Executive Director – Nikki Porter, PhD
Shortly after completing her PhD in Communication Studies, Nikki Porter began working in the epilepsy not-for-profit sector. Nikki had a dual role at Epilepsy Support Centre as Public Education Coordinator for Windsor, Ontario and Communications Liaison for Southwestern Ontario. As Public Education Coordinator, Nikki fostered a community of individuals and families living with epilepsy while building partnerships with local neurologists, like-minded community organizations, and other stakeholders. Her work as Communications Liaison included integrating educational material into the agency’s Purple Day for Epilepsy activities, rebranding the agency, and involvement in regional, provincial, and national campaigns.
Prior to moving to Ottawa, Nikki worked for Epilepsy Ontario as Project Manager on the Ontario Trillium Foundation funded project From Isolation to Inclusion, which was tasked with building the capacity of community epilepsy agencies across the province. She was also an editor of Epilepsy Ontario’s blog in The Huffington Post Canada and wrote the July 2014 column Let’s Shift Our Language When Talking About Epilepsy.
Although Nikki did not have a personal connection to epilepsy prior to working at Epilepsy Support Centre, her experiences at epilepsy organizations have made this personal. She is committed to supporting individuals and families living with epilepsy, and working to break down barriers that inhibit their full participation in our communities.
Program Coordinator – Stephanie Youngdale
Stephanie Youngdale has been working within the non-profit sector for over 10 years, providing educational and support resources to communities in need of assistance. As Coordinator of Humane Education at The Ottawa Humane Society, she facilitated educational programs for youth which developed empathy and a sense of responsibility among students. Stephanie established, implemented, and facilitated educational and outreach programming to empower children, under-served or low-income adults, disadvantaged youth, and Newcomers to Canada.
Stephanie’s passion for making a positive impact on our community has nurtured a profound respect for volunteerism. One of the organizations that she volunteered with was Ottawa Therapy Dogs, where she made weekly visits to The Ottawa Hospital Oncology Unit with her certified therapy dog. She also assisted in fundraising and was the Editor for the Ottawa Therapy Dogs Newsletter.
Her loyalty to community outreach is not the only connection that she has to Epilepsy Ottawa. Stephanie has personal involvement with epilepsy, and her practical experience with the condition feeds her dedication to ensure that people living with and/or affected by epilepsy have the resources, education, and support that they need to live their best life.