Steering Committee Profile: Johanne Levesque, OCYI co-chair

  • What is your name and title within your organization? Johanne Levesque, Executive Director, Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services
  • What do you love about your organization and the work that it does? Two words – team and work! Our organization is dedicated to supporting those impacted by problematic substance use, addiction and related mental health challenges. We serve youth, young adults, adults and families; our programs include prevention, education, individual counselling and group treatment. Whether it’s substances, gambling, gaming or other compulsive behaviours; and whether individuals want to reduce their use, use in safer ways or eliminate their use entirely, Rideauwood counsellors are there to help. Each day I witness the unwavering commitment, dedication and compassion from those who are part of the Rideauwood community – staff, clients, service partners, volunteers, board members, funders…. They are the shining lights that inspire me to go further every day! Together, we are working to create a healthy, connected community! 
  • Why are you a member of the OCYI Steering Committee? Ottawa is my home; my commitment to improving the health and well-being of individuals has served as a backdrop for my professional and volunteer activities for over thirty years. Being a member of the OCYI Steering Committee gives me an opportunity to continue that work with others who also care passionately about the children and youth in our community. Together, with the rest of the OCYI network we can help create the conditions that enable children and youth to achieve their optimal development.
  • What would like to accomplish as Co-Chair of the OCYI Steering Committee? The work of OCYI is very important; I hope to contribute my skills to further support the alignment, the linkages and the integration of efforts of others who are passionate about the well-being of children in our community.
  • Why do you think that the OCYI is important? I have always believed that we achieve more together than we do as individuals. As a collaborative of 80+ organizations and agencies, OCYI can harness the energy and collective wisdom of the group, so together we can play a role in enabling children and youth to achieve their optimal development, today. 
  • What is your hope for children and youth in Ottawa? I hope that children and youth in Ottawa can not only dream about their best life, but have access to the services and supports they need to live that best life, today.

This profile was featured in the September 2021 OCYI Ovation


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