About Our

We strive to create space for all individuals to voice their needs of a bright future while living in our resources. AHAYFS services are designed and delivered for everyone to feel safe and inspired to learn and grow towards their potential. Individuals are encouraged to engage in their well-being while building a sense of self-efficacy and connection to their community.

Our Vision

A world where individuals have belonging, connection, and a sense of family and community.

Our Mission

We provide the opportunity for individuals to have a voice in their future by creating personalized services that meet them where they are at.

Our Values

Hope, Growth, Inclusion, Teamwork, Autonomy

AHAYFS Achieves
International Accreditation

AHAYFS has achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA). Organizations pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best practice standards in the field of human services. COA accreditation is an objective, independent, and reliable validation of an agency’s performance. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s administration, management, and service delivery functions against international standards of best practice. The standards driving accreditation ensure that services are well-coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, and provided by a skilled and supported workforce.

Our Strategic Plan

Our Team

Our AHAYFS team members are skilled, dynamic, and professional people who are trauma-informed. Our team embraces a person-centered care and support model in their role of caregivers, and support workers. AHAYFS is committed to providing ongoing training and professional development to our team members to contributes to a strong and supported team approach towards positive change.

Evelyn Liwsze

Director of Operations

In Her Own Words:

Young people need more than just a safe place. Youth need a place to call home.  This is a huge challenge for young people who also struggle with trauma, loss, mental health, alcohol, drug addiction, poverty, the circles of violence and the inequality and imbalances that is a reality in our society.
It is my belief that a strong sense of self and security can be achieved in safe care services. It is with those fundamentals that I am proud and committed to AHA, its staff, community and the young people it serves!

Evelyn has been working in Care Service for young people for over 30 years.
Originally from Montreal, Evelyn studied Special Care Counselling at Vanier College and worked with youth with high behavioural needs, autism, mental health, and young offenders.

Evelyn soon developed a passion for ‘high risk’ young people in a care service provider program and was committed to dedicating herself to her work. Evelyn was and continues to be committed to fostering change, independence and contributing to a stronger more resilient youth! It is because of Evelyn’s vision, compassion and beliefs that AHA and its design was founded.
Over the years in BC, Evelyn worked the front line as a caregiver. She was a long-time contractor with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) in and around the Lower Mainland in various care service settings. Evelyn was able to bridge her education and care service experience to her work in building programs within the resources.

Evelyn’s abilities contributed with the increased needs of the young people and individuals in the various care service models. Young people have always been the primary focus. Young people in transition initially sparked the desire to want to do more outside the traditional works already established. Challenges with the education and employment strategies led some individuals to a sense of hopelessness and for many of these a sense of homelessness.

Jane Ployart

Executive Director

In Her Own Words:

My belief is the more we empower our young people to have a voice the more resilient they become. The more resilient they become, the more they learn how to teach others how to cope, and how to heal. Every young person has the right to safety, wellbeing and a sense of belonging. It is with those fundamentals that I am proud and fiercely dedicated to leading this team and AHA

Jane has been serving vulnerable youth, families, and communities in various roles for over 35 years. With a proven ability to foster positive change Jane founded AHAYFS in 2015 as an agency service provider. With a lifelong commitment to learning and best practices Jane is a heartfelt leader who cares for individuals who seek safety, a sense of personal well-being, and belonging. Jane values hope and allyship in a person-centered approach towards healing and as inspiration to engage in positive initiatives. Jane holds a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University and is fiercely dedicated to leading AHAYFS.

Brandi Dickenson

Program Director​

Brandi joined the team in 2011 as a caregiver and in 2016 became a Program Coordination of AHAYFS Surrey resources. In 2022 Brandi settled into her role as Program Director and oversees support, training and Performance Quality and Improvement at AHAYFS. Brandi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care Counselling with a minor in Cultural Studies
from the University of the Fraser Valley. Brandi has over 20 years’ experience working in the social services, government, schools, and community agencies. Brandi brings a wealth of knowledge and passion working with youth to the AHAYFS team.

Jackalene Dawson

Program Coordinator ​

Jackalene grew up in the North Delta and Surrey communities and obtained her Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology from the University of British Columbia. Jackalene joined the AHAYFS team in 2014 and brings with her tremendous knowledge and experience working with youth and adults with disabilities, supporting transitions and leading teams. Jackalene has spent the past 26 years working with youth in care by utilizing a kind, no-judgmental and playful approach. Knowing early on she knew had a passion for young people, especially those who face multiple barriers requiring a unique approach.

Jelena Stankovic

Program Coordinator, South Fraser​

Jelena is a skilled, compassionate communicator that cultivates positive and productive relationships with clients, families, health team members and community providers to enable effective coordination of AHAYFS Surrey resources. Prior to Jelena joining the AHAYFS team in 2022 worked in the social service field for over 13 years with a strong commitment to serving the needs disadvantaged children and youth in care, including mentally challenged, emancipated youth and developmentally (dis)abled populations. Jelena has extensive experience working in the areas of community service, outreach support, and mental health services. Jelena holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University Of Victoria and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Dalhousie.

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