UBC’s coat of arms are at the Univeristy of Queensland, how cool is that?

Building the Great Court / Source: The University of Queensland Library At my exchange university, the University of Queensland (UQ), There’s this really great space in the centre of campus called the Great Court. Picture a big grassy area with trees where students can relax in, surrounded by an enclosed by old sandstone buildings and […]

Part One: What has happened for the last two months?

For the last two months I’ve had summer vacation. Next week I begin classes as a Go Global exchange student at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Here’s what has happened during my “summer vacation.” Part one: January Slept on my friend’s couch for two weeks leading up to the 2012 Student Leadership Conference (SLC), [...]

I made the “Our Campus” in the Ubyssey!

One of my proudest moments at UBC is making the “OurCampus” in the Ubyssey. For those of you who don’t know, every edition of the school paper features a new person who contributes to what UBC is today. This year’s Faces of Today: http://slc.ubc.ca/recognition/faces-of-today/ Videos to be released at the UBC Student Leadership Conference on January [...]

My mind was just blown by UBC REC

If there is anything you do today, be it that you watch this video, produced by UBC REC (that deserves a Matt Corker “Boom!” to describe it).

Click here to view the embedded video.

A huge kudos goes out to the entire Media Team at UBC REC, my past RA and current best friend Alyssa Koehn, Advising teammates in Totem Park David Protheroe and Warren Springer (the man in the video all the ladies love), who were all a part of making this video happen.

Here are other tidbits from their video shoot you might enjoy as well.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

If I was anywhere near the definition of athletic, I’d so want to do TriDu 2011 just because of these videos. If anything, I might try to drink a little more water and get a little more physical because of it.

I’m back!

ebakes and jbakes (my little brother who’s in Grade 12)

After a long hiatus of exams and winter break, I’ve been back to Niagara Falls, Toronto, and now I’m all snugglly-warm in my Totem Park dorm room. My apologies for being non-existent for the last little while but now I’m here.

What’s on the horizon?
Film photography class, finding out the results on my Go Global application (crossing my fingers for the University of Queensland, Australia), WTFL (Women’s Totem Football League) and learning how to snowboard! Oh so much fun.

This term, I’ll be filming more and more of little bits of my life for this blog. Here’s the first taste of that. Meet my family, momma bakes and jbakes. Also, the second video is a hilarious telling of a story from my mother’s childhood for all of those momma bakes fans out there. The ending is the best part.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

My Big News- I’ve Started A Company

Dear friends,

A few months ago, I incorporated my own company, which is why this website exists as of today. It’s called The Collaboration Company. I wanted to give an official announcement on my UBC Blog because this blog has acted as my home for the last year and a half that has been the place where I have shared details of my story with all of you, my friends.

So why did I start this company? When I was 15 years old, I became Youth Mayor of my city. I recognized the need for more opportunities for youth in my community and that someone had to address the negative discourse that some of my peers were applying to the world around them. Big changes had to happen. I worked on many projects from deciding where bike lanes would be painted on city roads, at one point I was working on forming a Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, and most of the time I was seeking out others who had the same drive I had to give new ways for youth to interact with their community.

As I took on all these projects, different organizations and institutions noticed this need as well and asked me to collaborate with them on conferences for youth, connect with the Chair of the Region about youth needs, and asked me what they could do for our generation. I’ve been pulled into numerous board rooms, had many meetings and I’ve exchanged many emails that have lead me to realize that my skills in leadership development, awareness of youth needs, and knowledge on student engagement had grown so highly that I was prepared to contribute to my community in a new way- through a business.

The Collaboration Company draws its strength through the synergy that is created when top young leaders come together to build the best opportunities for youth. Using networks such as the Loran Awards and Top 20 Under 20, The Collaboration Company brings Canada’s leading young leaders into the conversation of leadership and youth development. These leaders are experts in their respect fields which could be in politics, international development, non-profit work, or athletics, that gives our development process different perspectives on youth needs. That’s what makes this venture unique.

So here I am. A few months after incorporation. The last three months since have been spent working for Youth University at Brock University developing a four year long high school leadership program for students in the Niagara Region, all from my dorm room in Vancouver. The things that are being built are worth sharing and that’s what I hope to use this website as a venue for.

Please check out our website. If you would like to contribute to future projects, have any ideas you would like to share, please leave a comment or send me an email. It’s erica@collaborationcompany.ca. I value your input because I hold my friends, family and peers dearly. All of you have contributed to who I am, each in your own way, and I thank you for helping me get this far. I want to include you in future conversations about youth development and I know that we’ll make a mark on communities across Canada with our collective voices coming together as one.

Your biggest fan and friend,


One more reason for collaboration. Watch this TED Talk about radical innovation.