Portrait of Sarah Garcia-Heller

Sarah Garcia-Heller (She/Her)
Executive Director

Sarah first began as a volunteer facilitator in the bereaved parent and children’s groups at BFO-Toronto over 13 years ago after the loss of her infant daughter Khaliyah.

Sarah was then hired as the Program and Volunteer Coordinator at BFO-Toronto where she worked alongside staff, placement students, and volunteers to provide frontline intake, training, and day-to-day support of operations at BFO-Toronto for 3 years.

Most recently, Sarah has been working as part of the upper leadership team at a non-profit/social enterprise in Toronto and has held positions as Director of Case Management and Programs.

Sarah is thrilled to be back working at BFO-Toronto in the position of Executive Director and is looking forward to growing staff, volunteer and organizational capacity, visibility and impact.

Portrait of Eve Kasakevich

Eve Kasakevich (She/Her)
Program and Volunteer Coordinator

Eve Kasakevich completed her undergraduate degree in disability studies and child studies and is now in her last semester of Masters of Social Work Program (MSW) through the University of Windsor.

Eve first came to BFO-T as a social work student in September of 2022, eager to learn about the grief process and how to best support bereaved individuals. She is excited to take on the role of Volunteer and Program Coordinator and continue building relationships with our community and to help individuals through the journey of grief. When not at work you are likely to find Eve at a hot yoga class, hanging with friends, discovering new music, or sitting at a park, under the sun!

Portrait of Ashley Mathew

Ashley Mathew(She/Her)
Coordinator of Special Projects

Ashley first came to us as a peer-support group participant when her father died ten years ago. She is now at BFO-T as a Coordinator of Special Projects, providing support to staff and facilitators as a Registered Social Worker.

She has worked in the field of Social Work for over 15 years. Ashley has her private therapy practice and is engaged in helping BFO-Toronto grow and continue to be a safe, inclusive and welcoming place for those who grieve and need connection.

Shweta Mishra(She/Her)
IT Administrator

Shweta, an accomplished IT Support specialist who recently joined BFO Toronto in February 2023. With a master’s degree in Information Technology and extensive experience in delivering IT trainings, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Shweta is a loving mother to two daughters, and her dedication to her family is evident in her daily life. She cherishes the time spent with her children and thoroughly enjoys engaging in playful activities with them.

Shweta’s combination of technical proficiency, educational background, and commitment to her family make her a well-rounded individual who is able to excel both in her professional endeavors and personal life. Her passion for IT, coupled with her nurturing nature, positions her as a valuable asset to the BFO Toronto team.

Sairah Khan
Admin. & Strategic Partnership Coordinator

Sairah has been involved in non-profit & adult education for over a decade. Her academics in Development Economics & Health Administration, combined with commitment to making a positive difference, laid the groundwork for a career in the non-profit sector.

Beyond her duties as Admin. & Strategic Partnership Coordinator, Sairah is deeply committed to the mission of BFO-T. With a passion for social impact and a keen understanding of the importance of collaboration & support, she believes in empowering communities through inclusive capacity building.

Outside of her professional role, Sairah actively engages with the community- participating in volunteer work, community initiatives, and advocacy campaigns.

When she is not working, Sairah can be found going for nature walks with her kids, cooking or binge watching her favourite shows.

Portrait of Taya Mikado

Taya Mikado (She/Her)
Communications Lead

Taya Mikado (she/her) is a mixed-race Japanese-Canadian Yonsei hailing from Southern Alberta but currently anchored in Tkaronto. She dabbles in poetry, prose and digital art while working towards becoming an innovative and compassionate lawyer.

Losing her father to suicide at 13, and her mother to a motorbike accident at 18, has given Taya significant insight into the complexities of young adult grief.  In an effort to stimulate awareness about life with grief as a young adult, and to befriend her own grief, Taya wrote and self-published the poetry & prose book “This Grief Thing F**king Sucks”. Since publishing, Taya has actively engaged with the Toronto grief community, attending various grief-focused events, working for BFO-T, and facilitating young adult grief support groups. Taya aspires to blend her legal endeavours with her dedication to grief, healing, and community support while continuing creative ventures.

Kevin Johnson
Communications Placement Student

Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Kevin moved to Canada to pursue tertiary education. For his undergraduate studies, he received a Bachelor of Commerce in the area of Law & Business. Kevin is currently enrolled in the Master of Professional Communication program at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). After graduation, and being a proponent of lifelong learning, Kevin intends to pursue PHD studies.

When not in the classroom, Kevin enjoys listening to music and travelling. He is also an avid sports fan and can be heard amongst the multitude of fans chanting “Let’s Go Blue Jays” at the Rogers Centre during the summer months.

Kevin adheres to the practice of living well within the community and so enjoys being of service to others. He relishes the opportunities afforded by this internship and is looking forward to adding value while also enhancing his communications skillset.

Community Work Placement Student

Makaela is set to graduate from her Community Service Worker program at George Brown College in April 2024. She was drawn to BFO after going through childhood grief counselling after the death of her father in 2012, who was struggling with substance use. Makaela is completing her final student placement with us, doing administration and communications. She is passionate about social justice and advocacy through an anti-oppressive lens. She is incredibly excited to form strong bonds within the community through BFO.

You may find her at the AGO, a cafe, or a Korean restaurant in Toronto, typically with a book in-hand or laughing with friends.

Portrait of Krishna Goswami

Krishna Goswami
Social Work Placement Student

Krishna is currently in his fourth year pursuing a degree in social work at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). Though originally from India, his upbringing as a Third Culture Kid took place in Manila, the Philippines, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In 2020, he graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History and minoring in Psychology.

His educational journey doesn’t stop there; Krishna plans to complete his Social Work degree at TMU and further his studies with a Master’s in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. His focus will be on Organizational Behaviour, as well as Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).

In the midst of personal challenges, having lost several family members in recent years, Krishna finds deep meaning in his involvement with BFO-T. Through this experience, he is dedicated to learning how to provide support not only to service users dealing with grief but also to those close to him.

Beyond academics and his commitment to social work, Krishna finds joy in following the NFL and NBA. Additionally, he has a keen interest in exploring visual art and music, rounding out his diverse range of passions.

BFO Team Photo