Recognizes five exceptional young women, between 15 and 29 years old, who are transforming their communities through innovation, collaboration and courage
Founder, Aiza’s Teddybear Foundation
Bio: Aiza Abid is a passionate children’s rights advocate, Plan International Canada youth ambassador, Master of Public Policy candidate, and founder of international charity Aiza’s Teddybear Foundation. Through her foundation, as an intern at the UNICEF East Asia & Pacific Regional Office and advisory board member at Ascend Canada, Aiza helps youth realize their rights and freedoms through service-based learning, storytelling and social impact activities.
MOST IMPORTANT CAREER LESSON: There is so much we can learn about the world and each other when we enter new spaces with an open mind and heart.
How I live my Truth: Learning how people prefer to express themselves to tap into their potential, and shaping environments to ensure that they are conducive to the success of all is something I work on in my charity and hope to continue doing in my future career.
Power song: Forever & Always, by Taylor Swift
Medical Student, Queen’s University
Founder, MOM’S THE WORD
Bio: Ishita Aggarwal is a public health professional and medical student who is passionate about women’s health and human rights and EDIIA issues. She runs MOM’S THE WORD, a non-profit organization that hosts free prenatal workshops for homeless and low-income women and connects sexual assault victims with health professionals. Additionally, she is co-leading an evaluation of Queen’s School of Medicine’s EDIIA curricular offerings. Her work has received national and international attention.
How I live my Truth: I make checking in on myself regularly a priority. It helps me ensure my goals and actions are primarily driven by my core values rather than external motivators.
On what powerful means: Powerful people believe in themselves and their abilities, but don’t fear challenge or change. They accept their mistakes and strive to build others up.
Power song: Girl on Fire, by Alicia Keys
Dr. Dominique Geoffrion
PhD Founder and President, ORBIS FUTURE VISION LEADERS
Director, ORBIS CANADA
Bio: Dr. Dominique Geoffrion’s Orbis Future Vision Leaders is the first leadership initiative uniting students and physicians across Canada in the fight against avoidable blindness. She is the youngest member on the board of directors of Orbis Canada and educational member of Orbis International, advocate in the low-vision community, an international speaker and collaborator, and a published scientist working towards restoring sight for patients.
MOST IMPORTANT CAREER LESSON: Thinking outside the box sometimes can be the most rational solution.
How I live my Truth: Always strive to reach for what you believe in, trust your instincts, and never take “no” for an answer.
Power song: I Don’t Want to Be, by Gavin DeGraw
Co-Founder, The Canadian Black Policy Network/ Toronto Black Policy Conference
Policy Advisor, Government of Canada
Bio: Sharnelle Morgan has held various positions in the federal public service, including policy advisor at the Privy Council Office. Passionate about creating equitable spaces and engaging in public policy, she is recognized as an emerging leader and was selected as a 2021-22 Action Canada Fellow.
Most important career lesson: There will be uncertainty and you’ll likely navigate challenging environments; however, always lead with grace, integrity and class. When they go low, we go high.
On what powerful means: One’s ability to lead and influence in way that inspires, that allows others to see their God-given gifts — and to ultimately tap into their full potential as individuals and as a community.
Power song: Flawless, by Beyoncé
Dr. Stephanie Zhou
MD, MSc, CCFP
Addiction Medicine Physician and EDI & Social Accountability Lead, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto Board Member, Habitat for Humanity GTA Community of Practice Lead, Ontario College of Family Physicians
Bio: Dr. Stephanie Zhou developed the financial literacy curriculum at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and serves on the financial aid committee. Stephanie grew up in subsidized housing and was the first in her family to pursue post-secondary education. She is a nationally invited speaker on financial empowerment, economic mobility and diversity mentorship. She runs a popular financial education blog on Instagram and Youtube called Breaking Bad Debt.
How I live my Truth: Moving from poverty to philanthropy: I live my truth through investing in healthy communities, access to education, and affordable housing.
Power song: Greatest Love of All, by Whitney Houston
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