Lekan Olawoye is the Lead Executive of Studio Y, MaRS Discovery District. Lekan brings extensive experience in youth policy, leadership development and social justice, playing a pivotal role in delivering empowering youth programs in Ontario.
In his seven years as executive director of For Youth Initiative, Lekan developed the agency into an impactful organization that provides programming to 1,000 at-risk youth each year. Lekan served Toronto as a board member for the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and was the first-ever Chair of the Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities. Under his leadership, the Premier’s Council designed a $5 million youth opportunities fund and advised on a $295 million youth job strategy fund. Lekan is a graduate of CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellow program, United Way’s Creative Institute for Toronto’s Young (CITY) Leaders and is a 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference alumnus. He was named a Vital Person in 2012 through the Toronto Foundation and is a past winner of the Innovation award through United Way Toronto.
For the last four years he was the co-Chair of The 12: Ward 12 Community Alliance that worked on the participatory budgeting in the Rustic neighbourhood - meeting and engaging residents in the area. He was also part of the movement against the gas fired power plant at the Kodak / Metrolinx site and led the "Spring Clean Up" at the park at Black Creek and Tretheway.