unum is a Latin word meaning one.
one Cause. one Community.
Simply put, our cause is that of creating transformational experiences that increase our capacity to create positive change. Change that starts from within. Change that can transform a community or even a country. One person, with one idea, can change the world… or simply change a community. It all starts with the power of one.
Our mission is to provide educational programs, services, and funding to underprivileged and under served communities as well as disadvantaged individuals. These programs and services focus on themes related to accessibility to education, gender equity and female empowerment, global citizenship, as well as healthy, active living. Unum is a fully incorporated not-for-profit organization as recognized by the Government of Canada (Corporation number 1127940-8).
Unum’s vision is to be a vehicle for people, causes, organizations, and communities to connect and transform the world around us into a place of peace, opportunity, acceptance, and purpose through a holistic and experiential approach to learning.
Our overarching purpose is to create transformational experiences while contributing to the well being and success of a person, a community, or a cause.
Joe Danis has spent over 20 years of his life working to improve the world around him. For Joe, inspiration lies in fostering strong communities while empowering others to experience the power of community and contribution firsthand.
It was during his time as a student at the University of Winnipeg when Joe found he had a responsibility as an individual to contribute to the world around him. While studying International Development and Conflict Resolution, he was chosen to participate in a service learning program in Bangladesh. While the education benefits were clear, he was also amazed how the experience shaped him as an individual – learning more groundedness and empathy for global communities.
After graduating, Joe became the Director of Housing and Student Life at his alma mater, and took special interest in providing others similar learning opportunities he had. As Joe’s career shifted to the University of Manitoba, he created Praxis, an initiative to promote community outreach, service learning and social justice among University of Manitoba students. In 2005, he received the University of Manitoba Outreach Award for his development and implementation of Praxis. Through his initiatives, he has created several successful service learning programs in countries such as Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ecuador and Costa Rica. Joe also created several local initiatives at the University including the Reading Buddies program which connected university students with children in Winnipeg’s core. This program received the prestigious City of Winnipeg’s Mayor’s Award for Volunteerism.
Over the years, Joe has received a multitude of opportunities to speak candidly on his passions as they relate to the importance of contribution, connection, and compassion. He speaks to the value of leadership, innovation, and purpose as avenues to building healthy and diverse communities and successful teams. Joe has since identified his calling to be ‘connecting people to experiences and opportunities’. Humbled by his experiences across the globe and throughout his career, Joe still maintains that critical reflection must be a part of the human experience in order to ensure continuous personal growth and instil a true sense of connection to the communities he serves.
Joe is currently a Senior Consultant with The Academica Group and resides in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with his two children Maya and Luc.
meet the team
Sandra Quinteros has dedicated her life to making contributions to the communities around her. As a life-long learner, she has spent the past 37 years working in the field of international development in areas related to sustainable development, agriculture, humanitarian aid, water security and sanitation, and female empowerment. Sandra spent the majority of her career working with the Lutheran World Federation in El Salvador where she managed a multitude of projects working with vulnerable communities all over the country. She has worked with several international organizations such as Oxfam and Caritas while also engaging in projects in countries such as Haiti, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala. Sandra holds a Master’s Degree in Agronomy specializing in areas such as water security, risk management, and sustainable development.
Sofia is a motivated young woman who likes to challenge herself by engaging in projects that have impact and meaning. Her aspirations for life are to contribute to a more sustainable economic, social, and environmental development of communities. Sofia is currently completing her MSc in Sustainable Development at the Universita LUMSA in Rome, Italy and holds a Bachelors degree in Political and Administration Sciences from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. She has a multitude of experiences learning, working, and volunteering with organizations in countries such as Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Spain. Speaking multiple languages, Sofia could be described as a “global denizen” who embraces intercultural experiences while learning about the world around her.
SOFIA MOJICA BAQUERO
Mabel Vonk is a coach and trainer who helps people build better relationships for collaboration and gain leadership and self-development skills. She diplomatically linked international businesses to the Panama Canal’s heavy hitters at the Dutch Embassy in Panama, connected refugees upon their arrival in Ecuador to aid organizations at UNHCR Quito, and co-created a large scale system of interconnected leadership teams out of Canada’s Toronto region. She is at her best when she coaches and trains to enhance connectivity, collaboration and self-development for social impact leaders and organizations. Mabel holds an MA International Professional Communication, an MSc International Relations and Diplomacy and is also a Certified Life Coach with Kain Ramsey & Achologist.
Meghan Lavallee resides in Winnipeg and is the Director of Pathway Programs for Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology. She has followed a career path from post-secondary education to the not for profit sector back to PSE and supported student learning in both local and international settings. Regardless of the place, experiential learning and empowering exploration has been the centre of her work.
Meghan’s passion for this pedagogy started as a student and staff member within residence and student life communities at the University of Manitoba, while completing her undergraduate studies. From there, she turned her love of student development to a proactive educational attainment model with Career Trek, creating opportunities to catapult kids to career and education success. She is currently completing her MEd (Post-Secondary Studies) at Memorial University.
Meghan loves volunteering in her community, yoga, gardening and time in nature with her family and canine companions. She has worked to establish MB’s Career Development Conference, Let’s Get to Work!, is a member of the MB Association for Career Development, and supports career development nationally through committee work with CERIC.
Member, Board of Directors
Clarence has over ten years of experience in developing, marketing, and delivering programs and services aimed at post-secondary students, and possess a multifaceted background in marketing, international student recruitment, event management, alumni relations, and Residence Life. He is a consensus builder that facilitates successful cross-departmental/industry/sector collaborations by aligning a diverse set of priorities, and integrating them into shared goals.
Clarence currently holds the position of Director, Marketing & Sales at Campus Living Centres, the largest student housing organization in Canada. Prior to that, Clarence held several roles at The University of Manitoba. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Milton Community Resource Centre.
Clarence has a Master of Arts in Integrated Studies from Athabasca University, and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Manitoba.
Sid Rashid is an Arab-Canadian lawyer, consultant, and community organizer with a passion for advancing the interests of humanity through peace, justice, equality, and the rule of law. Born and raised in central Canada, Sid’s Lebanese roots and travel as a child shaped his outlook on life and the world around him. A humanitarian by nature, he considers himself a global citizen and sees humanity as one, with all divisions and differences as secondary. In 2009, Sid was elected President of the 23,000 undergraduate students at the University of Manitoba, running on a platform of unity, equality and multiculturalism. In 2014, he completed law school at the University of Ottawa receiving his Juris Doctorate concurrently with a Master of International Affairs.
Sid currently resides in Ottawa where he serves as counsel with the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Section of Canada’s Department of Justice. His young legal career has included stints at the International Center for Transitional Justice in New York, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in Washington D.C., the Canadian Center for International Justice in Ottawa, the United Nations Development Programme in Beirut, and Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. Sid’s current work, to contribute to bringing those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes to justice, is a dream come true. Sid’s lifelong aspirations focus on pursing his aforementioned passion, exploring ways to make a difference, and contributing daily to making our world a more peaceful, loving and accepting place.
Member, Board of Directors
Member, Board of Directors