Our Team

Yo Bro | Yo Girl Youth Initiative has an incredible team dedicated to our cause, both staff and volunteers.

Joe Calendino

Executive Director + Co-Founder

Joe has over 10 years of experience working with youth in some of the city’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods.  His experience, as well as his unique personal background, motivated him to create Yo Bro | Yo Girl Youth Initiative in 2009.  As a former member of the Hells Angels and addict, Joe has experienced firsthand the consequences of his choices.  He went from being a successful businessman in the mobile phone industry to living, drug addicted on the streets of Vancouver after losing everything to drugs and gangs. Joe was honoured with the Courage to Come Back Award in 2014 for overcoming his addictions and using his experience to help others. Along with his Business Degree, Joe holds a certificate in Substance Use from the Justice Institute of BC and is a certified black-belt in Jiu-Jitsu. Joe published To Hell and Back, a novel about his personal experience, in 2018.

Brenda Calendino

Director of Education + Co-Founder

Brenda holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from UBC.  Brenda has been working as an educator, consultant, and Registered Clinical Counsellor with vulnerable children, youth, and their families for the past 25 years. She has been involved with YBYG since its inception and plays an integral role in curriculum development and program expansion. Brenda provides many hours of one-on-one support to YBYG participants and is leading the organization's efforts to gather impact data through the Youth and Programs Strengths Survey.

Sharon Jackson

Sharon Jackson

Manager, HR / Liaison & Operational Support

Sharon has over 18 years' combined experience providing leadership and operational support for organizations that provide prevention and intervention strategies for vulnerable and at-risk youth. Her previous experience in the education sector, in the area of safe and caring schools and violence prevention for BC`s largest school district, led her to work with federal, provincial, municipal and community partners including YBYG; on the development, implementation and maintenance of many outstanding evidence-based programs and safety initiatives that promote social, emotional and physical safety for schools and youth at-risk.  Bringing this experience to YBYG, Sharon is committed to supporting the mission, vision and growth of the society; empowering youth to make safe and healthy choices by providing them with the tools required to avoid the perils of drugs, gangs, crime and violence.

Byron Sinclair

One of our objectives is to empower our youth to become ambassadors, mentors, and role models.  Youth Leaders are a dedicated group of YBYG participants who demonstrate leadership qualities among their peers by offering a positive influence in their schools, community, and programs.  Youth Leaders mentor youth new to the program and are trained to work with elementary school students involved in our Street Safe program.  There are currently 25 Youth Leaders making a real difference at YBYG and in our community. 

Paul Sahota

One of our objectives is to empower our youth to become ambassadors, mentors, and role models.  Youth Leaders are a dedicated group of YBYG participants who demonstrate leadership qualities among their peers by offering a positive influence in their schools, community, and programs.  Youth Leaders mentor youth new to the program and are trained to work with elementary school students involved in our Street Safe program.  There are currently 25 Youth Leaders making a real difference at YBYG and in our community. 

Jagmit Johal

One of our objectives is to empower our youth to become ambassadors, mentors, and role models.  Youth Leaders are a dedicated group of YBYG participants who demonstrate leadership qualities among their peers by offering a positive influence in their schools, community, and programs.  Youth Leaders mentor youth new to the program and are trained to work with elementary school students involved in our Street Safe program.  There are currently 25 Youth Leaders making a real difference at YBYG and in our community. 

Zainab McIntosh

One of our objectives is to empower our youth to become ambassadors, mentors, and role models.  Youth Leaders are a dedicated group of YBYG participants who demonstrate leadership qualities among their peers by offering a positive influence in their schools, community, and programs.  Youth Leaders mentor youth new to the program and are trained to work with elementary school students involved in our Street Safe program.  There are currently 25 Youth Leaders making a real difference at YBYG and in our community. 

Ikjot Sandhu

One of our objectives is to empower our youth to become ambassadors, mentors, and role models.  Youth Leaders are a dedicated group of YBYG participants who demonstrate leadership qualities among their peers by offering a positive influence in their schools, community, and programs.  Youth Leaders mentor youth new to the program and are trained to work with elementary school students involved in our Street Safe program.  There are currently 25 Youth Leaders making a real difference at YBYG and in our community. 

Irene Wu

One of our objectives is to empower our youth to become ambassadors, mentors, and role models.  Youth Leaders are a dedicated group of YBYG participants who demonstrate leadership qualities among their peers by offering a positive influence in their schools, community, and programs.  Youth Leaders mentor youth new to the program and are trained to work with elementary school students involved in our Street Safe program.  There are currently 25 Youth Leaders making a real difference at YBYG and in our community. 

Gabriel Preciado

One of our objectives is to empower our youth to become ambassadors, mentors, and role models.  Youth Leaders are a dedicated group of YBYG participants who demonstrate leadership qualities among their peers by offering a positive influence in their schools, community, and programs.  Youth Leaders mentor youth new to the program and are trained to work with elementary school students involved in our Street Safe program.  There are currently 25 Youth Leaders making a real difference at YBYG and in our community. 

Dylan Duggan

One of our objectives is to empower our youth to become ambassadors, mentors, and role models.  Youth Leaders are a dedicated group of YBYG participants who demonstrate leadership qualities among their peers by offering a positive influence in their schools, community, and programs.  Youth Leaders mentor youth new to the program and are trained to work with elementary school students involved in our Street Safe program.  There are currently 25 Youth Leaders making a real difference at YBYG and in our community. 

Husnain Nawaz

One of our objectives is to empower our youth to become ambassadors, mentors, and role models.  Youth Leaders are a dedicated group of YBYG participants who demonstrate leadership qualities among their peers by offering a positive influence in their schools, community, and programs.  Youth Leaders mentor youth new to the program and are trained to work with elementary school students involved in our Street Safe program.  There are currently 25 Youth Leaders making a real difference at YBYG and in our community. 

Sukhshaan Randhawa

One of our objectives is to empower our youth to become ambassadors, mentors, and role models.  Youth Leaders are a dedicated group of YBYG participants who demonstrate leadership qualities among their peers by offering a positive influence in their schools, community, and programs.  Youth Leaders mentor youth new to the program and are trained to work with elementary school students involved in our Street Safe program.  There are currently 25 Youth Leaders making a real difference at YBYG and in our community. 

Shivam Thakur

One of our objectives is to empower our youth to become ambassadors, mentors, and role models.  Youth Leaders are a dedicated group of YBYG participants who demonstrate leadership qualities among their peers by offering a positive influence in their schools, community, and programs.  Youth Leaders mentor youth new to the program and are trained to work with elementary school students involved in our Street Safe program.  There are currently 25 Youth Leaders making a real difference at YBYG and in our community. 

Laila Saleman

Laila is a recent high school graduate from Princess Margaret Secondary School who received a $50,000 scholarship through Beedie Luminaries to pursue her post-secondary education. She is currently enrolled at Simon Fraser University, where she hopes to graduate with a degree in health science.

Bibaik Kaila

Bibaik is a highly qualified individual who recently graduated with a degree in Criminology from Simon Fraser University. He has a proven track record of volunteering with well-respected organizations such as National Save Canada, The YMCA, and Vancouver United Sports Club (Soccer). Bibaik's deep-seated passion for helping others and his extensive experience collaborating with community organizations make him an extremely valuable addition to our team.