Barry Waldman

Barry N. Waldman

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.

Youth Peer Director

Peggy Gordon-Marsh


Peggy has served as the Director of the Youth Peer Program since 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. We love you, Peggy!

Youth Peer Volunteers Coordinator

Kelsey MacNeil


Kelsey moved up from her position as Head Program Assistant in January 2018 to fill in for Frances Burton while she is on maternity leave. Kelsey is a longtime member of the Youth Peer team, who began (as all Program Assistants do) as a tutor and then Program Assistant. She has also worked as a volunteer as Assistant to the Breakthrough Program. She does all this while attending Nova Scotia Community College, Marconi. We so appreciate her energy, commitment, playfulness and ever-present willingness to help wherever she can.

Fran Burton [On Maternity Leave]

Fran came into this job in January 2016 after many years of working with Youth Peer. On December 15, 2017, she gave birth to the delightful Ruby Frances Burton! Fran shines with many talents on administrative, social and creative levels and we hope to have her back with us when Ruby is ready.

Youth Peer Educator

Debbie Balcom

Debbie joined Youth Peer in September 2017 as the educational wrap-around support person for Youth Peer. She is a recently retired teacher from the Cape Breton Regional School District. We are fortunate to have her and are grateful that she still has the desire to help make the tutor/mentor-kid matches the best they can be.

Parents PEACE Facilitator

Ann McPhee

Ann McPhee 16 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.

Creative Arts

Susanne Donovan

headshots-susanne-320x200Susanne, 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.


Emile Conn

Emile Conn, guitar instructor
We have 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.

Breakthrough Facilitators

Ronnie Martin

Ronnie joined the Youth Peer staff in September 2017. He is a long-time teacher for the Eskasoni School Board. As well, he's an accomplished singer, musician, hairdresser and father of nine! The Breakthrough gang is lucky to have him.

Marilyn MacDonald-MacKinnon

Marilyn joined Ronnie as Co-Facilitator in September 2017. A teacher's aide with the Cape Breton Regional School District, Marilyn brings a joyous, playful spirit and loads of energy to this group. Welcome, Marilyn!

Program Assistants

Youth Peer and Youth Peer Outreach

Jenna Tobin

Lead Assistant, five days a week


Victoria Smith

Youth Peer Outreach Assistant, three days a week


Michelle Anderson

One day at YPP and one at Youth Peer Northside Outreach


Destiny Green


[Photos Coming]

Shauna Burke

Kerry Landry

Emma MacIntyre

2 thoughts on “Staff

  1. Hi there…I was just wondering if the tutor assistants are paid positions,and if so what qualifications are necessary? Thanks!

  2. Hi Joan, Just give the centre a call at 902 539-8228. Peggy or Frances can answer your questions. Thanks!

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