Our Leadership Team
Chief Executive Officer
Umashanie Reddy was born and raised in South Africa, and lived in a culturally diverse community. Umashanie embarked upon on a new journey in 2005 when she brought her family to pastures beyond. In November 2014, Umashanie was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, where she currently leads a dynamic team of talented individuals and strong advocates, who are passionate about empowering the skills, knowledge, and experience of newcomer youth and their families.
Being a daughter of Africa, her social compass can be characterized in the African idiom “Ubuntu” – which translates as: “I am because you are” – a word that embodies her social philosophy of inter-connectedness, togetherness, and diversity. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Morgan, and her daughter, Jivanya. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Programs
Kathryn Melrose immigrated to Canada in 2012. She joined the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth in the spring of 2013. Her professional experience spans over a decade in the field of education and human services. Previous roles include teaching, case management and overseeing programs at the school district level. She brings extensive experience working with youth, an understanding of program management and a focus on effective program design to her role as the Director of Programs. Kathryn is passionate about overseeing innovative programming to support immigrant youth and families throughout Calgary.
Chief Financial Officer
Maryna Bityutsky is the Chief Finance Director of the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth. She immigrated to Canada in 2005. Maryna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Odessa National University, Ukraine and a Certified General Accountant designation from Canada. Prior to joining the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth in 2013, she had 12 years of accounting experience from the Ukraine and 6.5 years of public accounting practice in Canada.
Mentorship Program Manager
Born in a refugee camp in Honduras, Dixie Taylor arrived in Canada when she was just 18 months old. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society with minors in Development Studies and Canadian Studies, Dixie joined the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth in 2013. Her combined passion to make a difference in her community and work alongside newcomer youth allows her to be a connected and well-suited Manager for the Mentorship Program. Her time working in-field has given her the ability to advocate for immigrant youth within the City of Calgary, always striving to provide opportunities that will enable youth to flourish into the leaders of tomorrow.
Program Manager: In School Settlement Program
Sarosh Rizvi is a first generation Canadian of Pakistani descent born in Calgary, AB. He is the Manager for the In-School Settlement program having joined the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth in November 2007. He has travelled from the south of Asia to South America. After seeing the state of the world’s poorest people, it became clear to him that he wanted to focus on international development. Sarosh is also the Co-founder and Executive Director of Kleos Microfinance Group that provides micro lending, training and scholarships to Ugandans.
Afterschool Program Manager
Samantha first joined CBFY in 2010 as a program leader with the Afterschool Program. She worked with our organization for almost 4 years, completing that time as a temporary Summer Program Coordinator. Upon graduating from the University of Calgary Samantha sought out a full time position in business, but came to find that it wasn’t her path. A year after graduating Samantha was able to return to CBFY as an Afterschool Program Coordinator in 2015 and has continued her career path that follows her passion for helping and working with immigrant youth and families, while giving back to the city she was born and raised in.
Mentorship Program Supervisor
Ashley Vu began her journey with the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth as a Program Leader in 2014. Having received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art and Design and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary, Ashley effectively combines her passion and education when working with newcomer youth. Born and raised in Calgary to immigrant parents, she is well experienced in the complexes of bi-cultural identity and is understanding of the needs of newcomer youth. Personal experience, educational background and passion for her community allow Ashley to thrive in the position of Mentorship Program Supervisor.
Afterschool Program Team Lead
Brittany immigrated to Canada from the United States in 2009. She was raised in Oregon and moved to Seattle, WA where she received her Bachelor’s Degree from Seattle Pacific University. She began volunteering with refugee families upon arriving in Calgary, and it was this experience that lead her to pursue a career in the immigrant and refugee serving sector in 2011. She worked as a Program Facilitator with youth and families and then taught in the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program for several years. Her passion for helping newcomers settle and integrate into Canadian life as well as her desire to provide excellent programming for youth is what lead her to her to current position as Team Lead in the Afterschool Program in 2016.
Supervisor: In School Settlement Program
Norma Herrera immigrated to Canada in 2000. She joined the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth in 2007. She received her Master’s Degree in Family Counselling from Universidad Iberoamericana (Puebla, Mexico). Her previous work experience has enabled her to work with families in different settings. Norma is an active volunteer and has spent her free time volunteering for the Calgary Police Services for the past 7 years.
Supervisor: In School Settlement Program
Born and raised in India, Sonia Sehgal moved to Canada with her family in 2006. As a trained teacher from India, Sonia went on to explore further opportunities to compliment her education. She completed a certificate program in Counselling and Adult Teaching from Mount Royal University. Sonia joined the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth in November 2007. At present she works as a Supervisor in the In School Settlement Program.
Supervisor: In School Settlement Program
Shimeles is a Canadian of Ethiopian origin with a background in legal studies. The recurrent political instabilities/turbulence in Africa inspired him to develop a great interest in studying International Relations, which he furthered by going to post-secondary at the United States International University based in Nairobi, Kenya, and at the University of Calgary. As an immigrant, he has a passion for helping other newly arrived immigrant youth and their families to successfully transition and build a life in Canada.
RBC Youth Empowerment Program Liason
Catherine Clark came to The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth in October of 2013. She has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Regina majoring in English. She has taught high school in Saskatchewan and British Columbia and has an expansive knowledge of curriculum that spans all grade levels in all subjects as she homeschooled her children, who are now university educated, from grades one to twelve. She now leads a team of academic tutors for The RBC Youth Empowerment Program, who tutor junior high and high school students in all core subjects.
Leon Shum is the Controller and joined The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth in the fall of 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Calgary and is currently pursuing his CPA designation. He has previous experience in Human Resources and Database Management in the Oil and Gas sector. As an immigrant himself, Leon came to Canada at the age of 7 and is passionate about helping other immigrants reach their maximum potential.
Volunteer Resources Coordinator
Dinesh Koirala immigrated to Canada in the summer of 2015 and joined The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth in July 2016. He has more than 10 years’ experience in education and development, and Human Services. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Comparative and International Education with a focus on Education and Community Development from the University of Oslo, Norway. He has extensive experience coordinating and managing education and community development projects and programs for children, youth, and families. As a newcomer to Canada himself, Dinesh is passionate in helping new Canadians to settle and integrate into Canadian society.
Program Administrator: In School Settlement Program
Sandra Robinson is the In School Settlement Program Administrator and joined the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth in July 2013.