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Our Founder

About Orville Wallace

Founder & Chairman of YJNT


With over twenty years of experience, Orville Wallace has dedicated himself to
promoting equity for racialized communities through programming, philanthropy,
training, and community safety across the province. He is recognized as a leader in the
social services sector and has been instrumental in leading large-scale initiatives that
support young people across Canada. Orville began his career in front-line youth work
and has since provided leadership for a variety of youth programs across the country.
He is particularly passionate about helping youth facing multiple barriers to success,
with a focus on helping those in conflict with the law gain employment and access to
pro-social life skills. Orville holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto and has
completed the Public Sector Executive Leadership Program at Queen's University.

In 2007, Orville facilitated Neighborhood Insight Sessions for the Review on the Roots
of Youth Violence in the Jane and Finch community and contributed to the final report
for the Premier. He also established the Youth Justice Network of Toronto that same
year, a network made up of social service workers from across the province who are
invested in working with youth facing barriers to success, specifically those in conflict
with the law. Orville believes that this was one of his greatest accomplishments. In
2008, he received the YMCA Peace Medallion in recognition of his work as the Founder
and Chair of the Youth Justice Network.

Orville leads the Youth Justice Network of Toronto as its founder and Chair, along with
Cara Wallace, managing a network of 1300+ community members working with hard to
serve youth. He shares information on local programs and events and organizes
professional development meetings and conferences for social service workers in the
Greater Toronto Area.

Orville has a diverse professional background that includes positions such as Head of
Programs and Impact at Prince's Trust Canada, where he was responsible for
overseeing a wide range of programs serving youth and Veterans across the country,
and also led the program evaluations. He also has Senior leadership experience in
Philanthropy, having held a position as Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives at
the Laidlaw Foundation, where he was in charge of overseeing the grant-making
process and strategic framework development. Orville is deeply committed to youth
advocacy and has made it a central focus throughout his career. He has actively
participated in various community coalitions and youth groups, such as the York Youth
Coalition, Lawrence Heights Inter-organizational Network, Frontline Partners with Youth
Network, Youth Impact Groups, and the 31 Division Community Policing Liaison
Committee. Additionally, he graduated from United Way's Creative Institute for
Toronto Young (C.I.T.Y.) leaders’ program, which was designed for young aspiring
leaders in the social service sector.

Orville continues to actively participate in the planning and moderation of various
community events across the province. He is referred to as a "Community Architect" as
he excels in fostering relationships between individuals, projects, and places to foster
social ecosystems for systemic change. Orville believes in community capacity building

and is committed to increasing youth engagement in communities by utilizing anti-
oppressive, anti-racist and a Positive Youth Development approach.

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