Michelle Dittmer, OCT, M.A.
Director of Outreach and Leadership

Michelle is an Ontario Certified Teacher and holds a B.Sc. from McMaster in Biology, a B.Ed. from the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology and a M.A. in Leadership from Royal Roads University. She has taught students from grade 4 through college and has extensive experience in the Educational Travel Industry. She has worked with youth through Me to We and Free the Children and is passionate about young people finding what makes them happy and what makes the world a better place.

mygapyear team

Our well-rounded team brings real-world experience and academic backing to serving gappers, parents and educators.  We have a wide variety of experience to help make sure that your gap year is meaningful and transformational as well as fun!


Coaching Associates

Madelyn Steed, BAH, M.Ed.

Director of Gapper Services

Madelyn has worked in higher education for close to a decade assisting students as they arrive, survive and thrive throughout their post-secondary experience.  Madelyn has a Masters of Education through the Ontario Institute for the Studies of Education in Adult Education and Community Development.  After her first semester at the University of Guelph, where she later completed her undergrad, Madelyn embarked on her own gap year and is passionate about guiding and supporting youth to take the same leap! 

Founders and Advisors

Tara Rinomato
Co-founder, Mentor Researcher and Advisor

Tara is a resource in the community for sourcing educational programs outside the school environment, and is continually exploring innovative learning experiences. As the mother of two young men and a daughter, Tara recognizes the importance of self discovery through transitional times, especially for young adults. 

Julie Newton, PCC, ACPC
Co-founder, Mentor Coach and Advisor

Julie is a certified professional coach and has expertise in coaching young adults and parents to recognize strengths and values that build confidence and create life changing choices for future paths. With over 15 years of experience in the public sector, Julie’s focus has been in policy development and program delivery with extensive experience in education and retraining initiatives. Julie is certified in coaching youth with ADHD. 

Luciana Quarin, ACC, ACPC

Associate Coach


Luciana Quarin is an Adler trained Certified Professional Coach, and a member of the International Coach Federation. She is also certified in BarOn EQi. After earning her Honours degree in English from the University of Ottawa, Luciana gained over 10 years of private sector operations and management experience, working in corporations ranging from professional publishing to employee assistance services.  Luciana is committed to working with young individuals to help them gain clarity in their values and beliefs, achieve their goals, and live a life with purpose and passion. Luciana’s love of travel began as a student, when she studied and lived in Italy. She continues to look for novel and interesting travel adventures with her husband and three children.

Sonya Tomas, B.Sc, MA
Associate Coach

Sonya Tomas is a certified Adler Trained Coach who enjoys helping others find the beat of their drum. Having gone through life transitions herself she gets how there can be a mix of both excitement and nail-biting as to "what's next". She aims to assist others in anchoring their choices based on their own unique interests and gifts.Sonya has also worked in the private and public sector for nearly 9 years with a focus on youth education and understanding the needs of employers. She holds a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Toronto and a Master's in Industrial Relations from Queen’s University. An eternal student at heart she values the teachable moments that happen inside and outside the traditional classroom.

Teresa Sottana, ACC
Associate Coach

As a professionally certified and trained coach, Teresa brings over 18 years of consumer packaged goods sales and marketing experience. She knows what it means to take risks and manage them effectively. She has personally walked the path of self-awareness, on-going learning and development, informed choice, balance and fulfillment. After a successful corporate career, she launched The Third I Business Coaching and Consulting with the vision to seek to open the third eye to benefit the individual and team by challenging preconceptions and conditioning and enabling them to become aware and challenge their own mindset.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Toronto, ACC coaching certification from the International Coach Federation and a professional coach designation from Adler/University of Toronto and Team Coaching International.  

Travelling is a second passion of hers that has allowed her to visit close to 40 countries around the world as well as residing in both Switzerland and India over the past 5 years. This passion closely ties to her passion for coaching as it broadens her awareness and insight of various people and cultures.

Emotional Intelligene (EQ) Associates

Alex Revesz, Hons BA, Psycology
Emotional Intelligence Specialist

Alexandra holds an honours degree in psychology from York University. Her background in human resources and career development provides expertise in helping individuals find direction and create positive change. She is EQ-i certified and has developed, designed and delivered workshops related to emotional intelligence, change and transition, and work/life success. She is currently pursuing a professional coaching designation through Adler International Learning. 

Julia Bubrin, MA, Excelerator Coach
Emotional Intelligence Specialist

Julia is the co-founder and Managing Director at Latitude Coaching, working to support inspired people through inspiring careers.  Julia coaches emerging leaders, new managers and people in times of transition.  Her diverse experience and education background have empowered her to become a life-long learner.  After completing degrees in International Development from the University of Guelph and Environment, Politics and Globalisation from King’s College, University of London, Julia shifted her focus to exploring human societies and how people interact in the workplace. Julia holds a certificate in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University and obtained coach training through Excelerator Coaching™ from Essential Impact. She is currently working towards an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She is a certified facilitator in Emotional Intelligence and is completing a certificate in Mindfulness Meditation through the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto.