Impetus Leadership Academy Participants

Aaron McDonald

Project Manager, Young Westminster Foundation

"Before working with young people I was an electrician working on building sites and other varied locations such as hospitals, football pitches, and children's homes. It was on a site when I saw a poster about volunteering to work with young people, and my career started there.

"Having realised my passion for working with young people, I am motivated by seeing young people and communities achieve beyond their expectations, creating spaces in which unheard voices are amplified, enabling social mobility and working to develop self-sustaining communities."

Anita Chouhan

Northern Hub Lead, EY Foundation

Anita is responsible for growing EY Foundation’s presence across the North of England.

“My parents came from Africa in the 60’s and worked in the cotton mills. We would have been classified as a low-income family. My parents belief of their children ‘having a better life’’ was through education so I gained a degree at university then later, my teaching qualification.

“My professional motivation is simple, I want to help young people to achieve their full potential with an informed choice and a belief they can do anything no matter what their background or barriers. My ambition is for the Northern Hub to be not just a statistical provision but a provision that ensures real life change experience.”

Annum Mahmood

Partnerships Manager, Youth Futures Foundation

After completing her degree in Human Biosciences and deciding a career in stem cell research wasn’t for her, Annum found a passion for working to support young people with their education and employment prospects.

“The job market can be so difficult to navigate for young people from ethnic minority backgrounds and I too struggled to find work. I thought about my friends I grew up with and I thought ‘why is it so difficult for us?’ I always wanted to do something meaningful but it is then when my experiences came together and a career helping young people into employment opened up for me.”

Outside of her work at the Youth Futures Foundation, Annum volunteers as a Diana Award Mentor.

Charlene Theophile

Programme Design Manager, ThinkForward

Charlene has over 19 years experience bringing social change, and improving educational and employment outcomes for young people across local authorities, further and higher education and the third sector.

Her passion and dedication lie in designing and leading programmes that empower young people to fulfil their potential - ensuring that all young people have the belief, access, education and skills to achieve.

Charlene’s ambition includes increasing user experience to create more person-centred programmes that focus on youth participation, impact and service design principles.

Chi Kavindele

Director, Community Links

Chi is a charity leader with over 15 years’ experience working across a variety of causes in the UK.

The common thread running through Chi’s varied career is a desire to make a meaningful difference to the lives of the most disadvantaged people, wherever they may be.

Chi sits on advisory boards for the Youth Endowment Fund and Newham HeadStart, a mental health service working with schools and the community to transform how young people and their families are supported to stay emotionally healthy.

Kim Rihal

Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Equal Education

Kim is an entrepreneurial education leader with 18 years of experience improving outcomes for vulnerable children and young people. Her organisation Equal Education supports children who are in care, adopted, have special educational needs or disabilities, medical needs or are in palliative care by using tutor-led interventions to help close gaps in their education, offer help with examinations, and to improve self-esteem and confidence.

Kim was Assistant Head of the first London Virtual School to be rated ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED, was Nominated by the Mayor of London as a future London Leader in Education on the PWC leadership coaching programme and was part of EY’s Entrepreneurial ‘Winning Women’ 2019 cohort - comprising ten ambitious female founders.

Kim is passionate not just about social mobility, but social justice.

Samantha Marcus

Head of Programme Delivery, Power2

Samantha Marcus joined Power2 in 2007 as a facilitator and now serves as their Head of Programme Delivery. At Power2, Sam manages the Programme Delivery Team, Youth Engagement Team and a Programme Development Manager. Sam also oversees the recruitment of schools and other organisations or services that refer young people to Power2 programmes.

Sam wholeheartedly believes that every young person deserves the chance to achieve their full potential. Her passion for supporting young people stems from her own lived experience, being one of the young people that Power2 exists to support, and as a result understands that “when young people are kicking off, more often than not what they need is more support.”

Sasha Gay Smith

Founder and Director, I AM IN ME

"I stand on the foundations of those before me, those who have laboured to birth a pathway far beyond themselves.

"I AM IN ME was set up to provide robust personal development, employability, and business start-up support to disadvantaged young people, to build purposeful and sustainable futures.

"My ambition is to impact a generation and to be a key that open doors for those behind me, for greater impact in the lives of disadvantaged young people."

Sat Singh

CEO, Renaissance Foundation

In 2006 Sat founded the Renaissance Foundation, a specialist charity supporting young carers and young patients suffering from life-long or life-limiting illnesses, and now serves as the organisation’s CEO. In his role Sat leads the charity’s strategy, partnerships and future development work, as well as overseeing the Annual Nobel Peace Prize Exchange. His passion for working with young people stems from his own lived experience, which included health challenges and caring responsibilities in his youth and struggling with Dyslexia at school.

Sat was presented with The Anne Frank Award in 2007 and in 2011 received The Business In the Community Charity Partner Leader of the Year. He is now focused on developing Renaissance Foundation’s impact and growth alongside developing his skills as a Non-Executive Director, so he can influence positive change for young people beyond the scope of the charity he founded. In 2021 Sat was welcomed onto the board of Historic England.

Tejesh Mistry

Director of External Affairs, Venture Trust

Tejesh is an experienced Third Sector leader developing community development and behaviour change programmes with some of the most vulnerable communities across the UK. He is a great believer in the healing power of the outdoors and is inspired by the stories and journeys of transformation effected by many of the young people he supports. Tejesh developed a passion for youth work through international voluntary programmes. He continues to volunteer alongside his work and is Vice Chair of the Board for charity Amaudo UK.

Troy Norbert

Youth Engagement Lead, Partnership for Young London

Troy is the Youth Engagement Lead for Partnership for Young London (PYL) and board member for Ignite Youth. He previously served as the Employment Lead for Ignite Youth in Harrow, his hometown, for 3 years before joining the board: “Having the opportunity to engage and transform the lives of young people in my neighbourhood was an unforgettable and humbling experience.”

Today, his role involves supporting and empowering children and young people across the capital and beyond. Troy started off as an intern at PYL, splitting his time between there and Ignite, and is now leading multiple teams across multiple projects and has a range of expertise from programme delivery to getting his football team pumped for Sunday morning matches! Troy and his young people from Ignite play competitive football every week and are dominating the adult leagues.

Zipporah Kissi

Programme Manager, City Year UK

"My career journey within the youth and charity sector began with volunteering. Back then I wasn’t sure what my purpose was and how to fulfil it. Just three years prior I faced one of the most challenging emotional paths of my life, manifesting into a mental health episode taking me away from my degree.

"But this did not deter me from developing myself and throughout my career. The struggles along my journey have caused me to realise that I am not what I have been through, and I too deserve a seat at the table.

"I believe that we truly do have the power to be the change we so desperately want to see in the world. We can do anything we put our mind to, so as long as we have the will and the want we will be shown the way."

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