Meet the Speakers for #voicesofhope

Feb 17, 2018

Introducing our exceptional student leaders! Come to Voices of Hope to hear what they have to say, and join in the discussion.  Who knows – you may even be inspired to leave and start your own research or project on an important topic that matters to you!

Voices of Hope is an annual student-led social justice symposium for highschool and university students who are interested in social justice topics and leadership. Guided by the pillars of Catholic social teaching, this one-day event features a keynote presentation, outstanding student research and opportunities for networking with others who share concerns about the social, political, cultural, religious and environmental challenges of the 21st century.  Read more about Voices of Hope: Mercy at the Margins.


Human trafficking affects thousands of innocent men, women, and children every year. Legal prosecution often proves to be inefficient, sometimes persecuting the victims of this heinous crime. This is a talk that will help you understand how massive of an issue human trafficking is and how it goes hand in hand with poverty in developing countries. How we can work to ensure that every human being’s dignity is recognized? What can we as a community can do about human trafficking?

Matthew Purkiss is a first-year business student at Corpus Christi College who formerly attended Saint Thomas Aquinas Regional Secondary School. A firm believer in Catholic social teaching and the importance of helping others, Matt was a member of his high school campus ministry and social justice clubs and has participated in events such as the door’s open soup kitchen on numerous occasions. His favourite pastimes include reading and playing guitar.


Addressing the importance of being kind from a philosophical and biological perspective, this presentation was inspired by personal experiences. Attendees will see the power and benefits that kindness brings to individuals.

Jenally Maranon is a second-year student at Corpus Christi College where she serves as President of the Student Union. Next fall Jenally will attend the University of British Columbia next to continue her studies in Sociology and Political Sciences. Jenally’s presentation was inspired by her dear friend, Andrew.


Have you ever noticed the subtle changes in your neighborhood or the condos that replace the rows of houses? These are the effects of gentrification. The process of gentrification and the effect it has on culture in the city of Vancouver can be seen on the Streets of Chinatown. Gentrification is just one aspect of the changing city we see around us.

Kelsie Tham is an alumna of Notre Dame Regional Secondary and a first-year student at Corpus Christi College studying general arts. She was a recipient of the Step Into Leadership Scholarship and is enrolled in the Leadership program. Kelsie plans to continue her studies in the humanities and enter Psychology in the fall.


Climate change is a difficult issue with many factors at play. The impact of the social mindset on climate change is an important factor that often gets lost in the conversation. In his papal encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis hopes to reframe climate change as a social issue, and bring about a change of mindset among all people of the world. This talk discusses both the themes and implications of Laudato Si, as well as the Catholic Church’s unique position to discuss this issue.

James Munro is from Surrey, BC and is currently in his second year at Corpus Christi College, where he actively contributes to student life as an Executive member of the Student Union. James is passionate about helping the environment with a focus on people and community growth and plans to further pursue his college career at UBC next year. His other interests include reading and traveling.


The importance of raising awareness about mental health in our communities has been a subject of great discussion lately, however, it seems that all we do is talk. Awareness is only the first step one must take, and action needs to follow. This presentation explores how to take action and support the mental health of students.

Keeley Sieben is a first-year student at Corpus Christi College. Although uncertain as to what she wants to partake in her future, she plans on majoring in English and greatly wishes to incorporate writing as a key part in whatever she eventually becomes. As someone with personal experiences regarding mental health, she chose to create a presentation on such issues.


Annette Kuhn
Passionate about creating community, Annette believes in the beauty and potential of each person. She has lived in community with people with developmental disabilities for 20 years and has experienced deep personal and spiritual growth during her time at L’Arche.  L’Arche Greater Vancouver is an intentional ecumenical community dedicated to creating homes and day programs in which people with and without developmental disabilities live, work and share their faith together.