No Coaster Needed with Jacob McCourt

Episode 1: Foad Karimian (Community Capacity Builder, Yonge Street Mission)

Building the Youth of Tomorrow

On this episode of No Coaster Needed, we travel to Toronto to talk with Foad Karimian. Foad is a Community Capacity Builder - Youth Leadership at the Yonge Street Mission.

Foad has dedicated his life to helping youth. He started this journey through an initiative he started called the Odette High School Leadership Initiative. The program created at the University of Windsor's Odette School of Business helps high school students develop key leadership skills.

He now leads a similar program at the Yonge Street Mission called Our Voice Out Loud. Foad is a recipient of the Ontario Volunteer Service Award for continuous years of commitment and dedicated service to an organization and the Mayor's Youth Leadership Award in Windsor.

On the show, we walk through Foad's upbringing, his move to the University of Windsor, starting the Odette Leadership Initiative, his job with the Yonge Street Mission and all of the anecdotes in between.

To see updates about the Odette High School Leadership Initiative, you can search for OHLI.Windsor on Instagram. To see Foad's work now, find O.V.O.L on Instagram. This account shares updates from Foad's Our Voice Out Loud program.

Interview Notes:

1:30 Foad's Upbringing 3:15 The high school teacher that changed it all 6:00 Changing majors a few times in University (also, don't eat Tide Pods) 8:30 Changing your old habits 14:00 How a trip to the hospital changed the course of Foad's life 18:55 Starting the Odette High School Leadership Initiative 22:30 The meetings that shaped OHLI 25:29 What is the Odette High School Leadership Initiative? 31:03 How did OHLI form your career path? 35:03 Our Voice Out Loud, Foad's fake talk show and why he loves his job 43:00 "How would you encourage others to give back?"

Season 1 of No Coaster Needed focuses on people with ties to Windsor, Ontario.

To see updates about future No Coaster Needed shows, visit or follow me on Twitter @JacobMcCourt.

Copyright 2018