Thank you, merci, grazie, děkuji, salamat, kiitos, ευχαριστώ, mahalo iā 'oe, dziękuję ci, 감사 해요, köszönöm, obrigada, tack, gracias, Дякую!
Thank you for sharing your inspiring stories with us.
We received hundreds of nominations from across the country of amazing women who have set the bar of excellence. You told us of how these incredible women have inspired you through their compassion and resilience. Our decision was difficult, each nominee is an example of heroism. Overcoming life challenges with strength and dedication, as well as devoted to sharing a positive message of encouragement to others, which is truly inspirational.
Meet our winner: Dakota Whyte
Photo Courtesy of Sophia Noronha
“I would like to tell you about Dakota Whyte. She is my niece, but she inspired me because she was a very well known female basketball player that played for Canada and overseas in her 20s. She had many opportunities to stay outside of Canada, but she came home after ball. Since then she has worked her butt off and is now working in Sports Marketing. She is also volunteering her time with the PS43 Foundation. In addition to all of this she is back in school pursuing her Masters of Business Administration. She inspired me to take a trip to India recently and I have never taken a trip overseas. Please highlight Dakota Whyte, if she inspired her 49-year-old aunt, I can just imagine all the young girls that look up to her. Especially the ones that followed her basketball career. She has also shown that if your basketball career ends, you can still do well for yourself and the community. She deserves her flowers from being an inspiring Canadian, and an inspiring woman of colour that represents us very well.”
Nominated by: Sophia Whyte Noronha
Dakota Whyte is certainly deserving of this recognition. She is an example for all women and her message is:
You can truly be anything you put your mind to, if you believe in yourself and try your hardest, you will certainty become.
When you have doubt, it is just your mind signalling you to pour into your confidence.
You got this!
"I am truly blessed to be around so many incredible and inspiring women in my life, I am grateful for their support, love, and guidance. I will be celebrating them this entire month! Happy International Women's Day! "
Honourable Mentions To:
Photo Courtesy of: Ursula Erasmus
"My beautiful, courageous and feisty daughter Rebecca turned her struggle with an eating disorder into a gift for women and girls, including me. I suppose I was always wilfully blind to my own body image struggles. I believed that a woman like me should expect to be dissatisfied with my body and then I had to be enslaved by diets and trying to change my body. I thought that’s what it meant to be a woman. And because I wasn’t good enough some experiences would always be out of reach. Our most important conversations were not about her recovery directly, but about the cost of non-acceptance. She challenged and nudged and showed me how to live fully. She taught me that I don’t have to be perfect because I’m fabulous. As I am!! Today Rebecca is a Recovery Coach. We have also co-founded a practice together to support women. Her mantra is come home to yourself and show yourself love. Now she has a baby daughter. I watch her be a confident role model. I'm filled with awe and gratitude. No more toxic diet culture, for she is breaking cycles across generations. I love you. Mom x"
Nomination by: Ursula Erasmus
Photo Courtesy of: Veronika Tsubarko
"I saw your contest and the question you asked made me think who is that woman in my life who has been an inspiration to me. I could not come up with one, not in the past decade or so. I got busy. Busy with life, kids, work, personal life. I have few women friends I see few times a year. So, I sat there thinking and then I realized. The woman I am looking for is me. I am an inspiration to myself.
I inspire myself to be better, stronger, kinder every day. I have two kids, I work with kids, I am studying so I can help even more kids. Every day I get up to start a day, so my kids are cared and loved. At 45 after 20 years of a rough marriage, I finally feel I am on the right way. I survived the trauma brought by careless coaches in my childhood, I survived the passing of my mother when I was 17 and all alone, in a country of post-Soviet Union when crime was so bad that you had to carry a pepper spray in your pocket.
I survived working 16 hours a day that I could support my dad. I did not become angry or resentful, I believe in kindness and love and most of all I want to make a difference in every child's life I come across. I have been told for so many years, I am just an average. I am not an average, I am an inspiration to myself. Women are still underestimating on how much we do every day and how much we contribute to our society and the world. We carry the world on our shoulders while keeping our kids and families happy. You do not have to be a CEO of a big company to make a difference. Each of us makes a difference every day, by being patient, kind and loving to our children. Who then will grow up to be companionate citizens. Happy International Women's Day Ladies."
With love and kindness, Veronika Tsubarko.
Photo Courtesy of: Candace MacKay
"My inspirational woman is 20 years younger than me. She just had her first baby and every day is a struggle as her beautiful girl is colicky and not much of a sleeper. She still gets out and walks her dog, joins friends for walks at the mall pushing the stroller and joins school social activities. In between family responsibilities she emails her colleagues at school and checks to see if we need her assistance with report cards or the consumable orders. She is a force to be reckoned with and I awe at her honesty, vulnerability, strength and tenacity. When she's working, she's coaching multiple sports, organizing staff lunches and mentoring students. She's an incredible teacher, coach, mother, wife, friend and person. I'm very blessed to have this inspirational woman in my life."
Nomination by: Candace MacKay
Photo by Kiana Bosman on Unsplash