Kailene Jackson is the co-founder and Executive Director of Civiconnect, a non-profit organization launched in 2018 focused on preparing youth to be effective members of the workforce and healthy members of the community. Civiconnect provides innovative work integrated learning and skills training that empowers youth, promotes economic development, and builds resilient communities. Kailene has been highly involved in crafting the Youth Skills Studio’s innovative Work Integrated Learning model as well as designing and implementing the soft skills training curriculum. She holds a combined Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology as well as a Master of Arts in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations from Brock University. Kailene’s academic research focused on Canada’s international development assistance and women in development. She has expertise in community development and economic empowerment, with relevant professional experience in higher education, entrepreneurship, and the non-profit sector. She has been involved in numerous community development and workforce development initiatives in the Niagara Region and is passionate about implementing innovative solutions to address pressing social and economic challenges.