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From the OJEN Blog

Introducing OJEN’s 2022-23 Justice Education Fellows

OJEN’s Justice Education Fellowship program was introduced in 2017. The program provides an opportunity for a select group of law students to gain in-depth public legal education training and experience before entering law careers. Justice Education Fellows receive focused skill development in communications, community outreach, public speaking, and plain language work. During the academic year of the program, they each coordinate and deliver a minimum of 3 justice education programs to youth using OJEN’s program templates.

The Fellowship program has grown each year, attracting excellent candidates from law schools throughout the province. Now in its 5th year, we are pleased to announce that for the first time we have accepted Fellows from each of Ontario’s  8 law schools.  Also for the first time, 2 paralegal students have been admitted into the program.  We look forward to working with each of them through the upcoming academic year!

Welcome to our 2022 – 23 Justice Education Fellows!

Benaiah Eche, Centennial College

Ben has an extensive background in international law and diplomacy in Nigeria and continued to pursue law when he moved to Canada. Ben has gained a breadth of experience working in various law firms and as a youth worker at the Murray McKinnon Foundation providing a caring and supportive environment for youth who are in conflict with the law.

Alexia Yazhary, Centennial College

Alexia gained experience working in family law and participates in Centennial’s Community Legal Information Clinic and a student outreach program that inspires future female-identifying professionals. In her work placement, Alexia developed presentations for her community on Charter Rights and the Canadian Divorce Act.

Joshua Wallace, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University)

Josh brings experience conducting focus-groups throughout the GTA for the Race-Based Data Collection Project meant to reduce implicit biases and systemic racism in policing. Josh also gained experience as a policy analyst for the Employment Project for Youth with Disabilities and acted as a coordinator with Matrix Non-Profit Housing Corp to bring affordable housing to disadvantaged residents in Guelph and neighbouring communities.

Foti Vito, University of Toronto

Foti has extensive experience in youth advocacy including experience at Mosaic Institute, designing and implementing a social action campaign across Canadian campuses to foster a better understanding of intergenerational prejudices. Foti also launched a three-part podcast and myth busting campaigns with UNHCR Canada to help foster mutual understanding between Canadian citizens and refugees.

Herman Wong, York University

Herman is a summer student at Bogoroch & Associates LLP, which specializes in personal injury and medical malpractice claims. He previously did a placement with the Crown Attorney’s office in downtown Toronto and worked at a criminal defence firm. He was inspired to pursue oral advocacy after his time in journalism school in Ottawa covering underrepresented groups and his prior work as a bilingual tour guide. He has also served as a student mentor in several capacities.

Anne-Raijy Moreau, University of Ottawa

Anne was a Moot competitor at UoO and has experience working with the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and Pro-Bono Students Canada. Anne is a co-founder and managing director of Unilearnal, a non-profit media group prioritizing Black Canadians’ voices. Anne also managed numerous projects, connecting with educators and political officials across Canada and produced and directed 28 Moments of Black Canadian History, a docuseries that informed curriculum changes at elementary schools across Canada.

Crystal Binag, Lakehead University

Crystal brings experience working with newcomers and has a passion for immigrant and refugee legal matters. Crystal has experience drafting plain-language resources for immigrants and refugees in Northern Ontario and also developed legal education workshops on immigration and refugee law to be replicated by Newcomer Legal Clinic staff, volunteers, and law students. 

Neha Gupta, Queen’s University

Neha has experience working at the Superior Court of Justice and as a clerk with the Toronto Police Service Headquarters, in the Disciplinary Hearings Office. Neha is passionate about justice and advocacy and worked as a Senior Learning Support Peer during her undergraduate degree, to work with numerous students facing academic probation. During this role, Neha delivered workshops on relevant topics to assist many students to overcome their probationary status.

Nikisha Thapar, Western University

Nikisha is passionate about teaching and has years of experience mentoring and tutoring children, including those with learning disabilities and spectrum-disorders. Nikisha has engaged in restorative justice education with Atlohsa Family Hearing Services and Pro-Bono Students Canada and policy-making in university governance settings. Nikisha continues to promote inclusivity, equity, and acceptance for youth.

Prajnaa Bangalore Mahaveer Jain, University of Windsor

Prajnaa gained extensive experience working, studying, and volunteering in Washington, DC and has been heavily involved in public-service, politics and conflict resolution. Prajnaa works for Pro-Bono Students Canada and is a junior editor for Windsor’s Review of Legal and Social Issues. Prajnaa also has experience working as a dialogue facilitator for the AU Center for Diversity and Inclusion, mediating an Immigration and Nationality Dialogue. 

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