Pictou County Roots for Youth is governed by a Board of Directors.  These professionals bring their own individual expertise, experience, and passion for the organization. The board of directors focuses on the long term goals of the organization, establishes proactive policies, and financial management.


Desmond was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and he immigrated to Canada where he joined the Police Service. He is a retired Toronto Police Officer with 32 years of experience. He moved to Pictou County 6 years ago. Desmond recently got involved with Pictou County Roots For Youth because he is passionate about youth and homelessness in our community. He cares about the social justice issues here in Pictou County and elsewhere. Desmond enjoys travelling, listening to music, and reading about politics.  


 Devonlynne studied anthropology and archaeology in university, and participated in archeological digs in the Negev desert. She later taught English in Japan. Her experiences fostered an appreciation and respect for different cultures and outlooks. Her love and respect for the uniqueness of each individual, paired with her belief in the fundamental unity of humanity, led her to a career in human services. With experience dealing with varied social issues — including domestic violence, 2SLGBTQ+ housing support and the youth homelessness crisis — Devonlynne appreciates that even the smallest steps can climb mountains. With a focus on harm reduction, therapeutic crisis intervention, and trauma informed care, Devonlynne currently serves as Vice Chair of Pictou County Roots For Youth.
Cassie was born and raised in rural Pictou County, and graduated in 2018 from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Accounting. In 2021, she obtained her CPA designation and currently works as an Accountant at Sobeys Inc.
Having grown up in Pictou County, she has seen the community’s challenges firsthand – but believes better is possible for our region, and that we all have a role to play. For now, this is hers.
Cassie currently serves as the Treasurer of Pictou County Roots for Youth.


Erica loves writing, calligraphy, and scrapbooking. Based on this combo of interests - it makes perfect sense that she is the secretary for the board. After studying biology and history at Mount Allison University Erica returned home to New Glasgow and started tutoring high school students. The experience led her to the path of education and helped her develop a passion for working with youth. She completed her education degree at St.F.X University and embraced the role of high school biology teacher. Teaching has provided her unique insight into what youth deal with on a daily basis and allowed her to concentrate on creating thoughtful academic, social, and personal learning experiences. She strives to bring this vision and experience to her work with Roots.
Nancy was an elementary school teacher for 35 years and the mother of three children. She has served on New Glasgow Town Council for 9 years and is presently in her second term as Mayor.
Nancy learned about Roots for Youth through a conversation with a friend who was involved with an initiative on youth homelessness in Pictou County. She quickly understood the urgent need for the services. She joined the Board in 2011 and served as Chairperson for many of those years.
Homelessness in our community is often not visible. The number of young people over the years that have sought out the services of Roots for Youth is an indicator of the importance and need in our community. The challenges are many in an organization such as Roots for Youth but successes big or small keep us moving forward. The dedication of Board members and staff over the years has been outstanding and much has been accomplished with the help of the greater community.
Ken was an educator throughout his professional career, teaching both in the provinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia. For twenty- eight of those years he was a school principal at all levels of education. It was primarily at the high school level that he saw too many of his students who were homeless and, in many cases, through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, at that time, there were no avenues open to homeless youth in Pictou County to assist them and they were left to couch surf at friends’ homes, or sleep wherever they could find shelter, including cars and sheds. When he retired in 2006 he joined the United Way of Pictou County and he was then asked to look after the portfolio of youth homelessness. He was actively involved in many community meetings to address the urgent need for a youth homeless shelter for Pictou County. He was one of the founding members of the Pictou County Roots for Youth Society. For many years he was a Co-Chair of the Society. He always considers one of his greatest achievements was being involved in securing a permanent home, Roots House, in 2011, for homeless youth. His fervent wish is that Roots House will always be there to provide the nurturing, supportive environment that homeless youth of Pictou County deserve.
Sometime late in the year 2010 while Allan was at work at his job at the New Glasgow Walmart, he was met in the aisles by Reverend Heather Landry who he knew as a United Church minister in Pictou Presbytery. After a brief greeting, Heather asked if Allan would be willing to help a local charity which was just getting its feet off the ground, for which she was a board member. They needed a treasurer and she had heard good things about Allan’s work in that role for Trinity United Church in New Glasgow. It wouldn’t require much, just attending a board meeting, maybe every month or so. So, without really knowing what he was getting himself in to, Allan agreed to attend the next scheduled meeting to learn more. Allan remembers that the issue of homelessness and especially youth homelessness was one that he rarely thought about except when perhaps when passing by panhandlers when visiting the city. At any rate twelve years later, Allan is proud to have been part of the growth the Pictou County Roots for Youth has experienced over the past decade and to be associated with the many dedicated board members, volunteers and employees who have made that growth possible.
Recently Allan was nominated as Volunteer of the Year for the Town of New Glasgow, in recognition of his years of service managing the finances of Trinity United Church and the Pictou County Roots for Youth Society. Allan received this award acknowledging that the community depends upon the hard work of its dedicated volunteers of which he is merely one amongst many.
At the recently held Annual General Meeting Allan was happy to learn that Cassie Langille has agreed to take over the role of treasurer going forward. Cassie is one of many new faces who have become a part of the Society’s journey and he wishes them all the best as Roots for Youth continues to grow, lending a hand up to our young people who find themselves lost with nowhere to go.

Lauren was raised in Pictou County, Nova Scotia and first joined the Board of Pictou County Roots for Youth when she was a high school student at NRHS. Although Lauren left Roots in 2014 to attend Dalhousie University where she obtained first a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and later her Juris Doctor from the Schulich School of Law, she is delighted to have rejoined the Board in 2021 and eager contribute once again to such a vital service in her hometown.


Born and raised in Pictou County, Will attended St. Francis Xavier University and graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. At that time, Will began working as an accountant and auditor with Grant Thornton LLP while pursuing the Chartered Professional Accountant designation, which he obtained in 2021.
In his free time, Will enjoys a round of golf, cooking and, of course, Netflix. 



We acknowledge that the land that we live and work on, Mi'kma'ki, is the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq People. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Mi'kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people first signed with the British Crown in 1725.