical fitness he was one of 20 Canadian physicians selected by the Canadian Medical Association to carry the Olympic Torch. He is married and has 2 children who share his passion for sport.
Dr. George R. Agnes
George is a faculty member at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Chemistry. He is currently serving the SFU community in an additional role as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies where he is a member of a team responsible for oversight in the training experiences for over 4,500 students in the graduate program. Graduate students working in his research laboratory are engaged in technology development and applications of soft ionization mass spectrometry, and chemistry in container-less environments using levitation techniques. An application of the latter is particulate air pollution where they are developing the capacity to quantitatively learn what lung tissue inflammation occurs as a function of the chemistry of mimics of tropospheric particles that are created in the laboratory. Beyond his passion for alpine skiing, windsurfing, and cycling up Burnaby Mountain to SFU every day, George can also be found coaching one or more of the hockey and lacrosse teams that his boys play on. George and Jay Solman are exploring varied training opportunities for university students with the objective of developing a synergistic collaboration with i2P.
Adriana Rossi has been passionate about developing Leadership in youth for 20 years. She has worked extensively in both the private and public secondary school system initiating programs such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award and outdoor education and leadership programs. Adriana holds a Masters of Arts in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University in British Columbia and a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education from McGill University in Montreal. In addition she is the president of Leadership Ventures which focuses on sustainable leadership development within organizations. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, triathlete and enjoys spending time with her family.
Matt, an outdoor enthusiast is a husband and father of two adventurous young children. He is a passionate educator who has worked in public education for the past 10 years. After receiving his B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in criminology and law, he earned his Masters in Education from the University of Minnesota. A lifelong resident of Stillwater, Minnesota, Matt currently works as an information savvy technology coordinator and strives to help teachers develop strategies to work with our digital generation.
Several years of a 1:1 learning environment has allowed Matt to develop an understanding of key learning theories and methods of instruction within educational technology. As a technology advocate, Matt has had the opportunity to present on a local and state level as well as to visitors from around the world.
In 2009, Matt was selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator which has allowed him to further his role as an author, advisor, ambassador and advocate of technology through experiential learning opportunities on a global platform. Matt continues to engage learners on their path to the possibilities of being a part of the next big thing!
Kat is currently a Ph.D. candidate in clinical and developmental psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her M.S. in the same field. She taught at the University of Maryland and has been appointed as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. As a research psychologist she has published multiple peer-reviewed articles on adolescent risk behaviors in professional journals. She has won national and local awards for her academic work, including a fellowship from the National Institutes of Health. She has applied her background as a scientist and educator to creating educational modules for the Baffin, Tunisia and Amazon expeditions.
As an ultrarunner and triathlete, Kat is a member of Powerbar Team Elite and a lululemon ambassador. In the last 3 years she has completed 13 marathons and ultramarathons, placing in her age group 3 times and as the second overall female once. Her favorite race was the Antarctica marathon where she learned that, if necessary, she can outrun a penguin. She was honored as one of Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40 for her contributions to the community, including her work with i2P and Girls on the Run. Being an i2P advisor has been an extraordinary gift and privilege and Kat is looking forward to continuing to help develop i2P's programs.
Brad is an experienced Human Resources Executive with one of the largest companies in Canada. He has an extensive background in Board of Director management, talent and organizational development and cultural change management. Brad enjoys all of the time he can get outdoors with his wife and two wonderful kids. As a lifelong athlete he has played elite hockey, baseball and is an avid participant in Ironman 70.3 and other endurance events. Brad has a passion for youth development. As an educator at the university level, working with i2P and the Duke of Edinburgh leadership award program he is fortunate to be able to help youth expand their horizons and reach their potential. He has earned an Executive Masters in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa, a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Degree from the University of Manitoba and a Human Resources and Compensation Committee Certification from The Directors College and McMaster University.
Peter is a CBC reporter based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. He has spent the last two and a half years traveling around the North, spending time in all three Canadian Territories and Alaska. His formal education includes a BPHE in Physical and Health Education and a BSc in Life Sciences (Queens University, Kingston, ON) as well as a BJ Radio Journalism (King's College, Halifax). Peter became involved in the research leading up to the Akshayuk Pass Expedition, and has settled in to a role with the i2P Education team ever since. Peter brings a passion for adventure and story telling.
Jill is still riding the wave of positive energy and enthusiasm after being a youth ambassador for Running Tunisia 2010. On the trip she was inspired by all of her incredible teammates and learned that if you want to make a difference the hardest part is taking the first step. Since the expedition she has opted out of the idea of the 'first step' and instead jumped head first into initiatives that she feels passionate about. An avid outdoor enthusiast, she enjoys any activity that involves breathing fresh air and hopes to try out adventure racing and ultra running when she is finished speed skating. Along with continuing her studies in kinesiology and psychology, and continuing to pursue her goals in short track, Jill is excited to take on this new role with i2P!
Jay is the Ombudsperson at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver, BC and a seasoned ultramarathoner. Jay started running 8 years ago to get fit. Running has since become a passion and he has competed in marathons and ultramarathons all over the world. Jay is driven to use running to help others and make a difference in the world. Inspired by a friend's granddaughter who has cystic fibrosis Jay formed Team Trailwinders along with fellow ultra runners Lara Rintoul and Marc Bremner. In 2009 the team competed in the 250km Sahara Race and raised thousands for Variety Children's Charities. Passionate about our youth programs, Jay has been coordinating the relationship between i2P and SFU.
Brian is a young jack-of-all-trades. He began running when starting his career as General Machinist, working at the University of Western Ontario. Being able to work on all sorts of research related projects allowed for a sneak peek into a wide range of cutting edge areas in both the academic and industrial worlds. He kept with running and later discovered yoga and meditation as a way to keep his life in balance. After finishing his apprenticeship, Brian decided to take his passion for physical and spiritual fitness to the next level and left UWO to take part in a Yoga Teacher Training in India. He followed that by backpacking and running around Southeast Asia and Australia. Over the last 2 years, Brian has been teaching hot yoga in London, ON as well as coaching the long run workouts for the UWO Triathlon Club. He is also a Community Ambassador and regular blogger for lululemon. He has jumped into the world of ultra-running, completing his first 100 mile race in September of 2010 in just under 24 hours. He is currently working on completing his Teaching Certification at the Faculty of Education at UWO. He is excited to be able to share his trade knowledge with high school students, but more than that, his experiences of self-discovery and goal setting. He has a passion for creating connections between the real world and the classroom and using that as motivation for his students. Brian plans to keep raising the bar for himself, whether he's doing yoga, running, teaching and traveling. To read more about Brian, check out his website www.mindfulnessrunning.com.
A graduate of St. Olaf College with a B.A. in English and Education, Joe has held positions ranging from high school teacher to marketing and consulting roles in a global travel management company. His work and studies in post-colonial literature and comparative education have taken him from the Baltic states of Europe to the Caribbean and from Central America to East Africa with each experience furthering his desire to positively impact these regions. Joe's passion for the outdoors, exploration and education was cultivated growing up in Northern Minnesota and while guiding groups of students to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. A three-sport athlete in high school and a collegiate baseball player, he now participates in endurance sports as his newest competitive outlet and source of physical and mental challenge. Having completed several marathons, trail races and triathlons, he is now training to expand into ultra running. Joe currently resides in New York City where he is pursuing his M.D. with interests in family, rural and preventive medicine.
Jenny has recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with her Masters degree in Cellular/Molecular Nutrition. Her research focus was on the mechanisms of phytochemicals in disease prevention. Jenny has a strong passion for health and wellness as well as for people and learning about their cultures. She is fascinated in testing the limits of the body both mentally and physically and loves any activity that gets her outside, especially running. Jenny and her husband recently spent 10 weeks trekking through Australia, which included time in the Outback, the Daintree Rainforest, and staying on a deserted island. What made this journey extra special is the fact that Jenny was 5 months pregnant during this expedition. She is now testing herself on her most epic adventure of raising her son and showing youth the value of the environment, other cultures, and living an active, healthy lifestyle. She is intensely excited about her future with i2P and her upcoming athletic endeavors. She looks forward to teaching all youth the value of a healthy diet and the science of nutrition.
John is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a Certified Personal Trainer through the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. He has worked full time in the strength and conditioning field for over ten years, and has had the opportunity to work with athletes from a broad spectrum of sports, including those competing and performing at the national and professional levels. Recent career highlights include the development of strength and conditioning programs, which assisted two Canadian athletes to qualify and compete at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. John has developed his training philosophy to provide targeted training for each individual's needs - based on a foundation of stability and control, functional movement, and balanced strength while progressing towards performance goals. John organizes the training programs for the Youth Ambassadors.
For almost half of his lifetime John has trained for and has competed in a variety of disciplines of endurance sport. Some areas where he has pushed his endurance limits include: Triathlon (Olympic Distance to Ironman Distance), Bike Racing (Road), Adventure Racing, and Trail Running.
Jill stumbled into education as a second career and realized it was a fish-in-water symbiotic relationship on Day 2. In her second semester of teaching high school social studies, she was introduced to constructivist pedagogy and it's classroom implementation using technology. Her classroom was never the same. After leading her students in a class project to raise awareness and support campaigns to stop the violence in Darfur in 2007, Jill was named an Apple Distinguished Educator. She has been a public and private school teacher, both face to face and through distance learning, and has discovered a passion for providing Professional Development to other educators, empowering them to implement change through the use of technology and constructivist pedagogy in their own classrooms. Her current projects include using Challenge Based Learning and the implementation of the iPad in the K-12 curriculum.
Jill received a B.A. in Humanistic Studies from Saint Mary's College of Notre Dame and an M.S. Ed. in Educational Technology from Nova Southeastern University.
When she is not busy with her passion for education you might find her traveling and practicing the art of outdoor photography. Having lived all over the Eastern half of the United States, she now calls the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota "home".
Mike Stashin is a distance runner based in Ottawa Canada who has used
running as a gateway for adventures that have included races along the
Great Wall of China, at the North Pole and in the Sahara Desert.
As a certified Chi Runner instructor, Mike's passion has been teaching
runners how to incorporate efficient running technique to reduce the
amount of effort, chance of injury and recovery time. Mentally
runners benefit knowing they can rely on their technique rather than
brute strength when facing and overcoming challenging distances.
A native of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Natalie has dedicated her life
to helping others around the world. She started running in 2010 after
a lifetime of inactivity, and has gone from 5k to marathoner. She is
also a guide to blind athletes and is currently a mentor with Team in
Training. She has a blog for her family and friends to keep track of
her training: www.nataliedoes42k.com.
Natalie has a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs and is
currently a policy analyst with the federal government in Ottawa. She
has received the Junior Chamber International (CB Chapter) award for
Excellence in International Affairs and most recently won the W3
Women's Award for Inspiring Young Ottawan of the year.
Natalie's passions have brought her across Canada, Africa and the
Caribbean. She hopes to run a marathon on every continent one day and
wants use running as a way to help other's live their dreams.
Lieutenant Colonel John Toth is a former United States Army Infantry Officer with over 21 years experience leading soldiers in challenging situations around the globe. During his career, John served tours in South Korea and Egypt, and was deployed to combat in Iraq. His assignments included the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions as well as the Pentagon. He is a graduate of the rigorous U.S. Army Ranger School and is a Master Parachutist and Pathfinder. An expert trainer and mentor, he recently completed his final assignment as the Professor of Military Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he was responsible for training future officers for the Army. He holds a Masters degree from the prestigious School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. A devoted husband and proud father of two boys, he resides in Boulder, Colorado where he can share his passion for cycling, the outdoors, and world traveling with his family.
LTC Toth is currently the Senior Director for Veterans Programs at Veterans Green Jobs, a Denver, CO based non-profit dedicated to helping post 9-11 veterans find meaningful jobs in the green sector.
Judith Stuhrenberg was born in Paris, and graduated with degrees in history and geography from La Sorbonne. After finishing her formal education, she became an agent for some of the world's top photographers. Evenually she began to travel to the Sahara, where she has been working now for almost 20 years, organizing photo and film shoots, scientific expeditions, rallies, and reports for many of the world's top media outlets. She speaks French, English, German, and Spanish. When not traveling, she lives with her family in Paris. Judith helped to organize logistics for the Running Tunisia expedition and is now excited to be helping again for the i2P Expedition to India.
A graduate of the University of Ottawa (B.Com, 2007) and Queen's University (MBA, 2010), Todd helps deliver i2P's message to the forefront as our Digital Communication Coordinator.
Todd is a marketing, communications, branding, and business strategy specialist with experience in the non-profit and environmental/sustainability sectors, as well as an avid outdoor enthusiast, athlete, and dedicated volunteer. He believes that, with positivity, tenacity and enthusiasm, we are all capable of achieving anything that we set our minds to.
"Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll
Jordan is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with an Honours Bachelor
of Science in Human Kinetics and a Baccalaureate in Education. His
interests are in adventure, physical activity and youth empowerment. Some
of his favourite sports include long-distance running, hockey and
snowboarding. He also has a creative side with interests in multimedia
technology, graphic arts and social media platforms such as Facebook,
Twitter and Skype.
Very proud and honoured to be recognized as an i2P Inspirational
Ambassador, Jordan believes that if we hope to inspire and educate our
youth, we must involve them in the process. As an educator, Jordan finds it
absolutely necessary to share with the youth that they all have the potential
to do whatever they want to in life. Nothing in the world is more rewarding
than helping a child reach and overcome their own barriers, achieving their
own impossible in life.
Dr. Shawn M Cooper
As a pediatrician, father of three, and long-time international advocate of child rights and education, Dr Cooper is passionate about giving every child the best opportunity for a healthy, safe, and productive life. He is a resident member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Section on International Child Health. He has worked with and advised international travelers and groups for over a decade. Dr Cooper's own travels have taken him through North, Central and South America as well as Europe, and Africa. He has organized and participated in multiple projects and fundraisers benefiting individual children and well known child-oriented organizations including Operation Smile, UNICEF, and the Children's Miracle Network. In addition to his professional pursuits, Dr Cooper is an avid runner, having completed many marathon and ultramarathons. Dr Cooper is a senior resident physician in pediatrics at the Penn State Children's Hospital in Hershey, PA.
Marie-France MacKinnon is a highly skilled, bilingual communications professional who brings over a decade of media relations, communications strategies and special events expertise to Bluesky Strategy Group. Since joining Bluesky Strategy Group in October 2008, Marie-France has provided a full range of communications and public relations services including media training for clients such as the Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan, the National Capital Commission Ombudsman, the Maple Leaf Foods Legal Noticing Campaign and the Canadian International Hockey Academy, TerraChoice/EcoLogo and the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
Nick Gravel, B.Eng (Communications), has over 10 years experience in sales, marketing and internet communications. Nick is actively involved with the growth of i2P's web presence and the ongoing development of two way communication with students during expeditions.