Bold. Inspired. Visionary. It takes a true leader to inspire positive change in the world, and these are just some of the traits that define the successful York University alumni, driven to make a meaningful difference in their communities.
At home and abroad, graduates of York University are not only entering the workforce prepared to put their education into practice, but to enact positive, real-world change. From business leaders championing diversity and equity, to social impact researchers and environmental champions, York alumni across all sectors are 13.5% more likely than graduates of other GTA universities to volunteer in their communities. York’s unique pairing of research and learning excellence with a deep commitment to inclusion, community engagement, and social and economic justice truly helps to develop a community of changemakers.
That’s why York University has launched its first-ever Top 30 Changemakers Under 30 – to recognize and honour the inspiring and diverse alumni who are exemplary leaders in creating positive change, at home and abroad.
We are proud to celebrate and introduce our community to our three Glendon recipients for 2021.
Christine Edith Dikongué (BA’14 Economics) is a global speaker, consultant, community builder, and entrepreneur.
Born and raised in Douala, Cameroon, she’s a graduate of economics at Glendon, where she served as the president and vice-president of various African and Francophone organizations, including the Glendon African Network. Christine is a firm believer in community and dedicates time and resources to building thriving ecosystems.
At 21, she joined the Canadian Prime Minister project to promote women’s leadership across Canada. She was selected as a young leader to meet Barack Obama in 2020, and is the co-founder of AfricaHacks. AfricaHacks organizes Africa’s largest tech competition, a virtual hackathon with thousands of youth, judges, and sponsors from around the world, and supports innovation across Africa. Christine’s work has supported 40 new start-ups in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Kenya. On the global stage, Christine speaks about innovation, smart cities, entrepreneurship and the African potential.
Presently, Christine is one of the youngest members of the board of directors at the United Nations Associations in Canada. She is also completing her Master in Management, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, and continues to be instrumental in inspiring young women and youth to dream big, reach high, and achieve their goals.
Nicole Doray (IBA’17 International studies, MES’19 Environmental & Urban Change studies) is a dedicated social impact specialist and environmental champion who brings cross-disciplinary experience to her work supporting Canada’s low-carbon and socially-inclusive economic transition.
Working across the public and private sector, she supports leaders navigating complex challenges, leveraging business and academia as forces for good. At the Academy for Sustainable Innovation, she shapes innovative education programs with academic partners across Canada including at York University, the University of Waterloo, and l’Université de Montréal, among others. Simultaneously, she helps industry partners build organizational resilience while driving innovation, inclusivity, and sustainability.
Currently, Nicole is also pursuing advancements in climate science, policy, and community resilience as a senior researcher at ASI International. Her 2020 report, Leveraging Technology for a Healthy Planet, informed the equitable integration of emergent technologies such as AI, blockchain, and big data for environmental and social benefit.
Mikhaela Gray-Beerman (BA’14 English, MED’18 Education) is an anti-trafficking advocate, researcher, and educator.
The work she does is informed by the many inspiring women and girls who have entrusted their stories with her. Mikhaela is the host of a RogersTV television program on human trafficking called “Freedom Fighters: Code Gray” and is the chair of Untied Freedom, an anti-human trafficking committee.During her graduate studies at York, she pursued scholarship in the area of human trafficking and education. Previously, she served as the director of education and research for Fight4Freedom.
In 2018, she spoke as a witness to the House of Commons Standing Committee of Justice and Human Rights in relation to the national consultation launched on human trafficking in Canada. 2021 publications include: a research report entitled The Demand for Housing Trafficked Persons in Ontario published through Fight4Freedom and a book chapter entitled “Human Trafficking and Implications for Global Citizenship Education…” in Aboagye & Dlamini, Global Citizenship Education. Other interests include creative movement, collaborative art initiatives for social justice, cross-cultural service learning and community outreach.