October 13, 2016 - by Jessica Howard - 4 Comments

Paulette SeniorAs a young newcomer to Canada, Paulette Senior wouldn’t have envisioned herself where she is today—stepping into the role of President and CEO at the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

She was 11 when she moved from her grandmother’s home in Jamaica to join her family in Canada, and struggled with culture shock and a new school. “The school system didn’t really value me and didn’t really see me as bright and capable; in fact, it told me the opposite.”

One of Paulette’s teachers decided she didn’t belong in her grade level, so she was streamed into “an incredibly basic form of education”. But when a different teacher later recognized she didn’t belong there, she got the chance to re-join the regular stream.

October 12, 2016 - by Jessica Howard - 1 Comments

Girls with Always branded t-shirtsIf you asked a girl what would make her feel more confident: looking skinny in a fashionable outfit or playing on a soccer team, how do you think she would answer?

There’s a good chance she would stop and think about it first.

October 11, 2016 - by Sarah Ruddle - 1 Comments

Girl smiling in front of GirlPowered billboardIt’s not news that girls are bombarded with thousands of negative messages every day, everywhere they look.

Sometimes it seems like we’re trying to mop up a flood with a cotton swab, but more and more, people are speaking out about disempowering messages and limiting stereotypes aimed at girls. As consumers we’re questioning why girls are marketed to differently than boys, challenging magazines that portray girls’ as no more than the “sum of their fashion, makeup and hair”, and calling out the media industry on its dismal representation of girls.

October 6, 2016 - by Jessica Howard

Girl using tabletWhen Somaya Amiri thinks of role models, she thinks of her mom.

“I picked up all her habits, whether it’s the way she talks, or the way she tucks her hair behind her ears. I learned how to strive and fight for life like her.”

The McGill University student, who is originally from Afghanistan, credits her mother with being the most influential person in her life. But, in her blog post Learning to Love Myself, she also reflects on how social expectations can make it difficult for mothers to model self-love.

October 4, 2016 - by Jessica Howard

Elizabeth standing in theatreAfter taking a self-employment program, Elizabeth Anderson is turning her passion for public speaking and writing into a business that helps people flourish in spite of mental illness. As told to Jessica Howard.

In 1995, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In the years before that, I struggled with paranoia and depression, as well as taking care of myself on a daily basis. I had also left university because I couldn’t keep up with my classes. By the time I was diagnosed, I didn’t know that I would ever recover.

September 29, 2016 - by Stacey Rodas

Young woman sitting under treeCan you think of the last time you were body shamed?

I can. It was two months ago at a hair salon. I had taken a vacation day and there I was sitting in the salon chair, so excited to try out a new style. It was a teaching salon and the instructor was looking to show the student what might be a good style for me. As I made suggestions and showed photos of what I like, they were speaking as if I wasn’t even there – “don’t cut it here – look how WIDE that makes her neck look!”

September 28, 2016 - by Kurtis Kennedy-Singer

Woman with dandelionMusic is powerful. It’s a medium like no other – thoughts, feelings and raw emotions laced with rhythms and chord progressions that keep the message flowing.

Music for so many is an escape. It provides a chance to reflect on personal events that happen in life and an opportunity to relate to another human being. Who hasn’t said at one point “hey, that line says exactly how I feel right now…”

But what happens when that line brings to light an experience that you’ve worked hard to forget? Or gives you chilling insight into someone else’s pain?