"At The Inspire Project, we empower students to ask insightful questions, explore disciplinary boundaries and confront conventional ways of thinking."
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A summer leadership program that brings together economically, ethnically and experientially diverse high school students for a one-week, rigorous leadership experience in an adventure-filled, outdoor environment at the base of Lake Simcoe.
Students will leave this transformative immersion program with a unique set of skills which will enable them to be stronger leaders, lead more intentional academic careers, embody a service oriented mentality, build grit and resilience all with a global scope.
The program will be led by highly trained staff who have been chosen for the unique paths they’ve followed, their passion for inspiring and developing youth and their decades of experience shaping and enriching young minds.
Hafeez and Hiren are the Co-Founders of The Inspire Project. They have a comical, somewhat unconventional and very close friendship that dates back over a decade. They bonded over their love for travel, personal growth and search for a meaningful path. They have both lived and worked all over the world and decided, after each had uniquely meaningful experiences with youth development programs over the past decade, to develop The Inspire Project.
They have both been involved in serving as Counselors and Directors for these youth programs globally for the past 15 years. The Inspire Project stemmed from these experiences and their realization that a combination of location, access and exposure precluded thousands of students who could benefit from these transformative programs.
Hafeez and Hiren launched The Inspire Project in the hopes that students, regardless of cultural background, prior experiences or financial means would be able to join this one of a kind experience.
Hiren Patel, MD, MPH
MPH: Harvard University
BSc: McMaster University
Hiren is the Director of Fellowship for the Division of Global Health and Human Rights at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Hiren is a board certified emergency medicine physician that has had widespread training in public health, global health and international emergency medicine systems development in low resource areas. He has founded three non-profit organizations focusing on youth leadership development and the promotion of global citizenship through sustainable social justice endeavors. He is of Indian decent, born and raised in Zambia, a Canadian citizen currently residing in Boston, USA. Hiren is a globe trotter, and has lived and worked in over 10 countries.
Hafeez Ladha, MBA, MPH
MPH: Columbia University
BSc: McMaster University
Hafeez is a Development Finance Consultant with the World Bank. He has also served as a Case Team Leader with the global Management Consulting firm Bain & Company, and as a Global Analyst with the Clinton Foundation working across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and North America. Hafeez has conducted over 600 hours of lectures focused on career development, leadership, research skills and academic enrichment for 750+ students. Hafeez currently lives between Boston and Washington, DC and spends his free time attempting fairly unamusing stand-up comedy, spending time outdoors and staying plugged into Canadian politics
Sabina Bharwani, MPP, MS
MS, Education: Relay Graduate School of Education
BS, Mathematics: Rice University
Sabina Bharwani is the founder of Hello World, a computer science program that partners with K12 schools to build autonomous learners who approach and solve problems like engineers. Prior to this Sabina led Teach For America’s EdTech and Innovation Strategy teams, where she managed a large fund focused on the rigorous application of improvement sciences and was charged with stewarding bottom-up and top-down innovations through rapid cycles of learning and iteration. Sabina has experience teaching 4th-6th grade at public schools, where she implemented the use of EdTech tools at the classroom level and coached teachers on pedagogical and curricular practices across all grades and subject areas. Sabina holds an M.P.P. from Harvard University, an M.S. in Education and Development from the Relay Graduate School of Education, and a B.S. in Mathematics from Rice University.
Tom McCarthy, BA
Tom is a management consultant with McKinsey & Company’s Toronto office. Prior to this, he was an Associate Director with the Clinton Health Access Initiative, during which time he led projects in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Tom is an aspirant wood worker (emphasis on aspirational level of skill), who loves the outdoors, and venturing to new places.
Reema Thakkar, BSc, DPT
Reema is faculty, Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor for the doctorate of Physical Therapy program at Touro College of Health Sciences in Manhattan as well as the owner of One Wellness and Rehabilitation, specializing in Women’s Health Physiotherapy. Reema teaches multiple courses for the physical therapy program as well as develops public health and leadership programs for inner city youth throughout New York City and the boroughs. Reema has been educating throughout her career through enhanced education camps and leadership conferences for youths of many ages. Reema currently lives just outside New York City and spends her days educating her palate through all of the various amazing NYC restaurants as well as amusing her student with various recounts of how the world was with dial-up internet.
Jeffrey Edwards, BS
MD: Stanford University – 2020
Jeffrey is currently a medical student at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He graduated magna cum laude with highest honors in Neurobiology from Harvard College in 2015 before spending a year working in Western Kenya with the Division of Global Health and Human Rights at Massachusetts General Hospital. Sparked by his parents upbringing in Caribbean countries (Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica), Jeffrey plans to spend his career working towards eliminating health disparities and improving the quality of healthcare in low-resource settings. He has extensive experience working with youth through multiple college and medical school organizations and he hopes to continue equipping youth to succeed throughout his lifetime.
Rahima Dosani, MBA, MPH
MBA: Harvard Business School
MPH: Harvard School of Public Health
Rahima is an advisor in USAID’s Center for Innovation and Impact, within the Global Health Bureau. She works to increase access and uptake of key life-saving global health interventions to populations across the developing world. Rahima also worked for the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Malawi and Myanmar, as well as in strategy consulting for PwC Advisory and FSG. She is passionate about equipping young leaders with the social and emotional skills to thrive in today’s world. She is a competitive volleyball player, avid ornithologist, and certified yoga and meditation instructor.
Lance Shaull, BS
MD: Rush Medical College – 2020
Lance is his third year of medical school at Rush Medical College. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a background in global health. Lance has worked on medical research projects in East Asia and West Africa that have focused around medical accessibility for neurological disorders and data collection in resource-limited settings. He currently lives in Chicago and works on a number of different projects exploring the experience of chronic illness within homeless populations. In his free time, he enjoys getting out of the city to explore the outdoors through mountain summits, white-water rafting, and slack-lining.
Lifelong InspirationCommitted to lifelong growth
One of The Inspire Project’s defining principles is lifelong coaching and mentorship. We provide Participants with a uniquely meaningful onsite experience, exposing them to new ways of envisioning their academic and professional careers, helping them develop the skills to realize this new vision and building a service-oriented mentality. However, we recognize that this path is a journey, the foundation of which will be built while onsite at the program, but which will require repeated exposure and mentorship to actualize.
To ensure this support and continued guidance is available to all Participants even after the onsite program, The Inspire Project’s Alumni Association will provide one-on-one coaching with a Mentor they connected with during the program. Quarterly phone or in-person “meet-ups” will be scheduled between Mentors and Participants during which Mentors will provide guidance on post-secondary school and program selection, preliminary career planning exercises and continue the formative support and instruction started onsite.
Finally, Participants will have access to the network of fellow Inspire Project alumni throughout their lives to facilitate social and professional connections, share job opportunities, foster collaboration on projects and causes, and build community.
Youth between the ages of 14 and 17 will build a shared sense of community while working on a myriad of skills that will allow them to leave with a new-found sense of self, purpose, understanding of their own capabilities and how their efforts can better the world.
Who Do We Serve?
Participants invited to join The Inspire Project will stem from a diverse set of socio-economic, ethnic and experiential groups. We intentionally bring together youth from families of different means, which allows us to bring participants to camp who otherwise could not afford to go, and to provide everyone with a uniquely diverse experience.
How we plan to achieve our mission
Each day of this rigorous program will include a combination of outdoor activities, sports, team building exercises, unique leadership sessions and career- and self-building workshops led by renowned educators, motivators and mentors.
From the start, our Participants will hear from several “Content Skill Experts” who have considerable expertise in a professional area of focus (i.e. international development, academia, finance, medicine, governance, etc.). Participants will have the ability to self-select into one of these content teams and will work under the Content Skill Experts for the remainder of the program to develop a thesis project demonstrating a robust understanding of the content area.
Participants will be exposed to the skills below by “Functional Skill Experts” through workshops integrated throughout the program’s curriculum. This will help build unique competencies that will support their growth and development throughout the program.
Mentorship and guidance opportunities go far beyond the camp experience. The relationship between the student and mentor will continue throughout the subsequent academic year. The mentor will establish quarterly “check-ins” to provide academic or professional guidance. Further detail on this program is provided in the “Lifelong Inspiration” section.
- Creative Arts
-Visual Arts & Drama
-Policy & Public Health
- International Development
- Law & Governance
-Corporate & Public Service Law
- Creative Thinking & Inquiry
- Effective Communication
- Goal Setting
- Identifying Your Strengths
- Leading Through Empathy
- Resilience & Positivity
- Strategic Leadership
Expert mentors representing each of the fields above will describe their career path, decision points, potential for impact and how they achieve success.Step 1
Participants will be paired with a field and mentor of interest.Step 2
Small groups of participants will be coached by a mentor to identify a gap or need in a specific field.Step 3
Small groups will be coached to think critically and creatively to design a pragmatic and innovative solution.Step 4
Each small groups will present their solutions to a panel of industry experts in a "Shark Tank" style forum.Step 5
Expert mentors representing each of the fields above will describe their career path, decision points, potential for impact and how they achieve success.
Participants will be paired with a field and mentor of interest.
Small groups of participants will be coached by a mentor to identify a gap or need in a specific field.
Small groups will be coached to think critically and creatively to design a pragmatic and innovative solution.
Each small groups will present their solutions to a panel of industry experts in a "Shark Tank" style forum.
What does the camp experience look like?
Participants will undergo a transformative seven-day journey that will shape their outlook, skills and global perspective through leadership exercises, rigorous professional inquiry, skill building sessions and outdoor activities (such as campfires, hiking, kayaking and more).
We welcome participants from a variety of backgrounds (religious, ethnic, political, sexual orientation, socioeconomic etc.). We will foster an environment that is inclusive and open, allowing these leaders to fully engage and be willing to listen, share and have fun.
Apply Now 2019 Summer Program
Hosted at The Hollows Camp
The Inspire Project Camp Countdown!
Dates: August 12th - 18th
(CAD$, inc. HST)*
*We would like to ensure anyone who qualifies is able to join this transformative experience. As a result, partial and full scholarships are available for families requiring financial assistance. Any camper who is accepted will have their tuition set based on their family finances. We will do our very best to ensure finances are not a barrier for anyone.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following is included in the price of the program:
- Return transport from various hub locations in Toronto to the camp ground
- Tuition, room and board
- All meals for the entirety of the stay at The Inspire Project facilities
- All on- and offsite activities, leadership sessions, academic and professional coaching sessions and quarterly “check-ins” with Mentors selected by each Participant.
Given that The Inspire Project program is highly tailored and requires significant one-on-one mentorship to ensure Participants receive the individualized attention they require, the 2019 cohort will be capped. Applications will be evaluated on a first come, first served basis, with a focus on the depth of responses provided in the application.
Three healthy meals following Health Canada’s “Eating Well Guide” are provided to all program participants daily. The Hollows is a big space which means campers need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables to keep them going throughout the day. The Hollows is a peanut free and nut-aware facility. Our kitchen offers meals for all dietary requirements and requests including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, pork free etc. We will request information outlining allergy and dietary requirements for participants prior to the start of the program to plan around Participant needs before they arrive.
Sample menu available here
Physicians and other clinical healthcare professionals will be available onsite at all times during the program. We will go above and beyond to ensure the health, safety and well being of all Participants while onsite. Additionally, the Hollows Camp is located 20-30 mins from 3 regional hospitals and has all emergency 911 services available within minutes. A medical information form will be shared with all Participants and parents prior to the start of the program which will provide the option to list any daily medications or special needs Participants may have. Any medications sent to camp will be securely stored and administered by a healthcare professional.
The Inspire Project staff includes Counselors responsible for the wellbeing of Participants 24/7. Each Counselor has been carefully selected based on their youth development experience and professional capabilities. Each Counselor will be responsible for ensuring that each Participant (maximum of 5 per Counselor) maximizes their learning and growth while maintaining a safe, fun and inclusive environment. Beyond this, Hollows Camp employs a staff team responsible for administering and supervising outdoor activities, meals and all camp grounds.
The 2019 Inspire Project will be held at the Hollows Camp, located in Bradford, Ontario, approximately 60 minutes from downtown Toronto.
An extensive packing list will be shared with Participants upon acceptance into the program.