How we can help you

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Access to networks

Through virtual mentorship programming, annual events and flagship conferences, and sponsored activities; students and professionals get access to an exclusive community of likeminded individuals.

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Access to opportunities

Together with our 100+ sponsors and partners, we serve as one of the largest conduits for hiring queer individuals in Canada.

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Access to development

Get the skills you need to be successful in any career through a series of events, development programs, mentorship activities, and partner collaborations; all designed to build your confidence, upskill your development, and ace any career goal you might have.

Our mission

Start Proud facilitates the professional development of 2SLGBTQ+ students as they transition from school to career through a national network within the 2SLGBTQ+ community. In our 18th year, Start Proud has developed a strong record of supporting 2SLGBTQ+ students and young talent and has built meaningful partnerships with leading employers in Canada.

We do this through our four core strategy pillars:

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Meaningful programs

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Deep connections

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Insights for industry

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Brilliant basics

What our members say

"Start Proud didn't just open doors for me; it shifted my perspective on D&I and instilled the confidence to embrace and bring my authentic self daily to my professional life. But more importantly, Start Proud has empowered me to continue the legacy of those who have paved the way for my generation and taught me the importance of continuing to forge a path of equality for the next generation of young queer people. It's not just about being part of the change; it's about leading it and passing the torch of empowerment and inclusion."

Owen Berry

OOBS 2020 Attendee | Current Vice President of Operations |

Proudly enabling bold humans...
just like you.




Trusted partners


Annual attendees

"Inclusion isn't just about doing the right thing, it's good business practice. In an uncertain economic market, a company can bet on meaningfully inclusive teams to develop innovative solutions and carry the day."

Mathias Memmel


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Our Objective

Inspire Students

Inspire students to utilize their confidence, skills and knowledge that will enable them to distinguish themselves and act as leaders of the Canadian community.

Connect Students

Connect students with fellow peers, professionals and members from pro-LGBTQA organizations to establish their network.

Foster Mentorship

Foster mentorship by exposing students to strong leaders and role models that have paved the way for the LGBTQA community.


Establish a positive public profile of the advancement of the LGBTQA community in the Canadian workforce and communities within which we operate.

Meet our senior leadership team

Mathias Memmel (he/him)


Trevor Fairlie (he/him)

Chair of the Board

Emily Hartman (she/her)

VP, Learning & Development

Hanson Feng (he/him)

VP, Member Engagement

Natalie Bravo (she/her)

VP, Special Events

Owen Berry (he/him)

VP, Operations

Oscar Bejarano (he/him)

VP, Marketing

Olivia Trojiko (she/her)

VP, Corporate Relations

Shiv (she/her)

VP, Advocacy & Community Relations

Vacant (they/them)

VP, Finance

More about our team

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View our extended team

Each portfolio is composed of talented staff and volunteers, helping us fulfill our mandate.

View our teams
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View our board of directors

Our board of directors guides Start Proud's strategic direction and how to best support our mission.

Meet our board of directors
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View our open volunteer positions

Interested in joining us? We're always looking for new people to join our volunteer team.

Volunteer now

Help us create a world where equality is simply the norm.

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