DR NEILANK JHA
Chairman & Founder, WATCH Community Services
Dr Jha started WATCH Community Services in 1997, while he was a student at the University of Toronto. He was moved to act as he saw the needs of inner city elementary students and the opportunity for university students to volunteer and meet those needs.
Dr. Jha pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, completed his medical school training at McMaster University, completed a six-year residency in neurosurgery at McMaster University and subsequently completed a two-year fellowship from the University of Toronto in complex spinal disorders. He is a board-certified Neurosurgeon FRCS(C) and a fellowship trained Spine Surgeon currently on staff at Mackenzie Health Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Jha has also pursued his MBA at the Ivey School of Business and has completed an MSc in Behavioural Economics at the London School of Economics.
In 2016, Dr Jha founded Bodhi – a pharmaceutical R&D company with a focus on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and PTSD, which entered into a joint venture with Green Relief, licenced producer of medical cannabis. During the course of his partnership with Green Relief, Dr. Jha became recognized for his leadership and business acumen, leading him to take on his most recent challenge, CEO of Green Relief in 2019.
Shai is an undergraduate student in the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Programme at the University of Toronto. He played American football for many years and garnered skills as one of the team's captains, which he translates into his work as president of WATCH. Shai finds being the president of WATCH is a great privilege because it means that he can make a huge impact on many lives and put into action the plans his executive team comes up with on a regular basis to help out the community that greatly benefits from WATCH's volunteers.
SECRETARY / TREASURER
Yuqi is in her third year of study, with her major in Mathematics and Statistics and has previously served as Vice-President of Woodsworth College Residence House Council. When asked why she wanted to serve in her role with WATCH, Yuqi said, “WATCH provides a platform for university students to reach out to neighbouring communities and contributes to our communities in the best way possible. I am honoured to be a part of the WATCH executive team to ensure this relationship between our university students and our local communities stays strong and efficient.”
After-School Programme Vice President
Sua is currently a second year student at U of T studying Human Biology, Physiology and Psychology. She is passionate about providing enriching supplemental programs to help empower children in educational environments. As a result, she is excited to be part of W.A.T.C.H. as the After-School Programme Vice President this year.
In-Class Programme Vice President
Carissa is in her fourth year and completing a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology along with a minor in Physiology. She has been teaching piano for six years and is currently the Co-Director of Musical Minds Community Outreach. She has previously spent time as a teaching assistant in an elementary classroom and plans to attend teachers’ college in the future. Carissa loves working with kids and is excited to connect university and elementary students together in her role as In-Class Programme Vice President.
Holiday dinner co-coordinator
Brandon is in his year I/II of Chemical Engineering. He chose to join the executive team because it gives him the opportunity to organize a wonderful event to bring together everyone in the WATCH community for the holidays. He states, “As an executive, I am part of a dedicated group of students working to promote, facilitate, and coordinate the many contributions and commitments of volunteers in the WA.T.C.H. community.” He has gained experience from being the Promotions Coordinator for Silhouettes Dance Company, which entailed organizing two fundraising events to raise income for their annual showcase. In addition, he has gained experience as Assistant of Events in Student Council and helped organize and facilitate Sportapalooza, United Way Day, Invader Cup, and many more events.