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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."
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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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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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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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INTRODUCING THE LITTLE VOICE MOVEMENT

After almost one year in the making … here we are. Today, Little Voice is extremely excited to introduce to the world for the very first time …

The Little Voice Movement

In December 2014, the Little Voice team set out to create a children’s book we hoped would inspire all those who would read it. We wanted to not only develop a book that would encourage children to listen to their inner voice and chase their dreams, but also a platform that would enable us to give back in our community.

After launching the Little Voice book, we succesfully created the Little Voice Forget Me Not Project, a project that allowed us to use our platform to donate a portion of every book sale to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. To date, Little Voice has raised close to $7,000 dollars in honour of Amanda’s grandmother Teresina Bernardo, and has been recognized by eTALK Canada and Starbucks Canada for our fundraising movement. 

In addition to the Little Voice Forget Me Not Project, Little Voice has worked closely with a number of community initiatives, supporting local schools, charities and not-for-profits … but we wanted to do more.

If we could create a movement and fundraise close to $7,000 dollars, what was stopping us from supporting others within our community to do the same.

Today, Little Voice is pleased to launch our official movement: The Little Voice Ambassador Program that will enable Canadians across Canada, children and adults alike, to start their own movement under one of three platforms: 1) For your school; 2) For your Community; or 3) For your Future.

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By creating a movement under our first platform, teachers and parents can fundraise on behalf of their school. By creating a movement for your community, people can fundraise on behalf of a local charity, cause, individual or group in need. By creating a movement under our last platform, a parent or child can fundraise using the Little Voice Ambassador Program to support a child’s future education with a donation to their Registered Educations Savings Plan (RESP).

Movement Page ButtonsThere is no age limit, no time limit and no cost to join, simply a desire to make a difference in your community, school, or future!

With every movement, Little Voice will donate $5 from every book sale to the Ambassador’s cause. Registered Ambassadors will receive a coupon code that will track sales through our website and enable us to donate back to their movement. In turn, Little Voice continues to donate a portion of every book sale to the Alzheimer Society while supporting many more movements across Canada.

As we launch our movement today, we are very excited to have a number of movements already underway! Visit our Registered Movements page to learn about our first movements with CHEO, Proud to Be Me, the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County, #RosalinaStrong, the Half Moon Bay Public School and more!

Be sure to catch Little Voice on CTV Ottawa Morning Live this morning at 9:20am, at noon with UpFront Ottawa and this evening from 7:00 to 8:00pm on Twitter, using  the hashtag #wethelittle, and Facebook, on our event page, for a live chat where we will answer all your questions about our movement, our book and our journey. 

A BIG thank you to everyone who has continued to support our message and vision.

By working together, we hope the Little Voice Movement will grow to not only impact our local community here in Ottawa, but also communities across Canada.

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Supporting the #RosalinaStrong Pixie Fund

On February 4, 2016, the Bedynski-Belli family received the news that their five year old daughter Rosalina had been diagnosed with high risk, stage 4, Neuroblastoma.

When we first found out this news, our family was beyond speechless. Shortly after Rosalina’s diagnosis, we were introduced to the Candlelighters of Ottawa, an organization that helps families like ours cope with cancer related situations. They provided us with binders of information, prepared us for the procedures Rosalina would have to undergo, and much more.  They also donated an iPad to Rosalina filled with apps focused on learning activities in order for her to not fall behind in school. These are only but a few of the reasons why Candlelighters hold such an important place in our hearts, along with all those at CHEO.

The Bedynski-Belli family has set out to raise funds to support both the Candlelighters and CHEO for all of their amazing work in supporting their daughter during this difficult time.

When Little Voice learned of the #RosalinaStrong Pixie Fund, we knew we had to give back.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 3.39.19 PMChildren are the biggest reminder of that little voice inside us, the one that gives us strength during times of weakness, and hope during times of despair. In Rosalina’s case, her little voice continues to motivate her to be strong as she undergoes treatment. Rosalina is currently undergoing her fifth treatment of chemotherapy but she remains strong with the support of her family and community.

To date, the #RosalinaStrong Pixie Fund has raised over $3,500 dollars both online and in person.

 

In addition to Little Voice’s regular donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, from June 10 to June 30, Little Voice has committed to supporting Rosalina’s fundraising efforts by donating $5 from every online book sale to her cause.

Let us rally behind the Bedynski-Belli family and pray for Rosalina’s speedy recovery.

You can also support this cause directly by visiting https://www.youcaring.com/rosalina-575383!

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What it means to Dream BIG

Where to begin… 

It seems like just yesterday, I came across a Kickstarter campaign for a film that shared a message much like my own. This message encourages children, and adults alike, to believe in themselves and their dreams! After watching the trailer for the Dream, Girl film,  I saw myself and the journey I had taken with Little Voice in the stories of the women featured in this film. I saw my struggles, my fears, my determination and that same little voice that once inspired me to write a children’s book, inspire others to do extraordinary things too!

On the morning of June 5th, the Dream Big Dream, Girl Luncheon, I asked myself how I got here. How did watching a trailer to a documentary, produced by two women I didn’t really know, turn into me putting on an event for over 140 women. The short answer: inspiration. The longer answer: when an idea gets in my head, I run with it, and that’s exactly what led me to put on this inspirational luncheon.

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this. Would people be interested? Would people attend? Would they be as inspired as I hoped they would?

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Dream Big this June with Startup Canada’s Victoria Lennox

As we prepare for our upcoming luncheon this June, we are extremely excited to announce our closing guest speaker Victoria Lennox!

The Dream, Girl Luncheon is an amazing opportunity to unite women entrepreneurs in our community, while inspiring the next generation to chase their own entrepreneurial dream.

Women are starting companies every single day. They are breaking through barriers, taking on challenges, making a difference in our communities, and fighting for equal rights and equal pay! It’s hard to ignore how far women have come and so, rather than ignore it, we here at Little Voice in partnership with the Dream, Girl film want to PROMOTE it!

If you have it in your heart that you want to build your own company, don’t let anyone or anything stop you.

The Dream, Girl Luncheon will include a special screening of the Dream, Girl film, a film that focuses on the stories of women entrepreneurs. In addition to the women we will meet on screen, we also wanted to introduce you to some pretty amazing women right here in our own backyard.

Victoria Lennox Headshot - Recent (6)When we think of entrepreneurship in Canada, it’s pretty hard not to think of Startup Canada. Victoria Lennox is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada, a grassroots network of entrepreneurs working together to build an environment for entrepreneurship in Canada. She is recognized by the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union as one of the foremost experts in entrepreneurship education; ecosystem and program architecture, governance, development and implementation; and, in fuelling entrepreneurship movements and awareness campaigns.

She is also the first Canadian and one of the youngest recipients of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. As a student at the University of Oxford, Victoria won the award for having pioneered a grassroots youth entrepreneurship movement in the UK called NACUE. Today NACUE is central to the UK’s youth entrepreneurship ecosystem, supporting more than 55,000 higher education students and graduates across more than 100 institutions.

On the global stage, Victoria is a strong leader. As the catalyst for Startup Generation and host of Startup Nations, Victoria supports and mentors the development of youth enterprise organisations in more than 20 countries; provides advisory support to international organisations in the areas of entrepreneurship networks, education and policy development; and supports colleges and universities in enhancing their entrepreneurial activities. Countries around the world are also working to emulate Startup Canada’s methodologies and activities, viewing the organization, under Victoria’s leadership, as the best practice in fuelling entrepreneurship culture.

Entrepreneurship has proved to be a catalyst for economic growth in many countries. Equally as important is the critical role that women play in the growth of an economy.

We are very excited to have Victoria Lennox join the Dream Big Dream, Girl team and are confident that her experiences and knowledge will serve to benefit all those in attendance! 

 

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