Diana Chiodo has recently joined YCI as the new Public Engagement Intern. Diana is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Politics and Governance program and continued her studies with a specialized Food Security Certificate program. She is taking courses in project management at the University of Toronto and hopes to soon become a designated Project Management Professional. Diana became interested in international development and food politics from her studies and experience in a Canada World Youth program where she spent 6 weeks in Kimende, Kenya supporting local environmental group KENVO. Diana is passionate about youth engagement, and creating healthy, sustainable food systems. She is excited to take on the challenges of being the new Public Engagement Intern.
I first heard of Youth Challenge International at an environmental career fair and was immediately drawn to YCI’s focus on building skills in youths. Personally, I was interested in the Youth Innovator program because of the specialized projects in supporting local partners abroad and opportunities to build work experience in an international setting. YCI challenges youths to think critically and act as leaders to drive social change and to me, that’s empowering. My position at YCI entails maintaining good relationships with existing alumni and organizational partners and to build new opportunities to reach out to more youths. The cool part of my job is to facilitate YCI’s alumni programs, which brings together like-minded people with a passion for youth and development.
I am responsible for monitoring and analyzing public engagement opportunities that we are currently undertaking and finding new opportunities so that I can strategically plan events for the summer and new school year.
My interests in international development stems from my desire to influence social change and bring about equities in society. It’s why I was attracted to studying politics in the first place. However, I became tired of hearing about international facts & figures from textbooks and set out to see how development works firsthand. I have been influenced by my experiences in Kenya and in New Orleans, helping to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina and also making global initiatives local. In every experience I have been a part of, the magic of strong communities and youth driven initiatives are what inspire me as I build a career in international development. I am passionate about health and youth livelihoods and the possibilities for building entrepreneurship within sustainable agriculture.
During my spare time, I love watching movies, practicing hot yoga and spending time outdoors. I was born and raised in Toronto and although I love the buzz of city life, I relish escaping to some lush green lands! My new favourite escape place is taking a boat through Georgian Bay in Penetanguishene. I’m a huge natural beauty health enthusiast as well and have had good success in making my own natural lotions. They smell so delicious; you usually have to fight off the temptation to eat them. Maybe one day I’ll market them!