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Financial Empowerment

Transform your relationship with money and learn the essentials when it comes to taking control of your finance. 

Hands-on interactive 9-session series limited to 50 participants. Preference will be given to those that demonstrate commitment to complete the program until the end and would make the greatest net impact to their lives (based on what you write in the application). 


  • Youth aged 16-29 in the Greater Toronto Area

  • Individuals who are motivated to transform their relationship with money

  • Committed to making positive financial change, break free from financial stress

  • Eager to gain control of your finances, regardless of your current financial status


  • Transform your relationship with money, shifting from constraints to freedom and power.

  • Acquire vital skills and insights into strategic tools to navigate your financial journey confidently.

  •  Cultivate heightened confidence in managing finances, ensuring you make informed decisions with empowerment

  • Instill a mindset extending beyond theory, providing practical steps for sustained financial well-being throughout your life

Registration deadline EXTENDED Monday February 26, 2024

Program Overview

  • Each online session would be 2-hour duration

    • The first 30-minute will be focused on deepening the exploration of your relationship with money

    • Followed by 90-minute of practical knowledge to strengthen your personal finance 

  • The first session is in-person, you'll receive your workbook and a lootbag of goodies. We'll start at 11:30am, serve lunch & have Success Accelerator Award Ceremony where we present the awards to 2023 winners, followed by an afternoon session. There would be raffles of fun prizes as well at the end.

  • The following sessions would be online to make participating in the program more accessible. Most sessions are interactive, so be prepared to go off-mute to share or type into the chatbox! 

  • We'll also have two sessions where we invite Subject Matter Experts for a panelist discussion, there would be time for Q&A as well! 

  • By the end of the program, through your participation, you would gain financial confidence and empowered mindset. You'll have a deeper awareness of your financial blueprint, declared what you want for yourself, and have structure to be more intentional when it comes to your relationship with money. You'll also develop practical knowledge about key financial concepts and skills to make that into a reality. 

Session 1: Introduction & Understanding Your Relationship with Money
Money Mindset: Rewire Your Money Belief
Saturday March 2 from 11:30am to 4:30pm at Waterfront Neighborhood Centre

Begin our journey together by delving into the intricacies of personal finance. Explore the fundamental principles that govern your relationship with money, establishing a foundational understanding. The afternoon session aims to transform your financial mindset, laying the groundwork for empowerment and a more informed approach to managing your finances later in the program. Be prepared to dig deep and as you begin to explore your relationship with money.

Session 2: Consumerism (Panelist discussion)
Money Mindset: Your Money Blueprint
Monday March 11 at 7:00pm, Online via Zoom

Engage in a dynamic and enlightening panel discussion on consumerism. The session focuses on exploring the profound impact of choices on financial well-being. Through subject matter expert insights and shared experiences, participants gain a deeper understanding of how consumer choices shape their financial trajectory. The goal is to cultivate mindful spending habits and foster an informed approach to consumer decisions for sustainable financial practices.

Session 3: Budgeting
Money Mindset: Expand Possibilities
Monday March 18 at 7:00pm, Online via Zoom

Acquire practical and personalized budgeting skills. This session provides a hands-on approach to crafting a budget that aligns with your current situation and financial goals. You will learn how to navigate the complexities of budget creation, ensuring that your financial plan is not only realistic but also strategic. The outcome is an enhanced ability to make informed financial decisions that contribute to long-term stability and success. 


Session 4: Credit & Debt Management
Money Mindset: The Rich Garden of Your Mind
Monday March 25 at 7:00pm, Online via Zoom

Place a spotlight on credit and debt management. We will delve into effective strategies for maintaining a balanced financial profile, understanding the nuances of handling credit responsibly, and managing debt wisely. The session empowers you with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the intricacies of credit and debt, promoting financial health and stability.


Session 5: Navigating Government Programs
Money Mindset: Unveiling Your Money Values
Monday April 8 at 7:00pm, Online via Zoom

Each year millions and millions of tax dollars are unclaimed because the general public are not aware of accessing it. Focus on navigating government programs to secure financial support and benefits. You will gain insights into leveraging various government resources, ensuring you are equipped to access the support available to you.


Session 6: Savings & Banking (Understanding Your Finances)
Money Mindset: Rewrite Your Money Mindset
Monday April 15 at 7:00pm, Online via Zoom

Explore the intricate world of savings and banking. You gain a deep understanding of essential financial tools and practices, allowing you to optimize your saving and banking strategies. The session empowers you to make informed decisions about your finances, fostering a secure and stable financial future.


Session 7: Asset & Growth Management
Money Mindset: Build Up Money Confidence
Monday April 22 at 7:00pm, Online via Zoom

Empower yourself with insights into asset and growth management. This session goes beyond basic financial principles, providing you with the knowledge and strategies needed to manage assets effectively and foster financial growth. The goal is to equip you with sustainable strategies for managing your financial portfolios and achieving long-term financial success.


Session 8: The Realities of Entrepreneurship (Panelist)
Money Mindset: Invent a New Possibilities
Monday April 29 at 7:00pm, Online via Zoom

Brings forth the practical aspects of entrepreneurship through a panel of experts. You will gain real-world insights into the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship, exploring the realities of starting and running a business. This session contributes to a holistic understanding of financial success in the entrepreneurial landscape.


Session 9: Putting it All Together: Managing Your Money for Success
Money Mindset: Step Into Action
Monday May 6 at 7:00pm Online via Zoom

Cap off your financial empowerment journey by putting it all together. Synthesize the knowledge acquired throughout the program, applying practical financial management skills. Develop a comprehensive strategy for managing your money effectively, ensuring long-term success in your financial endeavors.

Your Team

Shimon Black.jpeg

Shimon Black


Head of Financial Empower Program

& Lead Instructor


Laney Lui


Financial Empowerment Relationship Coach


Ashley Wu


Education Program Lead


Amina Djirdeh


Financial Empowerment Instructor

JPEG image 2.jpeg

Carlos Cabrera


Financial Empowerment Instructor

Panelist Guest Speakers

Panelist Gues Speakers


Dianne B. Oliveira

About Me

I originally studied theatre and started out as an actor, singer/songwriter. As a creative freelancer I also worked in various roles in hospitality, events & entertainment and later earned my Personal Training Certification and worked as a Fitness Instructor. I was curious about Marketing and expanded into a number of different roles then eventually moved to an advertising agency where I currently work.

๐Ÿ“ˆ Relevant experience

Learning how to manage my mindset about money continues to be something I work on. My parents immigrated to Canada and as a first-gen Canadian, I inherited a lot of their "money habits" and some limiting beliefs about money which have had equally positive and negative effects on how I think about and manage my spending. When you come from humble beginnings, it can be intimidating to feel worthy of achieving more, but arming myself with knowledge and learning about saving and investing from podcasts like "Ramit Sethi's I will Teach You to be Rich" has helped a lot. Defining what a "rich life" actually means to me also continues to be an evolving aspect of my "money journey"

๐Ÿ’ผ Professional expertise 

I would say that I credit a lot of the success I've had in business to the fundamentals and techniques I practised for years in the performing arts. As a performer I learned how to connect with people, tell meaningful stories and win their trust and their applause. Great advertising functions in a very similar way. Having perseverance, being a problem-solver, having a point-of-view and the ability to articulate ideas - these are all highly sought-after / highly-sophisticated skills in business and I learned all this in very alternative and non-conventional ways. 

๐Ÿฆ„ Unique insights 
Advertising is not "the devil" and money is not "the root of all evil" - We all need meaning and belonging and that is exactly what brands package up and sell. This is not a bad thing, but it's very important to be aware of this and become conscious consumers, or at least notice the influence of consumerism that is all around us.

Dianne B. Oliveira

Sanyam Sethi

About Me

An economist by training, Sanyam is a passionate social researcher, recently recognized as the Top 50 Women Leaders of Toronto (2022) by the Women We Admire, in addition to her other accomplishments.

Over 14 years of her career, Sanyam has established herself as a leading public affairs researcher in the industry, regularly publishing articles and other thought leadership content. She is a sought-after speaker and presenter and can be spotted on Canada’s major TV and radio networks, such as Global News and CTV, talking about research on important topics of social and economic relevance.

As Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs, Sanyam works closely with the government, multilateral/non-profit organisations, think tanks and associations. Sanyam found her passion for understanding people, societies, and cultures through her on-the-ground experience as a social researcher in diverse geographies, starting from Asia to the Middle East and North Africa and North America.

Through this enriching experience, Sanyam developed a keen interest in the intersectionality of international development through equality and inclusion. Sanyam has passionately led research that drives meaningful social outcomes and demonstrated real-world impact, including imminent programs on Health, Education, Governance, Quality of life, Gender, Equity, Sustainability, Diversity, and Inclusion, among others.

Sanyam Sethi

Hammah Fasih


About Me

I have been an entrepreneur for over 12 years. My expertise is in Strategic Planning, Marketing and Sales. Growing up, my family faced many challenges as my parents were new immigrants trying to make ends meet. I learned to hustle from seeing them work hard.
In the years since my companies have won a number of awards:

  • Fastest Growing Company in Canadian Business Magazine's Top 5002019 – 66th

  • 2018 – ASI Counselor Magazine's Fastest-Growing Supplier in 2018

  • 2018 – 91st Fastest Growing Company in Canadian Business Magazine's Top 500

  • 2017 – 24th Fastest Growing Start-Up in Canadian Business Magazine's Top 50


I have a unique perspective when it comes to consumerism. I have spent over a decade employing tactics to make consumers buy. I hope to be able to break these tactics down so everyone is better informed when making purchasing decisions.

Hammah Fasih
  • Instagram

Rebecca Chan


About Me

  • My company specializes in planning events and luxury weddings in Toronto and abroad

  • In university, I studied graphic design but quickly realized it wasn't for me as a career; I took a post-grad in event design and started in the non-profit sector planning events

  • I am married with a senior rescue dog, living in downtown Toronto

  • In my spare time, I play ultimate frisbee and pickleball, and I love to travel. I'm currently learning to sew and learning to speak Mandarin on Duolingo.


Highlight relevant experience (personal story of money struggles to thriving)

  • I was raised by a single mother and we lived in co-op housing for a few years before she got back on her feet. She is also an entrepreneur and is quite successful. I have definitely learned a lot from her!

  • Growing up I did not know how to manage or grow my money, however I did learn to make money; My mother enrolled me in leadership summer camp at an early age, allowing me get my first few jobs working for the city of Markham earning a very decent wage teaching kids badminton and arts. I also freelanced a lot during my early graphic design years, allowing me to earn a decent hourly wage and side income.

  • I quit my non-profit day job the day I closed on my first house (about 10 years ago), to pursue working on my business full time and I haven't looked back!

  • My husband is very frugal and risk adverse with a stable 9-5 job, while I am happy to make more and spend more. I manage the finances for both of us, building our "rich life" (from Ramit Sethi's book I Will Teach You To Be Rich)

Professional expertise (brag a little!)

  • I've planned events and weddings for almost 15 years and am a regular guest expert on Cityline and Breakfast Television for party planning and entertaining segments

  • My client list includes Rupi Kaur (poet), Mike Hoffman (NHL), Lucas Noguiera (former Toronto Raptors player) and on the corporate side Google, Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, Oxford and Harry Rosen

  • I have events nominated for Best Product Launch Event and Best Experiential Marketing Event through the Canadian Special Events Awards 2024


Unique insights you bring to the table that make your perspective valuable for our audience

  • Being an Asian female self-made entrepreneur in an ever evolving and growing industry

  • I've scaled my business from side hustle to full-time gig, to having a team of four planners

Contact Information:

Find me online at or on instagram at


Brit Garon


About Me

I grew up in a rural community of 6,000 people until I moved to study Economics and Finance at Western University. Afterward, I moved to Toronto to start working and have been here ever since. 

Like most, I had to take out student loans to attend University. Couple that with my ignorance of how expensive living in Toronto would be made for a couple of lean years. Eventually, I paid off my student loan and saved up enough to invest in starting my own company.


I started ScholarTree, an online marketplace for scholarships, with my roommate back in 2017. We built and launched a two-sided marketplace from scratch using only our own savings as an investment. Now, ScholarTree is used Canada-wide by over 250,000 students.


ScholarTree was completely "Bootstrapped" meaning we did not raise money from investors to fund our launch, operations and growth. I was also the first employee at a venture-backed startup that raised over 5 million dollars in funding. 


Arthur Luiโ€‹


About Me

I was always a bit of a nerd and enjoyed coding and entrepreneurship.


While studying Computer Science at Ryerson, I started my first business selling ping pong-themed t-shirts online, which grew to selling rackets to fellow students at school, and became a healthy side gig. I later got my Masters of Business Administration at Queen's University and co-founded Knowledgehook with my classmate (and now best friend), taking a leap of faith and not collecting a salary for almost a year, while freelancing to pay the bills.


Knowledgehook is an investor-backed, gamified math platform that employs over 50 people and is used across Canada and the USA.


As a solo-preneur, I coded and designed in my spare time and grew it through years of effor. It is a platform for table tennis players to give equipment reviews, and reaches almost 1-million people per year.

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