- What is your name and title within your organization? Dennise Taylor-Gilhen, Vice President Community Impact, United Way East Ontario
- What do you love about your organization and the work that it does? I love that United Way East Ontario volunteers and staff are passionate about bringing the community services sector, business, government and others together to create solutions for tough and complex community issues.
- Why are you a member of the OCYI Steering Committee? I value the work that OCYI does to address the serious issues that children and youth face in our community. I understand that none of those issues can be mitigated by one organization, policy or person. The most difficult issues always require a collective approach, which is what OCYI does.
- Why do you think that the OCYI is important? The OCYI brings key child and youth organizations representing multiple sectors together to achieve measurable and positive change for vulnerable children and their families. Many of those changes would be difficult to address in isolation.
- Did you or your family ever benefit from community organizations when you were a child or youth? I have always been grateful that during his childhood, my son, Liam, enthusiastically participated in and benefited from many afterschool sports and social recreation programs, in our Ottawa neighbourhood. And, I am also very grateful for CHEO’s excellent emergency care, when that enthusiasm inevitably resulted in a few (traumatic to me) sports injuries that required their attention.
- What is your hope for children and youth in Ottawa? My hope is that every child and youth has a chance to reach their full potential within a caring community, to safely grow, learn and belong.
This story is part of the March 2023 Ovation. This story is also available in French.