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About Us

We rise to help our community thrive.

We envision a future where people can openly speak about their personal goals and be encouraged by their community to accomplish them.

Our mission is to realize this vision by creating an environment where people can easily learn how to effectively form habits and where they are motivated to improve their own routines alongside a thriving community. We are committed to strengthening the state of mental health by advocating for prevention techniques, spreading awareness, and fundraising for frontline initiatives.

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Founder and Executive Director

Daniel Pye

Director of Marketing

Rebeca Figueroa

Director of Development

Leonardo Barboza

Director of Finance

Marcos Gouvea

Daniel Pye

Founder and Executive Director

Hi, I’m Daniel, the founder of the Rise to Thrive Foundation. I’m a Montrealer studying at the University of Toronto in Economics, History, and Psychology. Contrary to my fields of study, my background is rooted in project management and the blockchain industry – so I am one to advocate for the potential of Bitcoin!

Rise to Thrive was created as a response to the difficulty many of us have in making our routines work with our changing daily lives. I personally struggled to adapt my routines to the new normal at the start of the pandemic, but as Rise to Thrive was formed, I became motivated to rise out of bed and fight to lead what I do each day. It motivates me because I’m doing something not only for the improvement of myself, but also for the support of others. It’s impossible to always be motivated, but Rise to Thrive is encouraging me to be more compelled to THRIVE – which is the same way we believe it will impact you too!

Rebeca Figueroa

Director of Marketing

Hi, my name is Rebeca. I am an MBA student at the Rotman School of Management. My role at Rise to Thrive is to lead our marketing initiatives. I’m mainly focused on understanding how we can engage with a young and powerful audience eager to help us spread the word and prove how anyone can rise to thrive. I joined Rise to Thrive in June 2020 because I wanted to take action on how mental health issues affect young people like me in our day-to-day.

Leonardo Barboza

Director of Development

I am Leonardo Barboza, a 34 year old married Brazilian. I came to Canada almost 2 years ago to get my MBA degree at Rotman, where I will be graduating in April 2021. I am the Director of Development at Rise to Thrive. We started this foundation to help people thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with the changes in structure and routine that people were experiencing. So far, the experience has been very enlightening in a sense that we have discovered that the connection with ourselves and with our community is crucial to being happy and healthy – The Rise to Thrive platform will be a great way for people to improve these connections.

Marcos Gouvea

Director of Finance

Hello, my name is Marcos and I am a Brazilian who came to Canada to fulfill one of my dreams, which is to complete an MBA at the University of Toronto. Curiosity is something that takes me out of my bed every morning. I love learning new things and exploring new opportunities. I have been part of Rise to Thrive since its inception and have focused on leading the finance operations of the foundation. The mission of creating awareness around mental health and the community aspect of Rise to Thrive made it appealing to me. The difficult times we are going through right now makes us search for better ways to cope and help people stay healthy. We are building something that I know will endure and that may be transformative to some people, which makes me proud of this achievement and of the people that have contributed to our efforts. I would recommend that people look at Rise to Thrive because it has the welfare of its community at its core, which can be leveraged to help people thrive with all the disruptions caused by COVID-19.


Marketing Associate

Zoya Haroun

Strategy & Operations

Vivian Lam

Research Associate

Saira Raza

Development Associate

Jason Xie

Zoya Haroun

Director of Finance

Hi I’m Zoya! I’m a second-year University of Toronto student studying Cognitive Science. I am working with the marketing team at Rise to Thrive. I choose to work with the Foundation because I love helping people, and if I can personally learn while help others then that’s the best way to do it. Working within the Rise to Thrive community has opened my eyes to the different approaches we can take to help each other. The amazing community is filled with passionate people who are all willing to help one another so I recommend that people to take a look at joining our community. During these rough times, it’s nice to have a community that pushes you to achieve your goals and help others along the way.

Vivian Lam

Strategy and Operations Associate

Hi, my name is Vivian/Hoi Ting and I'm in my final year at the University of Toronto studying economics and statistics. At Rise to Thrive, I work on the strategy and operations team. I am volunteering at Rise to Thrive because I believe that the platform can really help people like me, who has suffered from mental illness, to recover. Overall, Rise to Thrive is an amazing community filled with passionate and encouraging members. I strongly believe that it’s this coherent environment that made the platform a success and I strongly encourage everyone (especially students from UofT) to try out our platform.

Saira Raza

Research Associate

Hello, my name is Saira and I am in my final year of my undergraduate studies at the Scarborough campus of University of Toronto! I am majoring in population health sciences and mental health studies. As a research associate, I’m researching ways to apply habit formation methods as a way to improve mental health. I’m also working with the marketing team to create fun ways to educate and engage with our community. I chose to volunteer at Rise to Thrive because the premises of the campaign greatly aligns with my own personal values as someone studying mental health and as a mental health advocate. I appreciate that the focus of our goal is meaningful habit building, and that its applicable to anyone and everyone! I'm very enthusiastic about every day and consistent achievements that may seem small but can have a lasting impact in someone’s life. My experience with Rise to Thrive has been great so far because I’m learning better ways to collect information and think in new ways about certain ideas. It’s going to be my first time being a part of a campaign that’s about to take off so that itself is pretty exciting! I highly recommend that people look into Rise to Thrive because I believe that meaningful habit formation is something that everyone can benefit from.

Jason Xie

Development Associate

Hi, my name is Jason. I just graduated in political science from the University of Toronto. I work with the business development team, where I focus on grant writing and managing partnerships. I chose to volunteer at the Foundation because I am very interested in philanthropy. I am grateful for this opportunity because it has allowed me the freedom of prioritizing and leading the projects I work on. I enjoy working with Rise to Thrive because I agree with the values and mission that we all are working toward and will try my best to help people appreciate and gain from the Foundation’s work.

Ghazal Goodarzi

Marketing Associate

Hello, my name is Ghazal Goodarzi and I’m a third-year pathobiology student at the University of Toronto. I am a volunteering in the marketing department at Rise to Thrive. Recently, I was given the opportunity to focus and work on organizing the upcoming newsletters. I have been travelling around the world and have lived in different places. This experience incites me to learn and love about new cultures. After spending the last summer working with community services to produce engaging content for children during the lockdown, I learned that mental health is becoming more important than ever. I believe we should appreciate the person we are today while working hard towards the future. Rise to Thrive foundation is for people who are a work in progress. Rise to Thrive platform allows us to form healthy new habits while lifting others in the community and raising funds for charities. This concept inspires me personally and thus motivates me to join and volunteer at Rise to Thrive.

Delina Chen

Marketing Associate

Hello, my name is Delina, and I am a student studying accounting at the University of Toronto. I am a volunteering in the strategy and operations team at Rise to Thrive, with a focus in finance. I chose to join the Rise to Thrive team because of its meaningful purpose that reminds us to take care of ourselves by creating healthy habits. I joined to help raise mental health awareness and to find ways to motivate myself to continue learning and exploring every day. While thinking about ways to inspire others to gain motivation, I myself am finding ways to stay motivated.

Abdelrahman Mahmoud

Development Associate

Hello, my name is Abdelrahman and I’m a graduate engineering student at the University of Toronto. I am a volunteer in the Rise to Thrive business development team where we are hard at work to make sure that our services reach the communities and people that we are trying to help as effectively as we can. Coming from a community with little awareness on mental health, I found it very hard to find the resources that would help me to get over some of the issues I had. As a result, I found that Rise to Thrive is the perfect platform for me to support since provides the needed resources and motivators to people who need it at their fingertips.

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Marketing Associate

Ghazal Goodarzi

Marketing Associate

Delina Chen

Development Associate

Abdelrahman M.

Roadmap

April 2020

The First Concept

With social distancing and isolation, our mental health took a hit, and we knew we had to do something about it. Motivated by the thought of supporting others, the first concept of Rise to Thrive was formed. The insightful research, late night creating, and thought-provoking discussions that followed would set the foundation for what we are today.

June 2020

UofT Funding

The team received their initial funding from the COVID-19 Engagement Award offered by the office of the Vice-President at the University of Toronto for being a project led by students that is aimed to contribute to the COVID-19 response. We are infinitely grateful for receiving this award as it confirmed the value of our concept and gave us the confidence to dedicate ourselves to this.

Summer 2020

Design & Public Launch

For the first time ever, we shared Rise to Thrive with the world. We launched our coming soon website and Instagram account on Canada Day to demonstrate our mission to aid our fellow Canadians. Throughout the summer, our team of 11 focused on designing our platform as well as growing and educating our new community.

Fall 2020

Development & Team Growth

We overcame challenges to begin development by connecting with an incredible team of developers passionate about helping us realize our mission. The platform design was refined to complement our unique concept, then development started. Our team also grew to 20 volunteers thanks to our affiliation with the Community Action Projects (CAPS) Program at UofT and our initiative to build a research team.

March 2021

First Rise to Thrive Campaign

Throughout the month of March, the Foundation will be hosting our first Rise to Thrive Campaign. Our thriving community will be able to create and live by their new personal challenges. By collaborating with partners and participants, we will connect our community through the goals of reducing the stigma and promoting self-care.

Spring 2021 and Beyond

Donate & Improve

We are incredibly excited to donate the money our community raises to the mental health charities we selected. Together, we will rise to support Canadian wellness. We are also keen to hear feedback from our thriving community and improve our platform for the next Rise to Thrive campaigns.

Part of the Team?

If you're passionate about mental health and would like to bring your great ideas to our team, reach out
right away! We're only just getting started. Contact us to join our team of volunteers.
Contact Us

Special Thanks

We would like to give special thanks to all those who have helped us in getting this far. We would not
have been able to do this without you!

Fahad Ahmed

Umer Raza

Abdullah Shakir

Tarish Rajakarier

Emily Wang

Nithin Eluvathingal

Shivanga De Silva

Hossai Girowal

Rafael Turse

Aaru Barman

Georgia Bellingham

Daniyal Ahmed

Hossai Girowal

Yayi Liu

Yahya Alikhan

Carter Pang

Fahmida Shaily

Maureen Arsenal

Srimathanky Srikugan

Xueer Yuki Xu

Cathy Xie

Aaru Barman

Anosha Subramaniam

Zachary Lo

Deborah Jin

Aysha Afzal