The Ukrainian Canadian Congress Charitable and Educational Trust is proud to unveil the inaugural cohort of the Youth Ambassadors program. The selected Youth Ambassadors represent a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences, and talents, reflecting the rich tapestry of Canada’s Ukrainian community. They come from 10 provinces and one territory – the Yukon. In the next eight months, the Ambassadors will be refining their leadership skills and working on their projects.

You can read their short biographies below.

Team member
Sofiia Andrushchak
Sofiia Andrushchak (ON) is a student of History and English Literature at the University of Toronto. Sofiia is the founder of the history podcast “What We Need To Know About Ukraine.” She is a recipient of the Arthur Scace Scholars At Risk Award, Ontario Scholar Award, and other scholarships.
Team member
Andriy Biletskyi
Andriy Biletskyi (BC) is a graduate with degrees in Law and Management. Andriy is a CPHR member with a proven track record of managing recruitment processes in law, hospitality, aviation, IT, marketing, and construction spheres. Currently, he supports Ukrainian newcomers in his capacity as a recruitment partner at Jumpstart Refugee Talent.
Team member
Sonia Bodnar
Sonia Bodnar (ON) has achieved a solid academic grounding, earning a diploma in Human Resources from George Brown College and a degree in International Relations from Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University. Her volunteer work ranges from organizing literary gatherings at the Ukrainian Canadian Art Foundation Gallery (KUMF) to conducting book reviews for Kontakt Next Generation. Previously she oversaw media affairs for Business Woman PRO Canada and organized events with Caritas.
Team member
Victoria Hrushetska
Victoria Hrushetska (NS) holds a Bachelor of International Studies majoring in Business from Dragomanov University in Kyiv, Ukraine. Committed to community engagement, she has actively contributed through volunteer initiatives such as establishing an online English-speaking club, teaching basic English to newcomers at St. Basil's Ukrainian Church, and starting public speaking clubs in Ukraine.
Team member
Nicole Hupalo
Nicole Hupalo (ON) is a student at the University of Toronto and a recipient of the 2022 BCU Scholarship. She actively serves in multiple volunteer capacities, including as Director of Finance at the Ukrainian Association of University Toronto Mississauga (UTM), internal director at the Ukrainian Students' Club at the University, and mentor at the UTM Mental Health Student Association. Additionally, she contributes as a reporter and journalist for Kontakt Next Generation TV.
Team member
Viktoria Kakulia
Viktoria Kakulia (NL) pursued a degree in Medicine at Luhansk State Medical University from 2018 to 2024. She engaged in extracurriculars, taking on the role of the basketball team captain and guiding the team to win. After the start of the full-scale invasion, Viktoria joined Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Ukraine as a Nurse Aid transporting patients from combat zones.
Team member
Matthew Kowalchuk
Matthew Kowalchuk (ON)'s educational journey began with a diploma in Police Foundations from Fanshawe College, where he achieved Honour Roll status for all four semesters attended. Building on this foundation, he pursued an Honours Criminology degree at the University of Western Ontario's King's University College. Matthew serves as a mentor at the Halton Distress Center and has held leadership positions in the Ukrainian Canadian Students Organization (SUSK) and the Western Ukrainian Students’ Organization. He is an entrepreneur running a landscaping business.
Team member
Oleksandra Kulychenko
Oleksandra Kulychenko (BC) has a diverse background in communications management and coordination of projects focused on international development and social issues. Oleksandra was a speaker at the All-Ukrainian Conference of Youth Centers of Ukraine and presented the work of the IT and Public Relations Department of the Mariupol Youth Council. She pursues studies at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Melville School of Business.
Team member
Cody Mackoway
Cody Mackoway (AB) is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta majoring in Political Science and History. He’s the recipient of the University of Alberta Opportunities Award, the Jason Lang Scholarship and Alberta Foundation for Ukrainian Education Society Ukrainian Studies Scholarship. Cody served as the President of the Ukrainian Students’ Society and Chair of the Sturgeon County Youth Advisory Committee.
Team member
Mykhailo Makogonsky
Mykhailo Makogonsky (BC) completed Elgin Park Secondary, receiving the 2022 Best Law Student award and multiple athletic awards. He is an avid volunteer who founded an Interact Club (Rotary Club for youth) at his school and volunteered for Maple Hope Foundation, the Rotary Club of White Rock, and Service Canada. Mykhailo completed Future Global Leaders course at the University of British Columbia. He plans to pursue a business career.
Team member
Sofia Maksiuta
Sofia Maksiuta (ON) volunteers with the Canadian Brigade for Ukraine, assisting in Ukrainian Fairs and organizing donations for Ukrainian orphanages and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. She currently pursues a high school diploma at St. John Paul II Catholic Secondary School. Sofia was a media team member at The Child Experience Canada and a Researcher at Magnify Access Corporation.
Team member
Natalia Plakhotna
Natalia Plakhotna (BC) is a former Police Officer at the Zvyagel Police Department in Ukraine, specialized in investigating criminal cases involving minors and advocating for the welfare of children. She has a Bachelor's degree from the National Academy of Internal Affairs. Natalia is a recipient of Girl2Leader Ukraine Campaign Certificate for Gender Equality.
Team member
Kateryna Osypova
Kateryna Osypova (YT) completed her education at a gymnasium in Ukraine and currently serves as a communications specialist, who successfully completed several trainings in intercultural communication. While in Europe, Kateryna dedicated her efforts to supporting Ukrainian children affected by war. She continues to actively mentor vulnerable youth and is involved in the Ukrainian Canadian community in Yukon.
Team member
Michael Radomsky
Michael Radomsky (SK) is a student at Centennial Collegiate in Saskatoon, who actively engages in extracurricular activities, including the Saskatoon Pirates Water Polo Team and a storytelling circle with the Saskatchewan History Folklore Society. Additionally, he has trained as a camp counselor at the St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Summer Camp and has been actively supporting displaced Ukrainians.
Team member
Tetiana Rymska
Tetiana Rymska (PEI) is currently pursuing a degree in Business Administration at Prince Edward Island University. Before relocating to Canada, she resided in the Philippines, where she both studied and provided tutoring services in English. Engaged in her local community, Tetiana holds the position of Head of the Ukrainian Student Union at her university.
Team member
Olha Shevchuk
Olha Shevchuk (MB) is a student of political science at the University of Winnipeg. She volunteers as a Director of Events for the Political Science Student Association (PSSA). With a passion for research, Olha has authored several papers, delving into topics spanning Ukrainian and European history, which she presented at the "Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine."
Team member
Andrew Shwec
Andrew Shwec (ON) is a student of History at York University, having previously graduated from St. Michael’s College School with Ontario Scholar distinction. Andriy actively engages in the Ukrainian community of Toronto, including as a Plast youth councillor. He is a former Vice-President of the Ukrainian Student’s Club at York and former Ambassador of the History Club.
Team member
Olha Simoroz
Olha Simoroz (QC) is currently enrolled in a Political Science Master's program at the University of Montreal and holds a Master of Philosophy degree from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Olha has experience in political communication and public relations. She actively engages in community initiatives, having organized TEDxKNU-2020, participated in youth voter education campaigns in Ukraine, and volunteered at the Ukrainian Festival of Montreal.
Team member
Madeleine Spezowka
Madeleine Spezowka (ON) is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Media Information and Technoculture at Western University. She has a wealth of media experience having volunteered with Rogers TV and CBC Radio in London, Ontario. She is active in the community as a member of SUSK and UCC London branch. She owns a media company called Lonely Perogy Productions.
Team member
Anhelina Taran
Anhelina Taran (AB) has extensive media experience, including as a host at Media Bohemia in Prague and Satellite TV Channel “Pravda TUT” in Ukraine. Anhelina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Television from Kyiv National Cinema and Television University. She actively contributes to her community through volunteering with organizations like the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Association of Ukrainians in Calgary.
Team member
Olena Zubrytska
Olena Zubrytska (ON) pursues a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Toronto. She works as a research assistant at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Olena has volunteered with the Ukrainian Canadian Social Services in Toronto, held the position of Vice President at the Ukrainian Association of UTM, and participates in various student committees.