Our Team

Nathan Salangsang, posAbilities

Get ready to meet Nathan…a superhero of compassion! Hailing from the Philippines, he joined the BCC team in 2018. With his infectious enthusiasm and unwavering support, he’s been on a mission to uplift and empower people, one goal at a time.

Nathan has a philosophical side and has been delving into the profound teachings of Buddhism, studying the art of Zen and finding inner peace. His adventures have taken him far and wide, from the spiritual lands of Nepal to the vibrant streets of Mexico, to the serene beauty of Thailand to the ancient ruins of Cambodia. With a heart brimming with benevolence, Nathan believes in the power of Metta meditation: having a genuine interest in others and spreading love and kindness wherever he goes.

These days he’s got his sights set on mastering American Sign Language at VCC. You might also find him capturing moments with his trusty camera, exploring the majestic wonders of nature.If you’re in need of someone to brighten your day or lend a helping hand, look no further than Nathan. He’s the ultimate compassionate crusader, fighting for a world filled with kindness, smiles, and the triumph of human potential!

Kaia Kent – posAbilities

Kaia loves kayaking, hosting community events, and everything to do with nature. She has a background in permaculture design, coordinating community gardens, guiding sea kayaking and hiking trips, and volunteering in her neighbourhood to secure small grants for community events. Her personality is naturally kind, and she likes to listen to other’s perspectives. She is always curious to learn more about people and is not afraid to go on new adventures. Kaia likes to bring energizers to meetings to keep things fun. She brings an optimistic attitude and through studying Reiki, yoga, and meditation, she has learned how to stay centered and calm when facing chaotic situations. Kaia knows what it is like to live with someone with varied abilities, as one of her two sons is on the autism spectrum. He has spurred her on to work in this field since 2014. Kaia’s passion is finding new ways to overcome barriers and grow inclusive communities in all aspects of her life. She enjoys sketching, painting, sculpting, and most recently, designing and painting murals in her neighbourhood.

Esteban Gonzalez, BACI

Esteban joined the Connector team in 2019. He is a life-long learner always looking for opportunities to grow and learn. He studied English Literature at Simon Fraser University. Before becoming a Connector, he worked as a tutor with students of all ages and abilities. This work has taught him the importance of meeting people where they are at and creating a supportive environment where individuals can challenge themselves and reach their goals. Esteban loves to curl up at home with a book, ride his bike, cook a meal for his friends, and go for adventures in the woods.

Sharon Smiley, posAbilities

Sharon was born far far away from here, and for someone that ran a long long way to get to this spot, Sharon does not seem tired enough! Until now Sharon has managed to:

• Learn how to Swing and Salsa dance

• Study about Brains and Molecules in University

• Bake Croissants and Pies in a professional bakery

• Have conversations in Spanish, ASL and Hebrew

• Play Soccer and learn to fix a flat tire on Bobbert (the Bicycle)

• Start to Illustrate (but never finish) 6 children books

Juggle apples and manage a galley (“galley” is the name for a boat kitchen) on a Theater Ship

Travel alone around Eastern Europe

If you have a passion that you are scared, you’ll never be able to do, Sharon will probably tell you that that’s ok, because everyone is scared of something! The most important thing is to try. Guess what?! Sharon LOVES trying new things!

Ishita Khosla, BACI

Ishita (she/her) is a racialized settler on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, where she works and plays alongside the friends she has found on these lands. She seeks to be a voice that will disrupt the colonial and patriarchal systems that surround us- an activist striving to build communities that prioritize people over power. She loves meeting new people in her work as a Community Connector with BACI and is also a Behavioral Interventionist working with kids on the autism spectrum here in Vancouver.

Nina Corissa Ortiz

Nina Corissa Ortiz, BACI

Nina is an uninvited guest on the unceded, ancestral and occupied land of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She is a first generation immigrant from the Philippines, with all of her immediate family still in the homeland. In her current assignment working with disabled youth, they explore what it means to be an independent adult, taking accountability, being a self-advocate and finding and creating spaces of belonging. In her free time, she enjoys doing household chores, playing guitar and spending time with her friends.

Asya Melville

Asya Melville, posAbilities

Asya truly understands the significance of time and attention, recognizing the importance of being seen and heard within relationships. She believes in the power of storytelling in healing, growth, and connection. As a great listener, she absorbs the thoughts and feelings of others while offering support and empathy, as they define their own version of success. She believes that true fulfilment and thriving come from aligning with one’s authentic desires and values, rather than conforming to societal expectations. Asya infuses the community connector journey with an abundance of creativity.

Asya embodies a radiant warmth, and sense of humour that instantly puts others at ease. Her unwavering dedication and hard work are the driving forces behind her ability to make things happen. Not only does Asya champion the interests of others, she also generously shares her own passions and interests. She connects with music, yoga, cultural events, and believes in the power of mutual exchange. Asya possesses a vast network of community connections, allowing her to bridge gaps and foster unity among diverse groups.

Emma Watson, BACI

Emma is a white settler who grew up on the unceded land of the Kwikwetlem First Nations, in so-called Coquitlam. Making music is her favourite thing, but she also loves reading, writing, watching movies, going for walks, and learning more about the ways we are connected to each other. She approaches Community Connecting with lightness and flexibility, and believes that being curious about each other’s differences is a necessary part of creating a more just and beautiful world. With this, she is committed to disrupting ableism in this work as much as possible.

Before starting as a Connector, she spent time as a student, a bookstore clerk, a piano teacher, a birthday party performer, an English tutor, and a children’s musician! Around the city, you might bump into her at concerts, in cafes, or people-watching on the Skytrain.

Bobae Kim

Bobae Kim, posAbilities

Hello! My name is Bobae! Some of you may know me as previous float staff for posAbilities Day Programs, or maybe you saw me on Real Talk videos! I am one of the founding members for Real Talk, and have worked as Behaviour Interventionist, as well as day program staff, overnight staff, etc. I have been in the field for 15 years. I am a 1.5 Gen Korean-Canadian, who delights in watching Anime, and Cosplay. I studied Animation a long long time ago. I forgot how to animate, but I can still draw pretty good. I love helping people, hosting on Curiko, checking out cool coffee shops, being out in parks, cooking and feeding people and I love singing and live performances. Join me on my adventures for karaoke, live music, live art, and culture around Vancouver! I will be extending invites through our Building Caring Communities (BCC) facebook page!