Shop our newest book The Lighthouse and support the National Canadian Mental Health Association!
"Everyone has a voice deep down inside them, a voice that says “shine”. Some have loud voices, while some have quiet ones. Some people’s voice is so quiet they never get to hear it, while those that do may choose not to listen. Unfortunately, only a few decide to act on this voice, the stars who influence others to listen themselves."
Find your Little Voice

World Mental Health Day

Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay; a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy!

This years’s theme Dignity in Mental Health-Psychological & Mental Health First Aid for All will enable us to contribute to the goal of taking mental health out of the shadows so that people in general feel more confident in tackling the stigma, isolation and discrimination that continues to plague people with mental health conditions, their families and careers.

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The GCWCC Movement

Little Voice is very excited to be supporting this year’s Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) through our movement!

The Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) is a charitable giving option developed exclusively for federal public servants and federal retirees. The annual GCWCC takes place in federal workplaces across the country during the fall campaign period (September to December).

Through the GCWCC, public servants can support United Ways/Centraides, HealthPartners or any other registered Canadian charity of their choosing. United Way, a trusted community partner with a history of making wise investments, manages the campaign on behalf of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

From October 4, 2016 to December 5, 2016, the GCWCC Movement will run using the coupon code “gcwcc”.

With every purchase of Little Voice using this code, Little Voice will donate $5 dollars from each book sale to this year’s campaign. Get involved by sharing our shop link and the movement code with your work, friends, family and even social media!

For those working in the Gatineau area, the coupon code will also enable free shipping for pick-up at 30 Rue Victoria, Gatineau, Quebec.

Order your copy of Little Voice today and see how the power of our movement can support amazing causes in our community.

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One Young World 2016 – A Life Changing Experience

A special feature by Little Voice’s author Amanda Bernardo after attending the One Young World Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 

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Before sharing my experience, I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who supported my One Young World journey, who donated to my delegation fee, and who encouraged me to raise my voice and chase my dreams. Thank you!

It’s hard to sum up everything I’ve seen, heard and felt over these past few days. There’s been a lot to digest. It’s even harder to think where do I go from here?

As a philanthropist and social entrepreneur, I attended One Young World with a particular interest in how I could grow Little Voice to support the causes I believe in. I wanted to learn how I could use my platform to truly lead on the causes I am passionate about, specifically mental health and gender equality. I also wanted to learn what more could I do to make a difference.

I didn’t know what to expect from this Summit, but what I never imagined was that I would learn more about myself in four days than I had in the last year.

Here’s a little glimpse of the day to day summaries I tried to jot down throughout the Summit.

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Inside a Young Leader’s Journey to One Young World

On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, I will be one of 1300 young leaders at this year’s One Young World Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I still can’t believe it!

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Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always been passionate about making a difference in my community. I’ve volunteered with countless charities, fundraised wherever possible, and lived with the mantra to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

While I’ve worked really hard to make a difference right here in my community, I applied to One Young World thinking that perhaps I wasn’t good enough. It’s easy to share my excitement about One Young World with all of you, but I think it’s even more important to address some realities that I’m sure many of you can relate to.

They say we are our own worst critics and this couldn’t be more true of my journey to One Young World. I’ve always been known to be extremely involved in many, many organizations, projects, initiatives, etc… What can I say, I like to keep busy! I’m always thinking of the next movement I can be part of or the next goal I can accomplish in order to make a real impact with the work I am leading. Yet, despite always moving forward, a part of me has failed to soak it all in and really revel in my accomplishments.

I’ve always liked to work hard in silence and let the success I have been a part of make all the noise.

However, one thing I realized in anticipation for One Young World is how important it is to really look around once and awhile at all you’ve accomplished. For me personally, it really put my life into perspective. It helped me focus on what I am really passionate about, my vision for the future, and the next steps I’d like to take in order to not only be a young leader but one day, a world leader.

I think many young leaders can relate to this feeling. We’re always so busy working away that we sometimes fail to acknowledge what work really means the most to us and how it has the potential to change our lives completely. Our work may seem small in comparison to others, but it is still important.

If a community of young leaders each led one “small” project in their communities that strived to make a social impact, together, they will have changed the world. This, to me, is what One Young World is all about. It’s not about what we do alone, but what we can accomplish when we work together.

Collaboration has proven time and time again that we cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together. Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, but working together is success.

I started off my journey thinking I needed to do a lot more with my life in order to be considered a young leader. What I never expected was the outpouring of support I received that not only encouraged me to attend One Young World but that reminded me that I already was a young leader in my community.

We all have the potential to make a difference in our communities. It’s easy to think that our efforts may be too small to change the world but, let me be the first to say, they are not.

To take action at any scale, is still action.

image1ellaWe are the generation that has been called to act, to make a difference, to speak up, to raise awareness, to not give up, to support each other and remind one another that we are all good enough. I am grateful to One Young World for putting my future into perspective, for helping me to believe in myself when I may have doubted my potential, and to all those I will soon meet that will help shape the rest of my life forever.

 

You may not be attending One Young World with me, but I promise to share every step of the way with you so that in turn you too can be inspired to change the world!

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See how you can fundraise $15, 000 in one month!

By now, you’ve heard about the Little Voice Movement and the potential it has to make a difference in your school, community, or child’s future.

With many teachers getting ready for back to school, a lot of our social media has been flooded with stories on how teachers go above and beyond to support their classrooms by purchasing supplies, books, materials, etc…

Little Voice is lucky to know many teachers across Canada and so, we know how many of our teachers pay for many of their classroom supplies out of pocket. Our Little Voice movement was launched with these teachers in mind.

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September is World Alzheimer’s Month

September 2016 will mark the fifth global World Alzheimer’s Month™, an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge stigma.

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Month 2016 is Remember Me. To help raise awareness, the campaign is asking you to get involved by sharing your favourite memories, or memories of a loved one, on social media this September with the hashtags #RememberMe #WAM2016.

As most of you know, the Little Voice Forget Me Not Project was started in honour of Amanda Bernardo’s grandmother Teresina Bernardo who has been suffering with Alzheimer’s disease for over twenty years. More recently, however, Amanda’s other grandmother – Maria Bruni – has been showing early signs of dementia, and is suspected of also being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s never easy to learn that someone you love is going through something that neither of you quite understand. They are confused because they see a shift in their behaviour and their memory; and you are confused because you simply don’t know where to start. Then they often grow angry because they are overwhelmed with the changes they are experiencing; and even you grow angry because you can’t seem to find an answer as to why this disease has taken your loved one. Then reality kicks in, and you see that Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t just strip away your loved one’s memories but it changes everything. It changes how your loved one interacts with you; how they perceive the world; how they function on a day to day basis; and how they maintain their relationships around them. As someone with Alzheimer’s disease on both sides of my family, the reality for me is that I am terrified. I am terrified that Alzheimer’s disease will now strip me from another relationship with someone I love. I am terrified that we don’t know what causes Alzheimer’s disease. And I am terrified that we still don’t have a cure. But I am also even more terrified that my chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease now seem more likely than not. It’s hard to imagine that at such a young age but it’s a terrifying reality that affects all those who could possibly inherit this disease. This is why I am urging you this September to help raise awareness and support your local Alzheimer Society. – Amanda Bernardo

In Canada, an estimated 747,000 Canadians have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Over 70,000 of them are under 65 and approximately 50,000 are under the age of 60. 1 in 11 Canadians over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. In just 5 years, as much as 50% more Canadians and their families could be facing Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Within a generation, the number of Canadians with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, will more than double, ranging between 1 and 1.3 million people.

I am grateful for the memories I have with both my grandmothers. My grandmother Teresina reminds me a lot of myself. She had this strength about her that was always admirable. She did a lot in her life time and it makes me sad to think that in her old age she cannot look back and enjoy how far she has come. Now, to think that my other grandmother here in Canada will be diagnosed with this disease breaks my heart. I grew up with my nonna Maria; all my childhood memories had her in them. I always remember her sneaking Hershey chocolate bars to us before we would leave her house. And her hugs. She gives the best hugs. I hope that never changes.

This September, please make a difference with your social media and ask the world to not only remember Teresina Bernardo and Maria Bruni, but all those struggling with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. #RememberMe

To support the Alzheimer Society of Canada, please donate here.

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Back to School with Little Voice

Are you getting ready for back to school? This time of the year usually means you’ve already started a checklist for school supplies, clothes, lunch boxes, sneakers – the list seems truly endless!

If you’re getting your toddler ready for kindergarten four, or maybe your child for grade six, it may seem that getting them ready for university or college seems pretty far off. But is it?

As parents, you think the best thing you can do for your children is to encourage them to go to college and get a good education — and, hopefully, that will help them land good jobs with higher earning power than if they had high school diplomas alone. But that’s an expensive goal. It’s especially daunting considering that many parents are still paying off their own student loans, while their children born today could end up paying up to four times the current price for tuition if inflation keeps up, according to finaid.org.

So, what do you do? Open an RESP? A TFSA? Maybe a separate account or even a trust?

What if there was a simple way to increase your contributions while also supporting your community and an important cause? What if all it took was simply sharing a little inspiration? Would you start saving for your child’s education?
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Côté Martial Arts Stands Behind One Young World

“Don’t let money fears stop you from chasing your dream!”

With One Young World less than two months away, Amanda’s fundraising campaign is now more important than ever! In order to attend One Young World, delegates must fundraise £2,655 (GBP) – roughly $4600 Canadian.

I am truly thankful for the community support I’ve received thus far, without your donations, my dream of attending One Young World would be far from a reality!”

Little Voice is very excited to announce Côté Martial Arts as one of Amanda’s official OYW sponsors! (more…)

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How to Silence the Outside Voices

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We are all faced with challenges that make listening to our little voice sometimes a bit more difficult than we hope for. More often than not, our little voice is challenged by outside voices that make it impossible to hear our purpose, see our future and act upon our inner dreams.

Life is filled with many outside voices, voices that tell us we are not good enough, not strong enough, not bold enough, not wise enough, not daring enough, etc… a whole lot of “nots” that make believing in your little voice extremely challenging.

So, how do you silence the outside voices so that your inner voice is good enough, strong enough, bold enough, wise enough, etc…

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Little Voice Author Aims to Join One Young World

Today, Little Voice’s author received the good news that her application to be considered as a delegate representing Canada at the 2016 One Young World Summit was …

ACCEPTED!

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One Young World is a charity that stages an annual Summit, which gathers together the brightest young people from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change. The 2015 Summit in Bangkok welcomed 1,300 delegates aged between 18 and 30 from 196 countries. Unlike any other event, the Summit gives young people the kind of media platform and forum ordinarily afforded only to the leaders of nations and corporations.

Amanda has been selected as an outstanding candidate to attend the upcoming Summit on the basis of her capacity for leadership, concern about global issues, ability to generate and articulate impactful ideas, teamwork and evidenced commitment to volunteering or other extracurricular activities.

See highlights from last year’s Summit in Bangkok here:

Delegates debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces. Following each Summit the attending delegates become One Young World Ambassadors and are charged to work on their own initiatives or lend the power of the One Young World network to those already in existence. Ambassadors have gone on to have an impact on issues ranging from education, global business, health, human rights, sustainable development and transparency.

Now, the real challenge begins…

In order to attend, Amanda will now need to put her fundraising efforts to the test and raise $4,600 dollars to support her One Young World journey!

Stay tuned for how you can get involved!


Interested in sponsoring Amanda? Read Amanda’s official OYW Sponsorship Letter here!!

 

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