CYM is run by volunteers. We have a hard working board committed to ensuring that 100% of our donations go towards helping children and youth with neuropsychological disorders. Board members are actively involved in fundraising and facilitation of direct support to children as well as the management and operation of the organization.
Helen Pocarovsky BA, Teaching Certificate
Early on in her career as an elementary teacher for the City of Toronto, Helen Pocarovsky realized the value of working with special education teachers, social workers and healthcare providers. Throughout her 38 years as a teacher, she worked with children from a variety of backgrounds and English as a Second Language learners from low socio-economic families.
Later in her teaching career, Helen worked as teacher trainer, implementing a new mathematics program for Toronto District School Board. After retiring from the classroom, she became a New Teacher Mentor and worked with beginning teachers.
Helen also volunteered with the Slovak Folklore Dance Corps for almost 20 years as a teacher, choreographer and treasurer.
Having worked with children for so many years, Helen has always had an interest in children with special needs and when asked to volunteer with CYM, she gladly accepted the challenge.
Sharon Zier-Vogel, B.A., M.Ed.
Sharon graduated with a B.A. from the University of Toronto and the following year received her Primary School Specialist certificate from Toronto Teachers’ College. Later she completed her M.Ed. at OISE with a focus on early childhood education.
Sharon taught in inner city schools in Toronto for 37 years, working primarily with kindergarten-aged children. She has been involved in two major early childhood programs that focused on children with special needs. Long before the Ontario government initiated the all-day kindergarten program, Sharon ran an innovative all-day kindergarten program as a decade-long pilot project.
In the last five years of her teaching career, Sharon worked with speech pathologists in a special Toronto District School Board program. In the Kindergarten Early Language Intervention (KELI) program, Sharon collaborated with psychologists, social workers and health care workers to ensure that these students received the additional help that they required.
When Sharon was invited to join the board of directors for the Caring for Young Minds, she was thrilled to have the opportunity to continue her interest and care in the health and welfare of children and their families.
Debby Martin BScN, RN
Debby has a background in biology and public health which provides a foundation for her interest in children’s health as it relates to the environment.
Before volunteering with CYM, Debby facilitated parent support groups with the Parent Education Network (formerly EFLEC) and was a member of the board for fourteen years.
In collaboration with CYM, Debby has made public presentations on neuropsychological disorders. In addition, she has facilitated mothers’ support groups and piloted a parent-to-parent support program for parents whose children struggle with mental health issues.
Working with Evergreen, Debby is currently managing a national network of school ground design consultants who work with school boards to bring shade, nature and food growing to school grounds.
Debby has been with Caring for Young Minds since its inception and knows first-hand how timely support can make a difference in the successful treatment of children’s mental health disorders.
Dr Maged Kodsi B.A., M.B.,B.CH, F.R.C.P.(C)
Dr Kodsi is a senior Child and Family Psychiatrist. In the late 90’s in collaboration with concerned parents he co-founded CYM charitable organization to help children with mental health challenges.
Currently he is the Physician Leader and Clinical Head of Psychiatry at Humber River Hospital. He is the consulting psychiatrist to the sexual abuse team at the Trillium Health Partners. Dr. Kodsi is also an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
Dr Kodsi believes that many of the adult mental health disorders could be traced back to childhood. Hence providing timely help and necessary resources to our children is indeed a real investment in the future.
Amanda Comette, B.A., CHRP
Amanda Comette is a Human Resources professional with over 23 years’ experience in health care. She has her Certified Human Resources Professional designation in addition to her Bachelor of Arts degree. Amanda is a multifaceted health care professional with in-depth experience working in the Emergency Department, multiple health care units, Operational Flow and Human Resources. Amanda joined the Board of Caring for Young Minds in 2016 and she is also a founding Board member of So Kids Can See, a Canadian Charity which works to eliminate avoidable blindness and improve the outcome for unavoidable eye diseases in children living in low-income regions globally