Investing in Children Blog

Unmask Your Potential

We have an exciting week here at Investing in Children! Our annual Kids Power Conference at the London Public Library, Central Branch is this Thursday, November 12th

The Kids Power Conference brings together students from grades 6 and 7 who have been identified as leaders by their teachers and peers. The students participate in workshops, develop their leadership skills and learn techniques to bring back positive initiatives to their own schools and communities. The idea is that you can unmask your potential and be your OWN superhero. 

Joel Hilchey 

We are pleased to announce this year's keynote speaker, Joel Hilchey. Joel has spoken to thousands of students across North America on the topics of leadership, character and community. We've invited Joel to speak about leadership, success and what holds people back. The students will be inspired and empowered as they work towards creating their best self! 

Learn more about Joel Hilchey

Our morning and afternoon workshop presenters share our passion for empowering youth and providing opportunities to learn and thrive. They are generously donating their time to hold workshops at the conference. We can't thank them enough! We are pleased to introduce: 

Spencer Brudenell, Rush Hour Canada & Susan Rosato, London Health Sciences Centre: 

Inspired by oversees travel, Spencer became a Canadian certified personal trainer. He started London's first outdoor bootcamp, Rush Hour Canada and eventually opened his own studio facility in 2013. Spencer's passion for youth and fitness led him to a partnership with Susan Rosato. They started a pilot project called Movers and Shakers at St. Sebastian's Catholic School. This program is focused on student fitness and activity in the classroom and is still running successfully.

Susan graduated from St. Boniface School of Nursing in 1988 and began her nursing career at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). Susan's love and passion for fitness motivated her to develop a wellness program for employees in 2011. After an enormously successful pilot program, she founded LHSC’s on-site fitness program. She currently holds the title of LHSC Fitness and Health Registered Nurse. 

Derek Bindner, Aikido Network Training Centre

Derek is a martial arts instructor, presenter and trainer focused on personal development and leadership. As founder of the Aikido Network Training Centre, he coaches and mentors individuals on how to breakthrough fear, overcome self-limiting beliefs and realize their true potential. With 30 years of experience, Derek believes that the single most important factor in achieving personal fulfillment is the strength of one’s character. 

Meaghan Gowrie, Free the Children 

Meagan discovered her passion for social justice, kids and using the arts to create change after spending her summers in Jamaica with youth affected by gang violence and political unrest. Her passions led her to degrees from Brock University in Dramatic Arts and Education so she could continue to engage students inside and outside of the classroom. She has since found her dream job at Free the Children as a Motivational Outreach Speaker helping youth tap into their full potential. 

Ruth Major, London Public Library

Ruth has been a Children's Librarian at the London Public Library for nine years. The London Public Library is a busy system with 16 branches across the city and dedicated staff committed to providing excellent service and developing meaningful community partnerships. Ruth’s favourite part of her job is leading a preschool music program. Music is a personal passion of Ruth’s and she finds it fascinating to watch how easily kids learn music.

Leroy Hibbert, LUSO Community Services 




As the Multicultural Outreach Coordinator, Leroy facilities workshops, presentations and training on race relations, cultural diversity and awareness for youth, parents, professionals and community groups. Leroy is also a member of the Thames Valley District School Board and London District Catholic School Board's Safe Schools Committees, London Black History Coordinating Committee, Coaching Boys Into Men Committee and the Pledge to End Bullying Committee. 

Matt Ross and Violette Hammad, London Youth Advisory Council 

Violette Hammad is a London Youth Ward 10 Councillor with hopes of making the Westmount community a social hub for youth. She is a 2nd year student at King's University College studying Political Science and Criminology. Violette is immensely involved in the King's community as VP Events for the King's Debate Society and a King's College Council Representative. In her opinion, community involvement and volunteering are important components of making youth more engaged in the London community. 

Matt Ross is an experimenter in London. Experimenting in many areas of government, science and business. Experimenting with youth political engagement by founding the London Youth Advisory Council (LYAC). Experimenting with new technologies through Chemistry research at Western University. Or, experimenting with profit business by developing Brown Table Apps, a software company out of the LYAC.