Our Founder

About Orville Wallace

Founder & Chairman of YJNT


Orville Wallace has over eighteen years’ experience providing support to youth across the city and mentorship for many youths living in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. Over the years, Orville has gained experience from doing front-line youth work as well as managing large youth programs across the city.  Orville has a passion for helping youth facing multiple barriers achieve success in their lives with a specific passion for helping youth in conflict with the law obtain employment and gain access to pro-social life skills. Orville completed his B.A. at the University of Toronto.  He currently serves as the Director or Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the Laidlaw Foundation where he leads the development, implementation and management of pro-active initiatives related to Youth Justice, child welfare and education. Within this role Orville is also responsible for evaluating the results of grants and their success in meeting the objectives of the Foundations Strategic Plan. Before joining the Laidlaw Foundation, Orville was a Program Manager for 6 years with the Youth Opportunities Fund at the Ontario Trillium Foundation where he oversaw the delivery of youth-led community grants.  Orville has a strong passion for youth advocacy and topics related to Youth Justice.  He has been a member of several community coalitions and youth groups, including; the York Youth Coalition, the Lawrence Heights Inter-organizational Network, the Frontline Partners with Youth Network, Youth Impact Groups, the 31 Division Community Policing Liaison Committee and many others.  In 2009, Orville was a graduate of United Way’s Creative Institute for Toronto’s Young (C.I.T.Y.) leaders, a group of young aspiring leaders from the social service sector.
In 2007, Orville facilitated Neighbourhood Insight Sessions for the Roots of Youth Violence Review for the Jane and Finch community, and also contributed to the final report for the Premier.  In the same year, Orville founded the Youth Justice Network of Toronto, a network that now consists of over 800 social service workers city-wide with a vested interest in working with youth facing barriers to success, specifically youth in conflict with the law.  In
2008 Orville received the YMCA Peace Medallion for his work as the founder and Chair of the Youth Justice Network.  Through this network, Orville convenes meetings for Youth Justice stakeholders, and regularly shares
information on a variety of community events and programs for youth facing multiple barriers with youth workers, social service workers and residents across the GTA.
Today Orville remains actively involved in the planning and moderating of many community events.  He believes in community capacity building and is committed to increasing youth engagement in their communities by utilizing
anti-oppressive and Positive Youth Development approaches.