Hi! My name is Heran Zhao. I am currently residing in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and working to address rising national and global issues, and also work at a local scale by collaborating with community and government organizations to eliminate barriers for the racialized and marginalized population. I also travel frequently across Canada to network with like-minded youth leaders, people from all sectors to generate positive impacts across Canada. I like to help youth turn ideas into actions, expand their professional networks, realize their full potential and lay the groundwork for them to succeed in life. Please feel to reach out to me at any time!
What are some of your accomplishments?
In early years, I was appointed as the co-president of Regional Multicultural Youth Council, a youth-led organization in Northwestern Ontario founded in 1985 (United Nations Year of the Youth) which advocates and take actions to improve social conditions in northwestern Ontario, sat on the Justice Canada Youth Action Committee to generate report for senior officials, policy analysts, researchers and others in the Canadian Justice Department, served as an ambassador for the National Youth Ambassador Caucus in Ottawa, met with Members of Parliament across Canada, and have dialogues on issues of national and international importance with leading business, government and community leaders. In early 2019, I spoke at the Lakehead University Social Justice Summit as the only high school presenter among university students and community leaders across Canada. I am also a part of Honourable Patty Hajdu's youth council, who is a Member of Parliament, and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour of Canada.
Describe one transformative experience that you have had.
My first year in the community working field. I was a part of the summer employment program, which led me to a job at my youth centre, which happens to be in one of the most at-risk neighbourhoods in the city. It opened my eyes, and helped me to see the effect of poverty, substance abuse, dysfunctional families and realize the importance of advocacy and prevention programs.
Who inspires you? What advice or insight did he or she provide you with?
Benjamin Zander. He is an English conductor, and the director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. I love him for his boldness and his deep passion. He taught me the importance of pursuing your passion and bringing joy to the world, and these are the things that I will keep in my heart throughout my life.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about eliminating inequally, and also helping youth like you to turn passion and ideas into actions, expand your professional networks, help you to realize your full potential and lay the groundwork for getting ahead and succeeding in life. I also love music, as I perform ethnomusic as a soloist, and serve as the principal cellist for the Thunder Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra.
- 2020-2024 Global Development Studies
March 2018 - Present
Justice Canada Youth Action Committee
– Participate and co-facilitate committee conference calls.
– Provide direct feedback and collect voices of youth’s opinions, knowledge, experiences across Canada about the actions and the values of the Canadian Justice System, and other important legal related issues to the representative of Justice Canada on the committee, and help generate reports that are shared and heard by senior officials, policy analysts, researchers and others in the Canadian Justice Department.
Thunder Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra
September 2016 - Present
Thunder Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra Board
– Appointed as the Principal Cellist of TBSYO, and lead the cello section of Thunder Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra.
– Coordinate between the conductor and section members, decide on the fingerings and bowings of the section and play the solo parts of the repertoires.