• Pinball Foundation

Recap: You(th) Lead Conference

On Saturday, June 4th, 2022, we hosted our inaugural You(th) Lead Conference at Hotel X Toronto. This special event brought together guest speakers, influencers, and over 70 executives to empower future leaders. PCF is not just a Foundation, we are a community, working together to bring the youth from the Margins to the Mainstream.

In a tremendous setting, it was with hope and intention that PCF designed a day fostering community, connection, and career, for marginalized youth,” said Michael “Pinball” Clemons. “The youth were celebrated by the incomparable Jully Black, inspired by local trumpeter extraordinaire, William Leathers, and encouraged by several other authors and entertainers throughout the morning. This was followed by a speed mentoring session, where our young adults were afforded the opportunity to ask questions to more senior executives in one afternoon, then they’ve likely interacted with in their entire lives. The day maintained a palpable energy that was generated by our hosts Orlando Bowen, and One Voice One Team, an organizational partner that provides the youth with ongoing mentorship throughout the year. PCF and its partners have the expectation and commitment to not just mentor our youth, but to see each one of our students to a career opportunity within 45 days of graduation. We are so grateful to all our youth, mentors, volunteers, and sponsors, who not only made this event possible, but who make our mission tangible.”

The day began with an empowering 3 hour show for over 100 post-secondary students. The show hosted by Orlando Bowen, Jermaine Frazer and Sherri Sanjurjo poured into the students with love and support, through TedTalk style speakers, singers, and special guests:

Randell Adjei, Poet Laureate of Ontario Jully Black, Canadian singer-songwriter, producer, actress Colin Singh Dhillon, Author, Chief Technical Officer, APMA Rae-Anne “SunRae” Downer, Toronto based singer/songwriter Brandan Duke the DJ, Brampton prodigy DJ/producer, Disney Channel actor Chuck Ealey, The first Black quarterback to win the Grey Cup (Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 1972) Leslie Ehm, Author, “Queen of Swagger” Danyel “King Sold” Barnswell, Real Estate Mogul William Leathers, GTA musical prodigy, Julliard student Humza Teherany, Chief Technology and Digital Officer, MLSE Paul VanderGriendt, PCF Event Coordinator, Innovator, Optimist

“The You(th) Lead Conference was full of passion, and learning. The conference inspired me and reaffirmed that we are all capable of doing extraordinary things, all we need to do is push hard, do our best, and ask for help” said Brianna, a student from The Mainstream Bursary Program. “I left with my glass filled, and ready to do incredible things with my life with the help of the entire team. I could not be more grateful, and thankful.”

The show was followed by a power-hour networking lunch where students were greeted by C-Suite level executives and presidents from top brands across the GTA. Students were also able to get a professional headshot taken for their LinkedIn profiles. The highlight of the day was a speed networking session, that allowed students to be paired with executives for 6 rounds of networking where they received valuable career advice.

“The vibe in the theatre, the luncheon, and the speed mentorship room were at an amazing all-time high! Our team, mentors, and all that attended will not forget the feelings they took away from that day for a very long time. We stretched ourselves to a new level and successfully achieved what we set out to accomplish, all the while growing as individuals through the experience!” said Selen Alpay, Board Chair and Presenting Sponsor of the event.


The day ended with a youth panel of recent graduates who shared their experiences and inspired all guests in attendance. New graduates were honoured on stage and invited to become a member of “Team 31” an alumni program hosted by Pinball Clemons. Awards were distributed for academic excellence and leadership.

Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible; Canadian Tire #360, Chicago Title Insurance, Accelerate Auto and Resource Integrated. “Supporting marginalized youth by providing resources and mentorship to help enable them to pursue a successful career is a key principle of Accelerate Auto, shaping the way we run our programs,” said Christopher Nabeta, Executive Chairman, Accelerate Auto.


“In that spirit, we are proud to be partners in the Pinball Clemons Foundation’s You(th) Lead Conference and to support their important work. We're excited to continue partnering with the Foundation to further support the impact that Pinball and Diane have set out to have on the communities they serve.”


Thank you to all of our Speed Mentors!

Accelerate Auto, Alex McDougall, Alvin Francis, Andrew Peller Limited, Anthony Longo, Antony Rubino, Apple Express, Asal Afsha, Bill MacDonald, Bill Howe, Black Opportunity Fund, Blackrock Asset Management, Blair Livingston, Blanc Labs, Brett Chang, Brett Purcell, Canaccord Genuity Corp., CCMA, Canadian Tire 360, Carlos Garcia, Chicago Title Insurance, Chief Beverage Imports, Christopher Nabeta, CIMA, Colin Singh Dhillon, Craig Wellington, Cristine Tossan, Danielle Feidler, David Gorski, David Griffiths, Dr. Cindy Gouveia, Dr. Gervan Fearon, Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, Economical Insurance, Eleanor McIntyre, Eleanor Tossan, Flashbox, Frank Recruitment Group, General Electric, Ginny Hicks, Greenferd, Health PRO Canada, Hilton Ngo, Home Depot, IBM, IKO North America, Interac, Jay Zaidi, Jennifer Seif, Jerome Chinner, Jim Cole, John Rider, John Salisbury, Jully Black, Justin Bobb, Karen Salisbury, Katie Fulford, Keisha Francis, Kelly Bourque, Ken Rutherford, Kim Marshall, Kingdom House, Kyle Dobbin, Labatt Breweries, Langlois Konrad Inkster LLP, Laura Victoria, Leen LiLeo Bailey, Levelwear, Liana Scott, Liuna, Longos, Lorianne MacDonald, Lyse Cornelius-Biggs, Marsha Dennis-Jones, Mehdi Nayeba, Merissa Preston, Michael Salisbury, Michael Thompson, Mike Hetherman, MLSE, Nasser Syed, Natalie Trench, New Haven Mortgage, Nitti Subramaniam, Orode Uwawah, Paul Sweetnam, Peter Keohane, Properly, Read the Peak, Resource Integrated, Rowan O'Grady, Runa Whitaker, Ryan Mohammed, Salesforce, Scotiabank, Scott Hledin, Selen Alpay, Sony Music Canada, Stable Corp, Street Contxt, Sumana Kundu, Sutton Realty, Syreeta Gordon-Taitt, Tania Meikle, Terrence Langlois, Tony Canade, Tyler McClay Real Estate, Tyler Peltzer, Universal Music Canada, Vena Corp, Victoria Mancinelli, Wealth Simple Foundation.

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