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"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
“I am very excited to add another inspiring woman from our community to the Dream Big Dream, Girl roster. It goes without saying that there are so many women within Ottawa, and around the world, who do amazing things each and every day! I am thankful that this event will be able to bring together some of these women in order to inspire the next generation!” – Amanda Bernardo
Tammy will not only be introducing our opening guest speaker Peggy Taillon, but will also be sharing with us her own personal journey with Alzheimer’s disease.
My name is Amanda Bernardo and I am a local Ottawa author and advocate for both the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa/Renfrew County and Canada.Two years ago, I set out to write
a story I hoped would inspire all those who would read it. Along the way, I realized I was also creating a platform where I could create real change in my community and in the lives of
all those my story would touch.
In creating this platform, I began promoting a positive movement that would inspire people to listen to their little voice; a voice that would encourage them to be proud of who they are and capable of accomplishing anything! I began working closely with local schools and
organizations, such as CHEO, the Boys and Girls Club and the Proud to be Me Foundation, by donating books and providing inspirational talks.
In sharing my story, I also knew early on that I wanted to tell a story that I felt was not told
nearly enough. This story, unlike my own, is one where our little voice is forgotten, where the memories that make up the sum of our life story are stripped away and the loved ones that are left behind are suddenly strangers. This is a story that we refer to now a day as Alzheimer’s disease. In my attempt to tell this story, I created the Little Voice Forget Me Not Project;
a project that donates a portion of every book sale to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, a cause I hold extremely dear to my heart and have pursued in honour of my grandmother.
As a passionate volunteer in my community, I wanted my movement to not only teach
kids about themselves but also about the importance of giving back and helping others, whatever the cause may be.
This upcoming June, I am hosting an event that will promote each of these stories, with a
special focus on inspiring women and young girls in our community. The event is a special screening of the soon to be released film “Dream, Girl”, a documentary whose producer comes from our very own nation’s capital. The film’s mission is to share the stories of amazing female entrepreneurs, from brand new startups to million dollar industries, in order to inspire the next generation of leaders. Proceeds from this event will also go towards supporting the 2016 #WalkForAlzheimers!
The film’s world premiere will be this May in New York City, with special screenings that will
follow shortly after in Canada and the United States. When I first watched the “Dream, Girl”
trailer, I knew I wanted to be part of this movement and share this inspirational message
with others. The film brings to light the importance of teaching young girls and women
that they too can become leaders:
“Any person, male or female, could be a leader. Anyone is capable, it just so happen
for us [women] it’s more complicated. I hope for us this is the generation that changes because I think that it’s time for change.”
Little Voice was first thought up in 2013, published in late 2014 and a movement by 2015. 2015 was the year we officially launched our story, our movement and our fundraising efforts. It’s the year where everything slowly began to take shape.
It all started with a major push right here in our community. Though I’ve always had a entrepreneurial bug within me, this was my first time setting out and branding an entire movement, managing an entire production, and ultimately publishing a story. I didn’t always know what direction I would take; I didn’t always get the answers I wanted; but I never ever gave up. I trusted my own little voice to guide me and sure enough, every little step I took proved to be one step closer in the right direction.
On June 5th, 2016, Little Voice’s author Amanda Bernardo is hosting a special inspirational luncheon!
The Dream Big, Dream Girl inspirational luncheon will invite women and young girls in our community to network together, support an amazing cause and witness an inspirational screening of the film Dream, Girl. It will also include an amazing opening speaker we are so thrilled to have on board!
Today, Little Voice would like to introduce you to the Dream Big Dream, Girl opening guest speaker: Peggy Taillon.
Peggy is the President of the Bruyère Foundation. She embraces this opportunity with a passion for its important mission and a deep respect for its rich past and many accomplishments. Integrity, diversity and inclusiveness are hallmarks of her leadership. A passionate advocate for equality and social justice, Peggy has led one of Canada’s longest established organizations the Canadian Council on Social Development, influencing public policy and the changing landscape for the third sector in Canada over the last several years. Prior to the CCSD, Peggy served as senior vice-president at The Ottawa Hospital, and previously led Ontario’s Mental Health Implementation Task Force, a sweep- ing reform process. Peggy served as an Advisor to the Minis- ter of Health and Long-Term Care and to the Premier on the implementation of Ontario’s Regional Health Authorities, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), along with a number of other major health reform processes. Today she sits on the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and is co-chair to the Canadian Council on the Social Determinants of Health under the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Peggy has a long established track record in fund development and philanthropy, raising funds for a number of health partners in the region and across Canada. A dynamic and compelling public speaker, Peggy is often called upon to present on the health and wellbeing of Canada’s most vulnerable, and issues of gender, race, human rights, social development and inequality. A recent example is the unique invitation to present a TedTalks in July 2015. A proud Canadian, Peggy believes we can create a strong, resilient and caring nation that values the well-being and contributions of all of its citizens.
Peggy founded the HERA Mission of Canada in 2008, a foundation that supports women leading development projects empowering widows, children and grandmothers in Western Kenya. Through this work, Peggy honors the community where her son Devlin was born. She is the recipient of CTV’s Amazing People Award 2012 for changing adoption laws in Kenya that enabled her to bring her son home to Canada and her Hera Mission work. CTV’s W5 profiled her journey in Kenya in The Love of a Child which aired on March 8, 2014 – International Women’s Day. Over 1.2 million viewers across Canada and beyond tuned in or watched online, with many more since then. Most recently, Peggy received Ontario’s 2015 Leading Women, Building Communities Award.
Originally from the small northern Ontario town of South Porcu- pine, Peggy was educated in Toronto and Ottawa and holds degrees in Social Work and Law, as well as advanced diplomas in mediation and negotiation.
We are very lucky to have Peggy as our opening speaker and look forward to hearing her at our event!
Two years ago I set out to write a story I hoped would inspire all those who would read it. My book, however, was just the beginning. My goal was and is to create a movement that will positively impact my community. By speaking at events and sharing my story, my goal has been to inspire children and adults alike to be proud of who they are while reminding them to chase their dreams.
Since December 2014, when I first published Little Voice, I have used this platform to give back in any possible way I can; whether it has been by donating books to schools or organizations like CHEO and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, or by donating my time to speak to kids at the Proud to be Me Fun Day. I also created the Forget Me Not Project, a project that donates a portion of every book sale to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, a cause I hold extremely dear to my heart and have pursued in honour of my grandmother. How does it all relate? Well, my story encourages people to listen to their little voice and the Forget me Not Project reminds people of a disease that regrettably takes this little voice away from many people in our communities and country.
This upcoming June, I am hosting an event that I hope will combine both my desire to inspire and my love of volunteering to create a day where people can interact with the tremendous amount of inspiration in our city all while supporting our local chapter of the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa.