Team

Gemma Hickey, Executive Director

Gemma was born with a fire in her belly. This St. John’s native has a passion for people and a vision for change, the driving force behind all of her work. She serves on various boards and committees, provincially and nationally and has received a number of scholarships and awards. While completing her Bachelor of Arts from Memorial University, she was heavily involved in the student movement. Upon graduation, she took up a number of causes, but is best known for her involvement in getting same-sex marriage legalized in Canada. When she is not changing the world, she writes poetry to change hearts and is currently working on her first manuscript.

Blair Trainor, Chair

Blair was born in St. John’s and recently completed the Child and Youth Care/Addictions program at Eastern College. He successfully completed three work terms during his studies at the Native Friendship Center, Stella Burry and Waypoints. He is currently working at Emmanuel House. Passionate about issues affecting youth, he is the campaign founder of Sleep Out 120 and assumed the role of campaign leader for the 2010 and 2011 campaigns.

Jennifer Curran, Vice-Chair

With degrees in History and Law, Jennifer has brought her talents and education to a variety of organizations with social benefit as their mandate. These include The Ontario Justice Education Network, Action Canada for Population and Development, Special Sessions on Children & HIV/AIDS, Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada, National Association of Women and the Law, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Community Services Council. She is presently staff solicitor with the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission, as well as sitting on Neighborhood Dance Works and For the Love of Learning’s Board of Directors.

Greg Knott, Treasurer

Greg holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Memorial University, as well as a journalism diploma from the College of the North Atlantic. Originally from Norris Point on the west coast of Newfoundland, he now works as an Economic Development Officer with the Northeast Avalon Regional Economic Development Board and as a Community Collaboration Facilitator with Thrive. He has been involved with community development and youth issues on both the provincial and national level, including the Newfoundland and Labrador Youth Advisory Committee, Emerging Leaders (Canadian Community Economic Development Network), and the Global Citizenship Initiative. He recently started his own photography business, Knotty Pictures.

Megan Greene, Secretary

Megan grew up on the tip of the Northern Peninsula in Raleigh, Newfoundland and Labrador. Upon graduating from high school she moved to St. John’s to study at Memorial University where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Bachelor of Education. She currently teaches with the Eastern School District and tutors with Academic Assessment and Tutoring Services. She also volunteers with the St. John Ambulance’s Brigade (Division 321) and Planned Parenthood.

Heather McKinnon, Member-at-Large

Heather is the Operations Manager at the Delta St. John’s Hotel and Conference Center. In addition to being a board member of For the Love of Learning, she also sits on a number of other boards for non-profit organizations – Vice Chair of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Fundraising Chair of the Canadian Cancer Society, Co Chair of Festival of Trees and Holiday Gifts, the St. John’s Boys and Girls Club and the Riverdale Tennis Club.

Gerald Vaandering, Member-at-Large

Gerald is an artist with a wide range of experiences. He has taught Junior and Senior High School students for eight years, while also teaching adult courses. He has coached, directed and written stage performances with young and adult performers and has worked as a volunteer with street level youth in London Ontario. His artwork has been featured all over North America.

Frances Squires, Member-at-Large

Frances is an art teacher with the Eastern School District of Newfoundland and Labrador. Prior to her teaching career, she completed a Fine Arts Degree (visual) in 1995 at Grenfell College in Corner Brook. Her Education Degree (secondary) was completed at Memorial University in 1997. A Masters of Philosophy was awarded to her in 1999, also from Memorial University. She has been teaching visual arts at Frank Roberts Junior High for thirteen years. She also owns and runs her own small business, Frankie’s Design Studio, where she offers original art and jewelry.

Danielle Devereaux, Member-at-Large

Danielle’s poetry has appeared in Arc, The Fiddlehead, Riddle Fence, QuArc, and The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011 (Tightrope Books). An alumna of the Banff Writing Studio, her poetry manuscript-in-progress was shortlisted for the 2009 Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers. Cardiogram, a limited edition chapbook of her poems, was published in September 2011 by Baseline Press of London, Ontario. She holds a Master of Women’s Studies Degree from Memorial University, where her research focused on media education and community. She currently works in research communications at Memorial University.