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Sexual Health Educator, Program Manager, Saleema Noon Empowerment Foundation
For the past ten years, Sarah Maitland has worked to empower kids and youth. In 2011, she co-created a literary centre for inner-city kids called the Writers’ Exchange, running fun writing programs in schools across East Vancouver. It was through these programs that she first connected with kids and parents who were seeking help with sexual health. Inspired to support these families, Sarah completed Options for Sexual Health’s SHEC program and is now a Certified Sexual Health Educator. She facilitates workshops on sexual health, assertiveness, and violence-prevention for kids, teens, and the adults who support them.
Sarah is also the Program Manager for Saleema Noon Empowerment Foundation, a non-profit organization that exists so that every child in British Columbia can have access to empowerment education, regardless of their financial and life circumstances. When Sarah’s not in the classroom, she likes to write and rearrange her houseplants. Her vast array of dad jokes and meme knowledge make her a hit with every audience.
Sexual Health Educator
Julie received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in Alberta where she specialized in studying Masculinity in Canadian Sports. After travelling the world surfing and snowboarding, she found herself in Mexico teaching at an alternative school while also supporting and encouraging disenfranchised girls to try surfing and stand up paddle boarding. Her work with youth in Mexico inspired her to return to her studies at UBC and to pursue a Masters degree in Education as well as her teaching degree in primary French immersion. Passionate about empowering girls from diverse communities, Julie finds dividing her time between her own classroom and facilitating sexual health workshops at schools throughout the lower mainland to be the perfect combo.
When she is not teaching or studying she can be found on a mountain bike, on her snowboard, or sleeping in a tent…anything to get into nature in and around the Pacific Northwest.
After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at UBC and working with survivors of physical and sexual violence for several years, Sarah was keen to dive into work supporting sexual health, well-being, and empowerment. In 2017 she completed the Sexual Health Educator Certification through Options for Sexual Health, where she also provides sexual health information and resources as a long-time volunteer. More recently, Sarah completed a Master of Public Health at SFU focusing on population health and health equity. As an educator on the team, Sarah’s warm and lighthearted approach helps to cultivate comfort and curiosity in students. When she’s not in the classroom, Sarah is either working in sexual health research or she’s glued to a good book (tearjerkers are her favourite!).
Young enough to relate to children and teens, but experienced enough to understand the issues faced by parents, educators, health care professionals, Saleema Noon earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Family Sciences at UBC. She then researched the quality of sexual health education in B.C. high schools, earning her a Master of Arts degree in sexual health education in 1997, also from UBC. Shortly after graduating, legendary sexual health educator Meg Hickling asked Saleema to train with her as she looked toward retirement. Since then, Saleema has been teaching not only in the field of sexual health, but also in the areas of empowerment, assertiveness training, internet safety, healthy relationships, body image and consent. With a growing team of qualified and skilled educators, Saleema has loved providing comprehensive sexual health education to parents, children and teens across BC for over 20 years.
Respected by the media as a sexual health expert, Saleema has appeared as a regular guest on CTV News, Global News, CBC News, CBC Radio, CKNW Radio, Shaw TV, CityTV Breakfast Television, CTV Morning Live, and also appeared in CBC’s Passionate Eye documentary Secrets and CBC Doc Zone documentary Sext Up Kids. Saleema has been featured in Canadian Living, Chatelaine and Today’s Parent magazines along with several other national publications, and is the recipient of the Options for Sexual Health’s Educator of the Year Award. In 2011, Saleema also received the YWCA Vancouver’s Women of Distinction Connecting the Community Award and in 2016 was appointed to the Order of British Columbia. Her book for parents, Talk Sex Today, was released in September 2016.
Our senior educator, Brandy, has been a member of the Saleema Noon Sexual Health Educators team for more than ten years and involved in the field of sexual health education for over twenty. After completing her BA in sociology and women’s studies at the University of Alberta, Brandy went on to volunteer at the University of British Columbia Sexual Assault Support Centre in public awareness and education upon starting her PhD at UBC. At the same time, Brandy became an OPT Certified Sexual Health Educator (2006). Receiving her Ph.D. in sociology (specializing in sexuality) in 2009, Brandy has extensive experience teaching sexuality at the university level. She now focuses her attention on the elementary, middle and high school settings and loves teaching “Body Science” to children, teens and parents in a way that is fun, comfortable and meaningful. When not in the classroom, Brandy is a yogaholic and loves reading, especially the Harry Potter series. All this, AND she throws a mean fastball!
Cath earned her nursing degree in 1997, and went on to gain extensive community based experience as a midwife in rural & remote western Australia. Her passion for family health then led her to community-based child health nursing focusing on preventative health education. Cath also has a background in facilitating many different groups including prenatal and early parenting education. She is passionate about teaching parents and children, and is excited to bring her experience to the Saleema Noon Sexual Health Educators team. Now based in North Vancouver, Cath can be found practicing what she preaches. Committed to her “stay fit and healthy” philosophy, she is an avid runner and hiker of the North Shore trails and mountains and makes this a part of her day-to-day life. Her motivation? Being a good role model for her three beautiful daughters, Nikki, Jaime and Jenna.
Tara Moon completed her degree in Human Relations with a minor in Chinese Language. Through her studies, she gained a passion for empowering others through knowledge and confidence. In 2018 she graduated from the Sexual Health Educator Certification Program with Options for Sexual Health, and since then has been facilitating sexual health workshops for various community groups.
Tara has worked with kids in a variety of contexts, beginning in Quebec, where she worked as a language assistant with elementary and high school students. In Vancouver she has also worked with grades K-7 at Science World, facilitating science workshops in the inner-city schools, leading summer camps, and performing science shows around BC. She is excited to bring her natural connection with kids to the Body Science classroom.
In her spare time, Tara can be found experimenting with cooking techniques or on the hunt for the hottest new board game.