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Don't forget to use our hashtags when posting about your exchange online! 

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The Program Team

British Columbia

Laura Benson

YMCA of Greater Vancouver (Tong Louie)

14988 57 Ave, Surrey BC, V3S 7S6

(cell): 604-218-7542

Hello! My name is Laura (she/her), and I'm the Regional Coordinator for British Columbia. I'm so proud to call Canada home. 

I grew up predominantly in BC, and have a passion for exploring this incredible country.  When I'm not enjoying the beautiful sights of Vancouver, I love to play fastpitch, watch hockey and spend time with my pup, Chip.

Laura bio pic.jpg

The Prairies and the Territories


Karen Romero - Regional Coordinator

YMCA of Northern Alberta

9538-103A Avenue

Edmonton, AB  T5H 0J3

780-974-2188 ( cell)

Contact Karen

Hi everyone, I’m Karen Romero and I'm the Regional Coordinator for the Prairies and Territories. I’ve lived in Edmonton all my life and was fortunate enough to go on an exchange to Quebec as group leader. Now, I’m having fun experiencing the Youth Exchanges Program from the other side.

Karen smiling and looking at the camera in a close-up of her face.


Joanne Reinhold - Regional Coordinator

YMCA of Greater Toronto

1800 - 365 Bloor St E 

Toronto, ON M4W 3L4

647-330-5322 cell

Contact Joanne

Hi, I’m Joanne Reinhold, I have been the  Ontario Coordinator for the YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada Program since 2000.

I live in Toronto and love all the city has to offer. I love the outdoors, working around the house and spending time on the water with my husband in our kayaks.

My first exchange experience was 24 years ago when I spent six weeks in the Czech Republic on an international exchange. Then two years later, I started with this program and have been involved in over 450 exchanges since. I have had the opportunity to visit every province and territory, some more than once!

I just celebrated 31 years of employment with the YMCA!

I love my job and would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in seeing all that this country has to offer.

Joanne wearing a dark-blue hat and a brown winter jacket, and standing against a snowy background

Quebec and Atlantic Canada


Christopher Craig - Regional Coordinator

514-718-5542 cell

Toll Free 1-866 332-9622 ext 1235

Contact Chris

My name is Chris Craig and I am the YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada Regional Coordinator for Quebec and the Atlantic. I have lived all over Canada and have been travelling extensively since I was a young boy. I have lived in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and now I call Quebec home. I am a musician, a writer, a cook, an activist and most importantly a father. I love the summer festival season in Montreal and I am thrilled that we once again are permitted to enjoy food trucks.

Chris sitting in the snow, wearing a red winter jacket and looking at the camera

National Office
Toll Free 1-877-639-9987


Darryl Sherwin

Senior General Manager

Hello, my name is Darryl Sherwin and I am the Senior General Manager for National Programs including both the Summer Work Student Exchange and YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada Programs. I have been with the YMCA for 29 years and started working at the Y with school-age children and summer camps while I was in university. Over the course of my career, I have had the pleasure of working with many great colleagues and participants. My favorite to-do at work is to get out of the office and meet those who are part of these two great programs!

I wish everyone the best and look forward to our paths crossing someday!

Darryl smiling,wearing a black crew-neck and light-blue cap and standing against a beach with black sand, as the back ground

Erin Gorman 

National Program Manager

YMCA of Greater Toronto

My name is Erin  Gorman and I am the National Manager of the YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada Program. I am from Toronto, Ontario. I love going to our local farmer’s market on the weekend. My first exchange experience was at 14 when my family and I hosted a young woman from France and then I spent a month with her and her family in Versailles!

Erin wearing a brown patterned top and sitting on a table against a lime-green wall as the background

Rachel Bowman

Program Coordinator

National Administration

YMCA of Greater Toronto

Hello! Bonjour! My name is Rachel Bowman (she/her), and I am the National Program Coordinator for the YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada Program.  I am a proud member of the LGBTQIA2+ community and a passionate advocate for inclusivity and equality. I am a small-town girl with a love for the outdoors. During the summers of 2020 and 2021, I planted over 100,000 trees in several forests of Northern Ontario. After my last season, I travelled by car across the country, hiking mountains and camping out with friends. I am a martial arts enthusiast, earning my black belt in Tae Kwon Do when I was 15, and currently learning kickboxing in my spare time.  It's safe to say that I enjoy adventure, and a healthy challenge! 


Kamini Sonnadara
Administrative Liaison 
YMCA of Greater Toronto

Hello! I am Kamini Sonnadara and I have been working with the Youth Exchanges Program since 2002 as an administrative staff.
I currently live in Toronto, and I have had the privilege of living in four different continents in my life. Being exposed to different cultures and environments at an early age has instilled in me a system of values that enables me to live in harmony with my surroundings.

Kamini wearing a pink and gray plaid shirt, looking at the camera and smiling, with the background of a bush with purple and red flowers as the background
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