The day-to-day operations of EPIC and the projects it oversees are handled by Barry Waldman, founder of EPIC. Barry’s experience in teaching, educational administration, proposal writing, community development and working in Native and African-Nova Scotian communities has sensitized him to marginalized youth and the negative consequences which can occur when funding isn’t available to continue important programs. It was this concern that catalyzed his development of EPIC in 1996.
As a volunteer, he supervises all EPIC projects and programs, including the Youth Peer, Breakthrough and Parents PEACE programs. He retired in 2012 from his position as Educational Consultant for the Eskasoni First Nations School Board for whom he fostered the innovative Aboriginal EMPATHIC Program program among others.
He volunteers as Finance Director on EPIC’s Board, overseeing all financial operations and still finds time to dream up creatively unique ways for EPIC to fulfill its purpose.
Peggy joined the Youth Peer Program in September 2015. A Northside native, she’s recently returned to Cape Breton after living and working in the Boston area for many years. She brings not only years of experience working with high risk youth to the job but also her abundant energy and enthusiasm and contagiously upbeat spirit. Welcome, Peggy!
Frances took on this position in January 2016 after many years of working with Youth Peer. She started as a volunteer tutor-mentor working throughout high school and into university. Five years ago she was promoted to Program Assistant. Frances shines with many talents on administrative, social and creative levels and we are so fortunate to continue having her with us.
Co-Educators, Student Wrap-Around Support
Lynne joined Youth Peer in the Spring of 2010 as a “wrap-around” Educator, after retiring as a career teacher with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School District. Her many years of experience specializing as a resource teacher are invaluable in her work with the most marginalized kids and in networking with caregivers and school personnel.
Bernadette joined Lynne as a Co-educator for Youth Peer in 2013. She holds a Master of Education degree and is retired from CBVRSB after a 35 year career as a Resource and Grade P-7 teacher. She is a Coordinator with Youth Speaks up and a substitute teacher for Membertou First Nation.
Delores, who served as Co-Director of the Youth Peer Program in 2014, moved into the Breakthrough program in September 2015. She has worked extensively with children and youth—as a teacher, guidance counselor, church youth group director, and foster mother to eleven at-risk children. Since 2008, she has served as Chairperson of the Children and Youth in Crisis working group of the United Church of Canada. In 2011, Delores was appointed by the Ministry of Community Services to the Minister’s Advisory Committee on the Children and Family Services Act.
Facilitator, Parents PEACE Program
Ann joined the staff in January 2016 while still Executive Director of the Ann Terry Project, a non-profit centre that has, since 1986, been providing specialized help for women seeking employment. Ann brings her quiet enthusiasm and a wealth of experience and community connections to the parents who participate in this program.
Youth Peer Assistants
September 2015 – May 2016
From left to right, top to bottom: Brandy MacInnis, Kelsey MacNeil, Kaleigh Simpson, Ryan Hepditch, Destiny Green
Our Youth Assistants are invaluable! Their job is to work with the Volunteers Coordinator as well as all tutors and students to see that every session runs smoothly. The Assistants strive to ensure all students and mentors are matched each day, provide tutors with assistance when necessary and make snacks, organize activities, and clean up the mess when it’s all over.
Traditionally, our Assistants—who are usually students or recent grads of Cape Breton University or Nova Scotia Community College (Marconi)—are former volunteer tutor / mentors so they know better than anyone else how to help make those matches the best possible experience for both student and mentor.
Creative Arts and Guitar Instructors
Susanne, who has been the Art Instructor at Youth Peer since 2002, provides youth and their mentors with a wide range of fun, enriching and educational creative activities three afternoons a week. She holds a Fine Arts degree from Mt. Allison University, New Brunswick, Canada.
Youth Peer has been fortunate to have Emile working with our students since 2004. He provides private guitar and keyboard instruction to any interested Youth Peer or Breakthrough students two afternoons a week.