The Founders Behind the Vision.
Justina Gendy, BA: Criminal Justice
I was born and raised here in Calgary, Alberta. I finished my undergrad at Mount Royal University with a BA in Criminal Justice. I am extremely passionate about youth and share an almost, if not completely, equal passion for the Justice System. I have worked with youth in various capacities over the last 7 years and have loved every single moment! I wanted to be a part of AMF because I want to be a part of something revolutionary for our youth. I want to see something fresh and new being done with our youth within the Justice System. I am so excited to be a part of this organization and to see what comes of it!
Nicarla Ellis, BA: Psychology/Criminology
I am originally from Labrador City, NL and moved to Calgary in 2011 to be near the mountains. I am a compassionate and energetic being, and have been described by my peers as a go-getter. My educational background is in psychology and criminology and I have several years of experience working with young people from many paths of life. I felt driven to create something different for young people involved in the justice system after years of watching youth caught in a revolving door. My aim is to bring a reality to the word rehabilitation and help young people retire from criminal activity and end their involvement with the justice system for good.
Terra Buschmann, BA: Psychology
Originally from Saskatchewan, I ventured to Alberta to discover my passion: working with adolescents. After a few years of counselling and mentoring youth, I chose to obtain my BA in Psychology alongside my work. My heart is to see adolescents thrive. Through rapport and relationship, youth need to feel empathy, compassion and authenticity. My ability to show that I understand another’s life, without having experienced it, is a continual goal of mine. Through AMF, I strive to grow as an advocate for change, which assists at-risk youth within our community to adapt, grow and set goals for what is needed within their circumstances. The justice system, in respect to youth, is a place this is needed. Through our team, I am excited to see gaps within this community’s needs filled and youth feeling a positive control over their lives.
Our board consists of seven members from different paths of life.
Co-Chair/Secretary: Nicarla Ellis, BA: Psychology/Criminology
Co-Chair: Terra Buschmann, BA: Psychology
Vice-Chair: Justina Gendy, BA: Criminal Justice
Treasurer: Amber Halpenny, Correctional Studies Diploma/Homeless Population Socialization Certificate
Director: Leslie Ortlieb, BHSc: Addictions Counselling
Director: Renita Bartlett, Justice Diploma
Director: Joseph Neil
Who are our Board Members?
I am born and raised here in Calgary, Alberta. For several years I have worked with youth at-risk and families experiencing homelessness. Throughout my career I have learned the importance of developing and maintaining natural supports and connecting to the community. I joined AMF because I believe our children are our future. I believe the concepts of AMF to be unique and individually based, and I’m excited to be a part of the positive change AMF will create in many young peoples lives.
I was born and raised in Lethbridge, Alberta; graduating from the University of Lethbridge Addictions Counselling degree program in 2014. After the completion of my post-secondary schooling, I moved to Calgary to continue pursuing my career working with young offenders and youth who have involvement with Child and Family Services through the Enviros organization. I have a deep passion for providing hope, support, respect, integrity and empathy to youth who are continually afflicted by trials, challenges and loss. I look forward to this exciting new adventure and the many possibilities which can be created.
I am originally from Truro, Nova Scotia, but moved from Truro to Halifax in 1996 to attend Saint Mary’s University. After completing two years there, I enrolled in the Criminal Justice Program and began what would be my destiny for the next 19 years. I have been working with at risk, marginalized youth for the bulk on the 19 years. My positions included: Youth Worker at the New Brunswick Youth Centre, Youth Counsellor at the Devereux Foundation in Rutland (Massachusetts), Program Supervisor at a few youth facilities, Program Facilitator with the Spirit Program, and Youth Support Worker with the Mentor Homes Program at Pathways CSA. My biggest learning from the youth that I have supported over the years is that my best asset is to be able to listen. “Listen to hear, not listen to fix.” I adore the work that I do and consider myself a life long learner in the support field.
I am from the wonderful city of Calgary, and currently in my second year of business at Mount Royal University. My future endeavours are to attain a degree and career within accounting or finance. I have recently sought to become a part of a justice organization, AMF, due to the different struggles that I have experienced and my resilience through them. Through my journey, I see great value in having an influential mentor. My mentors have been influential in helping me achieve my goals and be the best person I can be! I have wanted to be a part of an organization that: offers mentorship for other young people that have experienced similar challenges to myself, contributes to the strength within our community and will strive to be the best it can be. I feel AMF offers this.