Darlene smilingPsst! It’s contagious! And we’re not talking about this season’s strain of the flu.

We’re talking about inspiration, which we can all do our part to spread by sharing positive stories, ideas or experiences that might help others in their own lives.

Inspiration is just what we need at this time of year, when we’re envisioning fresh starts, new challenges, and resolutions (that we’ll actually stick to!). So today, we’re sharing two stories that inspired us in the past year and asking you to share what, or who, motivates you!

Darlene’s Journey: From Hardship to Helping Others

“I think about what happened to me and how that could happen to anybody,” says Darlene, in this powerful video.

Darlene experienced a number of setbacks that made it difficult for her to earn a living. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which made her too sick to hold down a job, and in the years following her diagnosis, she also lost four family members to cancer.

“A lot of times, I felt like giving up, but I knew I couldn’t give up,” she says.

Despite her hardships, Darlene wanted to find a way to move forward and help others. Now she is doing just that. Thanks to an economic development program funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Darlene has been able to carve out a new career in the skilled trades that enables her to pay her bills, buy food, and take care of herself. She has transformed her life and advanced toward her vision of one day building homes for people who live in poverty.

“I decided to share my story because I think maybe I can help someone else who might be in the same situation as me,” she says.

Did you know that about 1.5 million women in Canada live on a low income? The path out of poverty isn’t linear, nor easy as many barriers can hinder women’s journeys. But when you hear Darlene’s story, it’s clear that with the right supports along the way, women can overcome those challenges and transform their lives.

Watch Darlene’s story below.

#GirlPowered: How a Simple Message Can Make a Difference

Did you know that the percentage of girls who say they feel confident drops from 36% to 14% between Grades 6 and 10? Girls are exposed to all kinds of negative messages about how they should think, look, and feel.

That’s why the Foundation launched the #GirlPowered campaign in October, in partnership with Havas Canada.

Through an incredible video, the campaign encouraged girls to create and share positive messages that build confidence and self-esteem. Through an online message generator, almost 1,500 girls have shared their unique and empowering messages, including:

  • “Follow your dreams, even the wild ones.” – Fayla, age 9.
  • “Be brave and don’t give up.” – Hannah, age 10.
  • “Don’t let anyone tell you who you are. You tell them!” –  Lilly, age 11.
  • “Be fearless!” –  Scarlett, age 5.
  • “Be the girl you look up to!” – Mayra, age 19.
  • "You are smarter, stronger and more amazing than you think. Believe in yourself." – Graysin, age 8.

Check out the full gallery of messages and encourage the girls in your lives to share their own at www.girlpowered.ca!

We hope that when you watch our #GirlPowered video and hear Darlene’s story, you feel inspired and pass them on to others who could use a boost. And now, tell us what or who inspires you in the comments below! 

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Take Action

  • Ask a girl in your life what #GirlPowered message she'd like to send to girls around the world and share via www.girlpowered.ca
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