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new National Youth Organizers

Update from new National Youth Organizer (presentation) - Christina Kowalenko

(as presented to Eastern and Western Eparchy Conferences and AUSRL Convention)

A little about myself

I was born and raised in Toronto, at the parish of St. Demetrius Sobor. I have been very active in our church and community from a young age, whether it was joining the church choir at age 7, 

About Yuri Hladio

Yuri has been serving in Youth Ministry for most of his adult life.


He has Worked as a youth coordinator for the Canadian Improv Games (a nation-wide High School improv tournament) and has been a counselor at All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church Camp in Emlenton, PA for over ten years.

to various executive CYMK positions (locally and regionally), attending pan-Orthodox camps and bandura camps, to becoming a church choir conductor, helping plan Eastern Eparchial events and retreats and attending SOBOR and eparchial conferences. Oh, and I've been attending USRL conventions since 2002, so about 15 years.

The last few years I spent in Edmonton, working at St. John's Institute as the Faith and Cultural Programming Coordinator and then at Cobblestone Freeway Tours, as a Business Manager.

Most people don't speak to their qualifications, but as I am the first to be employed here, I feel it is necessary. I have a very unique degree from the University of Waterloo, of Knowledge Integration. I'm not sure if any of you have noticed this trend, but my professors noticed how engineers are being hired in executive and management positions for their big-picture thinking skills, their problem-solving skills and interdisciplinary skills. And so, my professors, many of whom were engineers themselves, designed a degree that would specialize in these interdisciplinary and problem-solving skills. However, as we didn't study the technical aspects of engineering, we had plenty of room for electives. In addition to the design courses, the program directors ensured we also studied team-working skills and the softer skills of communication, which sometimes engineers lack. With this flexibility, no two students were alike. Being the first cohort of this program, I used this degree to focus on community, and understanding what community is, how it has changed, and how to create it, indeed even writing a thesis on this topic. So I think it would be useful for you to know that community development and building is a passion of mine!

Having accepted a position as a missionary with Youth For Christ as the 'Boys Program Coordinator', Yuri has enjoyed mentoring inner city Youth in Winnipeg's North End since 2015.


He serves also as the choir director at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church and has been married for over two years to Nikyla Hladio.

Yuri hopes to make a positive impact with the Youth of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

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