Public Interest has been developing innovative outreach strategies for public sector and non-profit organizations since 2002. Applying our expertise in research, communications, community engagement, policy development, and environmental initiatives, Public Interest connects to new communities, engages stakeholders and reaches out beyond the usual voices to get to the heart of the matter.
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Julia Drydyk, Managing Director
For over 10 years, Julia has been involved in conducting research, community engagement and progressive policy development for multiple levels of government and the community services sector. Julia has recently returned to Public Interest after having spent the past four years conducting research, evaluation and public policy development for the non-profit and public sectors.
Julia worked at Public Interest from 2008-2013 where she supported dozens of non-profits and community-based agencies. After leaving Public Interest to gain a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Toronto's School of Public Policy and Governance, she took on the role of Manager of Research, Public Policy & Evaluation at United Way Toronto & York Region (UWTYR). In this role, she conducted a range of research and evaluation activities toward the successful implementation of UWTYR’s strategic priorities including UWTYR’s Youth Success Strategy and Community Services Strategy.
Julia's most recent role was Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Hon. Dr. Helena Jaczek, Ontario Minister of Community and Social Services where she provided strategic policy advice toward the transformation of Ontario¹s social assistance programs and the design and implementation of Ontario's Basic Income Pilot.
Neemarie Alam, Community engagement
For the past fourteen years, Neemarie Alam has worked in the non-profit sector in Toronto. Her experiences range from implementing and developing pre-teen sexual harassment programs to housing advocacy. She is keenly interested in developing community-driven policy and is an avid supporter of grassroots anti-poverty initiatives.
With Public Interest, Neemarie has worked on various projects including several environmental scans and needs assessments and supporting community engagement initiatives throughout the GTA. Neemarie is responsible for managing project activities, such as literature reviews, data review and analysis, focus groups, key informant interviews, and report writing.
Prior to joining Public Interest, Neemarie was responsible for developing operational infrastructure at Frontline Partners with Youth Network (FPYN), a network for people working directly with youth across Toronto. Neemarie’s work at FPYN included grant-writing, policy research, organizational development and evaluation.
Chantal Carey, Finance Administration & Project Support
Chantal has provided project support and financial administration for Public Interest Strategy & Communications since 2015. Chantal has played a valuable role with a number of projects at Public Interest including, conducting qualitative research such as focus group facilitation for Simcoe County’s Age-Friendly Initiative, table facilitation for Toronto District School Board’s public consultations, and arranging logistics and notetaking for Social Planning Toronto’s housing forums series.
Chantal is also a Community Health Ambassador with Women’s Health in Women’s Hands (WHIWH) Community Health Centre, facilitating workshops on HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health, to marginalized women, youth, and seniors in Toronto. Through these workshops, she has contributed to solution-based outcomes by sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas with community members.
Chantal has a Certificate in Gerontology with Ryerson University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS.