Our team is passionate about preventing the sexual exploitation of children and youth. Some members have decades of experience in the issue. Others bring a youthful energy that’s so important when engaging a young audience.
Neely Yuda (she/her)
Neely was born and raised in Israel and moved to BC in 2016 to explore new opportunities. Neely holds a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Sociology, and a Master’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Tel Aviv University. For over 10 years, Neely has worked in fundraising and development roles in the not-for-profit sector. She is passionate about working with the community to prevent the sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of children & youth and raising awareness of this issue.
Maura Fitzpatrick (she/her)
Maura works to raise the funds needed to provide Children of the Street’s free programs and services. With almost 30 years of fundraising experience, she enjoys working with individuals, community groups, businesses, and foundations to help them learn more about child/youth sexual exploitation and how they can help keep kids safe from this crime.
Courtney Liem (she/her)
Courtney holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts and a Diploma in Child and Youth Care. She has worked with marginalized and at-risk youth in various roles for the past decade, as a Youth and Family Worker with the Kidsafe Project Society, an Assistant Coordinator with the Boys and Girls Club, and a Programmer for the Vancouver School Board. Courtney worked for two years to develop the Safer Space program at Children of the Street. Through numerous conferences, panels and events she has presented on her knowledge of online child sexual exploitation to youth and adults across the country. When she’s not working Courtney can be found walking her dog Mini and watching Netflix reality dating shows!
Taylor spent time as an educator for a diploma program at a private college where she found her passion for education and social justice. After her studies in this field, she began as a frontline worker, working with high-risk youth for over 7 years. From there, she went on to work at St. Leonard’s Youth and Family Services as a Supervised Access worker and Family Development Worker providing safe and healthy visits for families and children. She also worked as a team lead in a specialized group home for high-risk youth, ages 13-18, where she learned the importance of harm reduction and trauma informed care. When she is not working, she can be found cuddled up with her French bulldog Bowie.
Jinfei Wang (she/her)
Jinfei holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Arts and Design and a Bachelor of Arts Honours Regional and Urban Planning Program from the University of Saskatchewan. She also recently completed an Art and Healing Certificate from the University of Florida. After Jinfei graduated from Emily Carr she has been working as an art instructor for non-profit organizations for over three years, and she is very excited to join PLEA to continue her passion for education and working with kids. In her free time, Jinfei enjoys working on her paintings, listening to music, and exploring the city.
Allison Laan (she/they/hers/theirs)
Allison attended the Community Support Work program with Sprott Shaw and began their career as a Team Leader for the Art Program with Access Youth. In this role they facilitated restorative art classes in an after-school setting. Prior to joining Plea, Allison was a Peer Support Worker with Foundry Ridge Meadows. Allison joined the Children of the Street program as a Workshop Facilitator in 2023.
Jen Graham (she/her)
Jen moved from the UK to BC with her partner in 2013. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics & Sociology from the University of Manchester and a Professional Diploma in Marketing from Cambridge Marketing College. She also has Chartered Marketer status with the UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing. Jen has worked in communications in the health and social services sector for more than 15 years. She has overseen Children of the Street’s communications and fundraising initiatives for the last three years and was recently asked to provide strategic direction to the program’s operations. She specifically enjoys developing high performing teams, driving meaningful change, managing relationships, and using her skills to help others.