Project Collaborators

The LevelUp team is continually growing as we take on new projects and foster new partnerships. We are grateful to be working with so many other passionate and experienced professionals from across Canada to help expand our work. Here are some of our amazing collaborators:

Alexander Pysklywec


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Alex is a trained Geographer (MA) and Urban/Regional Planner (MPL). Alex has more than 7 years applied biomedical, social science, and planning research experience related mostly to health and social policy (focusing on Indigenous peoples and on family/friend caregivers) and biomedical interventions (focusing on mobility for people with differing abilities and family/friend caregiver needs).


He approaches all his work from an environmental and social justice perspective and strives to ensure he is involved in projects which contribute to a more just and equitable world. Research and data analysis on the City of New Westminster Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism Framework and the Boundary Region Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Alex is part of the development of a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism (DEIAR) Framework for New Westminster.

Jade Yehia


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Jade Yehia is a specialist with degrees in Human Geography, Environmental Health, and a Master of Science (MSc) in Impact Assessment. She is a certified Environmental Health Officer and Consultant with thirteen years of experience working for both the Federal and Provincial governments. Jade leads Island Health's Healthy Built Environment program. The primary objective is to support the inclusion of health in land use planning (as health is much more connected to one's postal code than their genetic code). 

Jade's work includes skilled expertise in housing and homelessness, transportation planning, air quality, climate change, and risk analysis. Regarding Environmental Assessment, Jade has an extensive background in industrial developments and proficiency in reviewing industry benefits and impacts on communities.  She is adept at speaking to a wide range of audiences, from elected officials to community action groups to those hardest to reach in our communities. Jade grew up all over BC and has lived in commuter communities, to bust and boom towns. She is passionate about creating healthier communities for all!  

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Sidney Tham


Sidney recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a Master’s in Public Health and completed a practicum at Island Health within Health Protection and Environmental Services where she contributed to projects relating to health and housing, climate change, and poverty reduction. She also has a BSc in Microbiology with a business minor. Her experience ranges from Infection Prevention and Control, Marketing Operations, and she is currently a Project Analyst for Island Health.


She takes a person centred and equity approach with her work and enjoys building relationships with people on the various projects she is part of. Her passion for public health grew greatly after studying the social determinants of health. Sidney is currently working as a Research Assistant for LevelUp on the development of a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism (DEIAR) Framework for New Westminster.

Laurel Burton


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Laurel currently resides on the traditional, unceded territory of the Lheidli T’enneh peoples, otherwise known as Prince George, BC. As a Registered Dietitian with 7 years’ experience working in food security, she understands the positive impact that equitable, healthy, and productive food systems have on the overall health and well-being of individuals, communities, and populations.  Laurel has worked in a variety of geographical regions with groups across the lifecycle, within BC and internationally, to support community and regional food systems development, for the aim of optimizing health.


Her work is grounded in health equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. ​ Laurel has extensive theoretical and practical knowledge of intersectional determinants of health, structural inequity, and their impacts on health. She co-created Northern Health’s first anti-racism community of practice, sits on a strategic working group that seeks to provide fair access to services for the most marginalized in northern BC communities, and is an active board member of the Prince George New Hope Society. She is supporting the York Region Food Security Network project by providing content expertise in food security, as well as supporting the literature review, data interpretation, and stakeholder/community engagement.

Sérgio Borges

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Having recently finished his PhD in Human Geography through the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, focusing on interactions between citizens and decision and policy-making process, Sérgio brings ten years of a diverse set of skills and knowledge on social policy, governance, and participation in regional and urban planning process. In 2015, Sérgio earned a master’s degree in local governance and municipal participatory management through the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil.


He is passionate about strategies to promote inclusion and increase representation of underrepresented and marginalized groups of society in the policy-making process. Through his master’s and doctoral works, as well as through his professional and volunteer experiences, Sérgio has expertise in public policy analysis, community advisory board, and participatory planning. The main areas of interest that Sérgio has cultivated have centered around participatory governance mechanisms and how marginalized communities influence policy and legislation. He is interested in topics related to inclusion and equity and public participation and has been working on the development of a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Anti-Racism (DEIAR) Framework for the City of New Westminster.

Jessica Zhang


Jessica is an experienced public health nurse who has been working in health promotion and chronic disease prevention for the last five years. She has a demonstrated history of engaging with high-risk communities focusing on community capacity building. As a result of her work, she has extensive experience in community consultation and engagement, and program planning, implementation and evaluation.


Jessica completed her Master’s in Public Health at the University of Victoria with a focus in social policy. She is passionate about research and supporting the development of health policies with an equity lens to advance the social determinants of health. She currently resides in Ontario on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe Peoples and of the Haudenosaunee Peoples.


Jessica is currently involved with the York Region Food Network food security project, providing research and community engagement support.