Meet Our Staff

SAMANTHA ESMERALDA

Executive Director

About Me:

My passion for non-profit organizations and community development started when I was 16 years old and volunteered as an LIT for summer camp. Through the mentorship of leaders around me, I developed skills to move forward in my career in non-profit work. As a leader, I have a passion to enable neighbours to facilitate community growth. 

What Community Means to Me:

Community to me means belonging, I believe when you have a sense of belonging you are called to action. 

My Guilty Pleasure:

My guilty pleasure is eating sour patch kids and binge-watching Gilmore Girls, even though I've seen it a hundred times!

JESSICA KROETSCH

Community Engagement Coordinator

About Me:

Hello Everyone! My name is Jessica and I am the Community Engagement Coordinator for Alison Neighbourhood Community Centre!

My favorite thing about working here is building relationships with the children and watching them grow up over the years.

What Community Means to Me:

Community to me is all about working with and building relationships with everyone in our neighbourhood.

My Guilty Pleasure:

My guilty pleasure is definitly candy or anything sweet! Once the kids are in bed the first thing I do is go find my self something sweet!

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ASHLEY LAWNICZACK

Recreation Coordinator

About Me:

Since I was very young, recreation for me has been less about my soccer trophies and dance recitals and more about the friends I meet.  Serving at Alison Neighbourhood Community Centre, I now get to watch those personal relationships being built everyday between the staff, youth, and parents who participate in our programs. 

What Community Means to Me:

Community to me is what gives people the connections they need to feel love, joy, and support in our lives.

My Guilty Pleasure:

I am an avid Toronto Maple Leafs fan and cannot wait for the moment, (in the very near future), they win that Stanley Cup.

MADDISON GREEN

Recreation Programs Leader

About Me:

Hi everyone! I am Maddison Green, and I am looking forward to my first year working at Alison Neighbourhood Community Centre. I am currently a full-time student at the University of Waterloo studying Social Work. 

What Community Means to Me:

Communities are fun, inclusive groups that are always there when you need them the most.

My Favourite Recreation Activity:

My favourite recreation activities are anything outside. Whether it's hiking, fishing, or riding four-wheelers, I'm there. 

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NICOLE HEDGES

Youth Engagement Worker

About Me:

Hi everyone, I'm Nicole! I am a Child and Youth Worker at ANCC. My favourite thing about working at ANCC is the smiling faces we get when the children enter the center. When I’m not here I’m working at the Waterloo Public School Board as a Child and Youth Worker.

What Community Means to Me:

Community to me means everyone supporting each other.

My Favourite Recreation Activity:

My favourite recreation activity is figure skating - I've been doing it since I was 3! 

KIANA DASILVA

Peer Worker

About Me:

My name is Kiana DaSilva and I am a peer worker at Alison Neighbourhood Community Centre. My favourite part of working at ANCC is the personal and unique relationships that form within the whole community. 

What Community Means to Me:

Community to me is when we all can help one another out to ensure the needs of the community are being met for all.

My Favourite Recreation Activity:

My favourite recreation activities are swimming and I love outdoor activities like hiking.

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RACHEL SOTHERN

Youth Program Facilitator

About Me:

I am currently wrapping up my undergraduate degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo. I am super lucky to be studying in a field that I am passionate about and am excited to share this with Alison Neighbourhood Community Centre.

What Community Means to Me:

Celebrating everyone's unique strengths and using them to create a meaningful place, where people feel welcomed and happy!

My Favourite Recreation Activity:

I love softball and still play to this day. You can find me coaching in my spare time. 

AMRIT KHAIRA

Youth Program Facilitator

About Me:

I am just learning the ins and outs of the Waterloo Region after growing up in Hamilton. Currently, I am studying to complete my Post-Graduate Certificate at Conestoga College in Public Service.  

What Community Means to Me:

Giving back to others, growing and learning together, and creating a positive and supportive environment for one another!

My Favourite Recreation Activity:

I have played basketball for 19 years of my life! I love a good old fashion game of BUMP!

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