Our Team

Founders

Kevin Yao

Co-Founder

Hello! My name is Kevin. I'm a grade 11 student attending Western Canada High school in Calgary Alberta, Canada. Ever since grade 5, I've been involved in a variety of extracurricular activities such as the band program, my school's debate team and taekwondo. Throughout my years in Canada, I have gained a lot of knowledge and unique experiences I cannot wait to share with you! I look forward to meeting and getting to know you more!

Eric Wen

Co-Founder

Hey! I am Eric Wen, a co-founder of Alacrity, seasoned debater and passionate learner who brings a wide variety of skills and experience to the teaching scene. Throughout my years as a student, I have excelled in a multitude of areas, especially in debate, robotics, and soccer. As a skilled debater, I have fostered time management, communication, cooperation, and critical thinking skills. Through many years of experience in the FIRST Lego League and playing Tier 1 Soccer in the CMSA league, I have further honed these lifelong skills. Ultimately these activities and the wealth of experience they provide have taught me the importance of helping others. I am very eager to be sharing my experience with others.

Mason Li

Co-Founder

Hey! My name's Mason and I'm a grade 11 student attending Western Canada High School living in Calgary, Canada. Since I was young I've always loved reading and writing, as well as speaking. Because of this passion, I'm actively involved in my school's debate and Model United Nations community. I recently have been reading about social psychology and the workings of the human mind. I am so excited to be able to pass on the things I've learned over the years and I cannot wait to teach you!

Brendon Lu

Co-Founder

Hello, My name is Brendon and I'm a grade 10 student attending Sir Winston Churchill Located in Calgary AB, Canada. I love reading and writing, and I and very passionate about public speaking. I am actively involved in speech, debate, and model UN clubs since grade 7. I was the student coach of speech club and executive member in the debate club. I won multiple awards and champions in the past few years, and i was honored the best exemplifies the spirits of the speech for year 2019 of Alberta. I am very excited to meeting with you and sharing my experience with you.

Alacrity Team

Jordan Khoo

STEM Executive

Hello! My name is Jordan Khoo, and I attend Western Canada High school as a grade 11 student. I am co-founder of Alacrity Code, and have been involved in numerous other youth-led organizations and extracurriculars. Throughout my years in competitive water polo, swimming, model united nations, business competitions and music, I have cultivated my time management, cooperation, and problem-solving skills. Recently, I have delved into the world of technology and found a true passion for the amazing potential it offers to the world. I hope that through Alacrity and Ignite, I can share my passion and love for learning with you!

David Popa

STEM Executive

My name is David Popa, and I am a cofounder of Alacrity and the group’s head of marketing, recruitment and JavaScript development. I am currently in grade 11 and enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at Western Canada High School in Calgary, AB. I have been passionate about programming since grade 6, when I began teaching myself Javascript. In addition, I’ve been practicing my visual design skills since grade 5 using Adobe software. By applying my passions for visual design, programming and science in general, I have won a total of 5 gold medals at the Calgary Youth Science Fair, 1 bronze medal at the Canada Wide Science Fair and over $2200 in prizes. I am always seeking new ways to apply my skills and pursue my passions, and I hope that by doing so through Alacrity, I can help those new to coding master the skill and apply it in useful and promising ways.

February 9, 2021

Thomas Thangarajah

STEM Executive

My name is Thomas Thangarajah. I am a co-founder of Alacrity and the team's head of Python Development. I am a grade 11 student and I am currently enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at Western Canada High School in Calgary, Alberta. I was introduced to programming in the 9th grade, where my interests in coding languages started with c++ and Python. In the 10th grade I enrolled in an introductory programming course at my high school, where we programmed in C++. Since then, I have done multiple courses for C++ and Python through Coursera. I am always practicing and learning new things to apply my programming knowledge to.

English Buddies Team

Ivy Shi

Teacher

Hello! My name is Ivy, I'm currently a grade ten student at Joanne Cardinal-Schubert High School in Calgary. I love art, tennis, sailing, working around younger people, and public speaking. In grade seven, I was an active debater under the Alberta Debate and Speech Association gaining valuable experience during my time debating. Furthermore, in 2018 through the cadet program, I was chosen to be one of two cadets to attend the regional South Wing Effective Speaking competition for all squadrons in southern Alberta. In my time, I have picked up numerous sports such as sailing and tennis. Although I only play recreational tennis, through the Glenmore Sailing School I have successfully achieved my CanSail 4. As an artist, in 2017 I entered into the Remembrance Day legion poster competition and for my age category, placed first at the regional and provincial level, as well as 2nd at the national and international level. All of the above helped me understand how powerful perseverance and determination is. As a teacher for your student, I love bringing an enthusiastic attitude to each class, I strive to help students so that they truly understand the material and are able to see that their work pays off. I look forward to meeting your child in the near future! 

Brianne Yu

Teacher

Hello, my name is Brianne. I am currently a 14-year-old girl living in Calgary, Canada. I am in grade 9 at a local high school. Some of my extracurriculars include piano, art, dance, math, badminton, and taekwondo (a Korean martial art). I’m going to take the test for my grade 9 piano certificate and I am a red belt in taekwondo. I’ve also competed in my school team for badminton and got first place in our city-wide annual tournament. Though I don’t take classes anymore, I participate in debate tournaments whenever the opportunity comes up. Some things I like to do in my free time are drawing, watching videos/movies, and listening to music. I also really like reading and my favourite genre would be fantasy and mystery. My favourite subject in school is lunch because I love food and that’s one of the only times I can hang out with all my friends. I really look forward to working with you to learn English together!

Christina Lu

Teacher

Hello! My name is Kristina Lu, a grade 7 student who has recently enrolled in Tom Baines school. As a native English speaker, I have developed the ability to effectively communicate with others. Through positive encounters with other role models, I have witnessed other teaching styles, and have successfully created one that I am sure will benefit you all. As your English reading reacher, I am eager to bring you through a thrilling adventure of learning, reading, the treasures that English literature holds. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to teach you, and I look forward to beginning a fruitful English journey with each and every one of you!

Gracia Xia

Teacher

Hello, my name is Gracia Xia. I am currently 13 years old, Grade 8 student at Tomken Road Middle School’s SciTech Program. I will be entering Glen Forest Secondary School’s International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program in September 2020. I was born in Toronto, now I live in Mississauga, a city neighbouring Toronto on Lake Ontario. I enjoy playing sports such as badminton, skiing and skating. I can play the piano, flute, recorder and trumpet although I am not very proficient with the trumpet. I also enjoy reading and playing video games. I like to sing and dance as well. I am currently learning Chinese contemporary dance and have been learning since I was 6 years old. My favourite subjects are Mathematics and Science. I am a rather picky eater and I rather dislike tomatoes and mushrooms. I prefer salty food over sweet food. My favourite foods are fish, eggs and ice cream. I can't wait to meet you! 

Josh Li

Teacher

Hi, I’m Josh Grade 8 student at Queen Elizabeth High School. I am a hockey player, a competitive ballroom dancer and a saxophone player. I also enrolled in an Air Cadet program and is ranked as a Corporal. I love to read books and listen to music too.

Micheal Feng

Teacher

Hi! My name is Michael, and I am currently a grade 9 student at John Ware School. I have lived in Calgary, Alberta all my life, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to move and do sports. I used to play soccer and baseball, but for the past few years, I shifted my focus to basketball, which is something I am very passionate about. I’ve always been part of my school’s sports community, and I hope to be involved in athletics for a lifetime. Apart from basketball, I also love learning new things and picking up new hobbies, such as guitar and photography. I’m excited to get to know you!

Sofia Han

Teacher

Hi! My name is Sophia and I’m currently a student in grade 9 at Tom Baines junior high in Calgary, Alberta. I’ve experimented with many possible hobbies such as piano, volleyball, basketball, etc but I’m currently focusing on dance and debate. These two activities, while very different from each other, bring so much knowledge and joy to my life by teaching me  perseverance, group work, how to analyze issues, and excellent communication skills. Working with kids and being a part of their education is something that I’d love to participate in and I’m very excited to hopefully meet with your child soon!

Oliver Geng

Teacher

Hello I am Oliver, a ninth-grade student in the United States, North Carolina. I enjoy reading and playing games. Because I read a lot, I can speak fluently and can comprehend a great number of words. We can also just talk about what’s going on in our life and things like that. As we talk and read we can learn about cultures around the world and what we experience in our region, allowing us to branch out and understand more of our world. I will try my best to make class interesting and appeal to your interests so we can improve your English while reading and talking. I look forward to meeting and teaching you the wonders of the English language.

Jessamine Li

Teacher

Hello all. My name is Jessamine but you can call me Jess. I am currently a grade 10 student attending Western Canada high school. I am a passionate learner with many interests and hobbies that include the worlds of art, music, sports and academics. My current area of interest, career-wise is the legal profession. I’ve perused and enjoyed learnings and experiences related to the legal world, gaining extensive knowledge about the concept of law, inevitably intertwined with debating, philosophy and ethics. Morality and the difference between right and wrong is a valuable and recurring constant in my life. I am happy to be part of the Ignite Youth Club and I look forward to teaching and getting to know you!

Anik

Teacher

Hi! My name is Anik and I am entering grade ten at Western Canada High School this fall. My interests lie in hobbies such as music, art, photography, and dancing. I am a saxophonist as well as a pianist at the level ten. I excel in many subjects at school and play badminton and dance recreationally. I enjoy expressing myself through writing poetry and short stories. Through these experiences in addition to meeting different people, I have gained a better understanding of how to recognize what kind of environment each student needs. I look forward to working with you and sharing my knowledge!

Jamie

Teacher

Hello! My name is Jamie and I am currently a grade nine student at Griffith Woods School in Calgary. I like reading, writing, poetry, drawing, coding, investing in stocks, and debating. I have won in the National Jessamy Stursberg poetry competition as well as the Alberta's Champion provincial essay contest. I enjoy effective speech and debate – both of which I do/did at cadets and Alibid Society (a student run debate association). Additionally, I am currently pursuing my ARCT degree in piano. I enjoy volunteering at the library and tutoring children. I also really like food, Netflix, badminton, and my dog. I look forward to meeting you soon!

Brian Wei

Teacher

Hi! My name is Brian I live in Calgary, Alberta and I am currently a Grade 10 Student at Ernest Manning High School. I played soccer for 5 years of my life but for the last 2 years I have transitioned to badminton. Some of my hobbies include reading, drawing, piano, track and field and skiing. As a badminton player, I have gotten the opportunity to collaborate and coach the younger players which has given me some experience with kids. The time I've spent reading and drawing has also progressed my patience and persistence. With these skills and attributes, I hope to make every class an enjoyable and interesting one and I am very much looking forward to meeting you soon!

Rhona Chen

Teacher

Hello, I’m Rhona. I’m a grade 9 student attending the TOPS program at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute this school year. Born in Calgary, I now live in the East York district of Toronto. My hobbies include skiing, playing badminton, and I am often described as a bookworm. Science, history, and music are my favourite subjects. I’m a level 8 pianist who can also play the clarinet. As an avid reader and native speaker, I speak fluent English and have a fairly extensive vocabulary. Mandarin is my first language, and I am quite fluent in it too.  I am very excited to be able to work with you and take part in your English education, and I will do my best to ensure your lessons are engaging and enjoyable. Looking forward to meeting you!