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Alumni and Friends: Meet, stay connected and get involved.

Top 30 Changemakers Under 30
Rowena Tam. Photo credit: Kelann Currie-Williams

Alumni Spotlight: Rowena Tam (BA ’17)

Rowena Tam (BA ’17) is an artist, researcher, and creative arts therapist currently living in Montreal. This spring she was named as one of York’s Top 30 Changemakers Under 30 for her anti-racism and community work.

Through her job as a creative arts therapist, she hopes to continue modelling anti-oppression and anti-racist work to help deconstruct and dismantle many of the systems and structures that continue to harm and silence minoritized communities.

Learn more about Rowena and how she works anti-racism into creative arts therapy and research.

Melina Damian

Alumni Spotlight: Melina Damian (BES ’17, MES ’19)

Melina Damian (BES ’17, MES ’19) is a committed environmentalist, animal lover and professional dancer. 

Learning about the impacts of plastic pollution on marine turtles sparked Melina's interest in environmental conservation when she was young. It came full circle over a decade later when she travelled to Costa Rica to conduct research on the effects of plastic pollution on vulnerable sea turtles as part of her master's research.

Learn more about Melina's research on the effects of plastic pollution.

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May 25 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Prakash Amarasooriya

Alumni Spotlight: Prakash Amarasooriya (BSc '15)

York kinesiology graduate, Prakash Amarasooriya (BSC '15), is the manager of scorecard operations at TD Bank, co-host of the Real Talk Roundtable podcast, a published neuroscience researcher, and a financial literacy advocate.

In 2016, Prakash created a proposal to have financial literacy incorporated into the Ontario grade 10 career studies curriculum, ensuring that all high school students in the province would learn the basics of budgeting and money management.

Find out what influenced Prakash to become an advocate for financial literacy.

Giancarlo Sessa

Alumni Spotlight: Giancarlo Sessa (BBA ’19)

Giancarlo Sessa (BBA '19) has started a total of four companies since 2013. At just 21 years old, Giancarlo co-founded Blade Filters, a company that revolutionized the carbon filtration industry by creating the world’s first zero-waste carbon air filter.

In response to COVID-19, they developed a HEPA-Carbon Air Filter, which is now being used in thousands of classrooms and businesses across Ontario with the goal of helping front-line workers and essential employees feel safer by breathing easier.

Find out how York fueled Giancarlo's entrepreneurial spirit and led to the founding of his company Blade Filters.

Five students walk down a path on York's Keele campus towards Vari Hall.

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