The ISABC is excited to start sharing the acheivements of our member school’s alumni. ISABC schools educate and develop students to provide postive global impact after graduation. We are looking forward to sharing just some of the ISABC alumni stories with you in the upcoming months.
Our first alumni profiles come from West Point Grey Academy:
Riley Mari ’04 and Brandon Mari ’08
Youth Education Farms (YEF), founded and run by Riley Mari ’04 and Brandon Mari ’08, is based in Swaziland. Riley started the charity following a summer abroad teaching at a school in Swaziland during his fourth year at UBC, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in human kinetics and a diploma in urban land economics. Riley was inspired by an orphan who had no means to support herself through school. He discovered that inaccessible education was a common theme among children in Swaziland, something we in North America take for granted.
YEF was created to assist impoverished children—those unable to afford the fees required to attend school. In 2009, YEF’s first commercial farm was completed in Herefords, Swaziland. The farm creates jobs for local adults; the farm’s profits fund elementary and high school tuition fees for orphans or vulnerable children.
YEF invests in students in the program who work hard at their studies. There are no handouts: everyone who works at the farm receives a salary, and children are required to attend a career planning and mentoring course, given every other Saturday, to receive the funding. The farm is self-sufficient and completely operated by the Swazi people, as is YEF’s grocery store and restaurant, which was established in 2013 and sells food from the farm.
Through YEF, the Mari brothers hope to transform communities and shape leaders. As a social business, YEF creates a needed income source for residents and aims to develop a generation of future Swazi leaders, business owners and university graduates, all of whom will have the education and skills to help their communities grow and thrive.
Riley and Brandon visit the farm about once a year but are based in Vancouver, where they focus on fundraising. (YEF’s Board of Directors covers the overhead in Canada and related expenses; 100 percent of the money donated to and raised by YEF goes back into the charity.)
The brothers are also partners in retail and residential real estate development in Vancouver, which keeps them very busy. They stay connected with many former WPGA classmates and both love being part of the school’s alumni community.
To learn more about YEF, and to consider donating to their monthly giving program, visit youtheducationfarms.com.
Christian Anthony ’02
Christian graduated from West Point Grey Academy’s second graduating class in 2002, where he studied hard, captained the varsity basketball and soccer teams, and was even taught by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
After WPGA, Christian attended Gonzaga University in Washington. He first chose English as his major but soon decided a career in English was not for him. He then declared Journalism, Science, and Sports Management as majors. The finance courses within Sports Management would be life changing, as Christian discovered a passion for and natural affinity for finance, and ultimately chose Finance as his final major. In 2006, Christian graduated Cum Laude from Gonzaga.
Later that year, Christian relocated to Calgary to do equity research for a major Canadian bank, where he was responsible for analyzing and recommending energy companies for investment. After four years, he moved back to Vancouver to work for the largest national investment bank, managing institutional pensions and mutual funds. Christian earned his chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation and, in 2013, joined an experienced team at a new investment firm, Pathfinder Asset Management Ltd., headquartered in downtown Vancouver.
At Pathfinder, Christian is part of a firm focused on client satisfaction and returns. He was instrumental in developing Pathfinder’s “Equally Invested” culture, a more equitable investment management fee structure for a company’s employees. For Christian, this should be an industry standard. Christian chairs Pathfinder’s investment committee, manages the company’s Real Return fund and works directly with select clients.
Christian is an avid sports fan and attended the 2017 NCAA Final Four Championships with his mother in Phoenix, where his alma mater was a rebound away from the national championship. He remains active in basketball, flag football, soccer and golf.
Pictures (left picture, Christian Anthony; right picture, Riley Mari(left) and Brandon Mari(right)