Stories of Courage, Growth and Transformation from
21 Resilient Women

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S. S. Rich

Author

Meet the Chief Architect

Daisy Wright is the Founder & Chief Encouragement Officer at The Wright Career Solution. She is also an award-winning career coach, who helps executives, managers, and mid-career professionals, tell their career stories, and get hired FASTER!

She is also the Chief Architect of the Let’s GROW Project. Her most ambitious initiative since starting The Project in 2016, has been collaborating with the other 20 co-authors to write this anthology. Some have asked her, “How did you go about selecting the co-authors?” They literally selected themselves! Well, the majority have been part of the Let’s GROW Project from its inception, and they got first choice. After that, she reached out to a few other women whose stories she had heard and wanted to include. Even though the initial number was 20, she ended up with 23 ladies. SHe stopped at 21, after one lady said she “had to be in it”. 

Other than this pet passion project, her work includes career transition and interview coaching, executive resume and LinkedIn Profile writing. She is a certified career development practitioner, certified career management and leadership coach, and certified resume strategist. Daisy is author of the Canadian bestseller, No Canadian Experience, Eh?, and Tell Stories, Get Hired. Among her many awards are Alumni of Distinction recognition from Conestoga College, and Outstanding Employment Interview Strategist and Outstanding Canadian Career Leader from Career Professionals of Canada. Daisy is a member of the International Coach Federation and Career Professionals of Canada. She is also a former part-time professor at Sheridan College, holds a BA in Public Administration from Ryerson University, and a post-graduate certificate in career development from Conestoga College.

Family is central to her, and in her spare time she works on her Let’s GROW Project mentioned above.

© 2020 Let’s Grow Project

Taranum Khan

Taranum Khan, Ph.D., CCS, is an Award of Excellence-winning Career Strategist. She educates professionals to optimize their network with confidence, and shine on social media. Taranum is recognized for her contributions to newcomer settlement in Canada. She is a best-selling author and speaker. Her passion is creating a positive impact on lives and she persistently challenges norms to #MakeTheWay. She strives to create a positive impact on the career and academic journey of the lives she touches, locally and globally. Taranum has contributed to multiple publications, podcasts, and interviews on job search and personal branding.

Taranum prides herself on balancing her professional life around her family and she is happiest when collaborating with her admirably ingenious sons. Every conversation with her is uplifting as she inverts the focus for you to rediscover the strengths within you. She believes in being limitless and leads her life without conforming to norms!

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm is mother to three young ladies, grandmother of 3 and a Corporate Working girl. A passionate cheerleader for the success of more Black Women in Corporate Canada, she uses her experiences and stories of resilience to provide Mentorship and Coaching through her Not For Profit, Ebony Women International Insurance Network www.ewiin.ca.

Shirley resides with her family in the Greater Toronto Area where she emigrated from Jamaica over 30 years ago.

Sweta Regmi

Sweta found writing in “English” extremely heart wrenching years ago. Now, she has influenced millions through content writing. Sweta got over her “ESL PHOBIA” on LinkedIn by writing every day which is now viewed globally. Her organic follower grew to over 100k within a year because of high-quality content. Sweta Regmi is the Founder and CEO at Teachndo where she teaches Do’s & Don’ts to job seekers. Sweta is an accomplished coach with 13 years of leadership experience from an award-winning company in Canada.

Sweta resigned from the leadership role to make an impact and ease the difficulties job seekers often face. She pairs her hiring expertise from the corporate world with a deep understanding of what the employers want.

Sweta has written nine E-books for job seekers through Teachndo. She is regularly invited to Top podcasts, Colleges, Webinars, top media channels as a guest speaker. Sweta also hosts a YouTube channel through Teachndo, youtube.com/c/Teachndo

Shaunna-Marie Kerr

Shaunna-Marie Kerr has worked for a decade in the non-profit sector focusing on access to education and employment for equity-seeking groups. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband Tomoyuki and daughter Mari.

Melissa Enmore

A Guyanese native, Melissa Enmore is a passionate, energetic and dynamic leader, speaker, connector & change agent. She is known for her ability to drive organizational change and deliver quality results within the Canadian healthcare sector.

Melissa obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto, and later a Master of International Public Health degree from the University of Queensland. She is also a certified project and change management professional.

Melissa is also actively involved in her community. She is the Co-Founder and Director of The Backpack Project International Program, a non-profit organization that assists Caribbean children and children of the Caribbean diaspora with their health and education. She is determined to make a difference in children’s lives, one backpack at a time.

Melissa Enmore, MIPH, PMP, CMP (Prosci), CPHIMS-CA

Marcela Rodriguez

“Live to Change, Change is the Name of the Game” Marcela’s story is about life changes and the resilience one needs to keep going, adapt and ultimately succeed.

Chilean born, Venezuelan raised, and Canadian by choice, Marcela Rodriguez lives in Mississauga, Ontario with her husband and their two amazing children. Marcela and her kids are on a mission to convince her husband to have a pet, ideally a dog, but they haven’t succeeded yet. Marcela is an avid reader, especially about topics relating to leadership, parenting, growth and personal development, always trying to find answers to her endless, “Wait, but why?” questions. She has made a career in marketing after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Andres Bello University, and a master’s in Marketing from IESA in Caracas, Venezuela.

Tanya Sinclair

Born in Jamaica, Tanya Sinclair is an award-winning Human Resources Executive who provides organizations with strategic HR leadership. Tanya has served on several committees and Boards providing advocacy and policy development for Taibu Community Health Care Centre, Durham Regional Police Diversity Advisory Committee, and Telecare Spectra Distress Centre.

Tanya holds a Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Royal Roads University and holds the Certified Human Resources Executive along with the Distinguished HR Professional designations from HRPA. In 2017, she was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 25 HR professionals by Canadian HR Reporter. Tanya is a 2020 Harry Jerome Award Recipient and is the founder of Black Human Resources Professionals of Canada.

Tanya is a volleyball addict and art admirer who lives in Ontario, Canada with her partner and three children. Her leadership philosophy is: Lead, Learn, Laugh! https://www.linkedin.com/in/tanyahr

Maheeza Mohamed

Maheeza Mohamed has worked in the Telecommunications Industry for more than 20 years and currently works as a team manager in a major telecommunication company in Toronto, Canada. She survived a civil war for over 30 years, in Sri Lanka where she was born, before immigrating to Canada with her husband and three children in 2009. She lives in the Greater Toronto Area for a peaceful and safer life.

An artist, poet, and public speaker who is passionate about inclusion, diversity, and supporting people as they overcome challenges – through her own life experiences – Maheeza has delivered over 50 speeches and leadership workshops as a Distinguished Toastmaster. She loves expressing life through the arts of speech, painting, and writing. She is now looking forward to her new found passion in Real Estate.

Leslie Burns

Leslie has held progressively responsible positions in the corporate world working with and for Fortune 500 companies delivering technology solutions to large call centre operations. Her last position in this field was as District Sales Manager for Nortel Networks. For the last 15 years, Leslie has had the privilege of helping families buy and sell their single largest asset, their home. She is currently enjoying being part of the Emergency Roadside and Workforce Management Teams at CAA.

Her greatest joy of all has been as a mom, chief cook and bottle washer to two amazing young men, Ben, 22, and Nate, 24. Together with their dog Rayne, they have lived in Aurora for 23 years.

Leslie takes pleasure in the simple things in life like walking the dog, a cup of tea on the front porch, and spending as much time as she can in nature. You will also find her cruising fundraising websites and newsfeeds, looking for people she can help.

Jenny Okonkwo

Jenny is passionate about women’s empowerment, personal branding and inclusive leadership.

In addition to writing and delivering keynotes on these pivotal topic areas, she shares her lived experiences, subject matter knowledge and expertise to help leading organizations develop their culturally diverse workplaces. Jenny is a former member of the Women’s Leadership Council Ambassadors Group led by CPA Canada and currently serves on the AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. She is also part of the “Building Inclusive Communities” project, led by Volunteer Canada.

As founder of a volunteer led professional women’s network, she actively mentors and encourages others to become better versions of themselves.

Jenny has been officially recognized for her volunteer work, including Diversity Role Model Award (The Diversity Advancement Network) “Be the Change” Volunteer Award (CPA Ontario), “Top 100 Black Women to Watch” (CIBWE) and a finalist of the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.(RBC)”.

She currently resides in the Greater Toronto Area with her husband and two sons”

Laura Tomori

Laura is a technology evangelist, who helps companies achieve digital transformation by implementing technological solutions that solve business problems and facilitating outcomes that focus on customer experience.

She has 14+ years’ experience as a Software Quality Assurance Analyst, Business Systems Specialist/Analyst, Project & Business Analysis Team Lead and Senior Business Consultant in the Banking, Insurance, Consumer Services, Accounting, Financial Services and Management Consulting sectors.

Laura’s core values include making a difference and impacting knowledge to the next generation. Her hobbies are travelling and journaling

Jenet Dhutti-Bhopal

Jenet started her career in the non-profit and social services sector 20 years ago in the Philippines when she volunteered to teach life skills to youth at an orphanage in Manila while finishing university studies. This sparked in her a lifelong commitment to help youth thrive holistically and continued her work when she had the opportunity to live and work in the USA, India and Canada.

She considers herself a community and youth ally and continues to advocate for better capacity building practices and career advancement for marginalized youth to support their economic prosperity. She continues to empower and encourage young girls to explore the rapidly evolving world of sciences and technology.

Jenet is a proud Indian-Canadian born in the Philippines who currently resides in Brampton, Ontario with her husband. She likes reading books, cooking, meeting new people, music, traveling and most importantly, adores and spoils her nieces and nephews!

Gloria Smith

Gloria Smith was born in Saint Ann, Jamaica, and immigrated to Canada in 1972. She takes great pleasure in helping people to grow personally and professionally. A mother of three children and four grandchildren, she has dedicated her life to raising them.

Gloria had a life-changing experience as a Youth Leader from 2015 to 2017, gaining patience, love, and appreciation for young people. One of her memorable successes is with a young man who had poor school attendance. Through teaching and disciplining, he is now a successful production manager. One day, he thanked Gloria by lifting her in the air and declared, “Thank you for being hard on me back then because it has made me into the man I am today.”

She has been collecting socks for the homeless and CAMH, (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) for the last five years. Her family, co-workers, and community members have assisted with the donations of socks to CAMH Suite Me Fine thrifty store.

Felicia Simpson

Felicia was born in Kingston, Jamaica but has spent most of her life in Canada. She spent over 20 years in the corporate world and holds certificates in Marketing Management and HR Management with honours from Ryerson and Sheridan College, respectively. She also holds certificates in both French and Spanish. She is a member of Toastmasters International and was recently appointed VP Membership.

Felicia is highly respected by her colleagues and friends and is known as a positive, friendly, very resourceful, dedicated, hard-working and reliable individual. She enjoys helping others and giving back to the community by volunteering at a retirement residence in Brampton, Ontario. She regularly participates in fundraising activities to support the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Cancer Society and other charities.
Felicia enjoys travelling, walking, biking and reading. She loves nature, animals and the outdoors.

Amanda-Gay Edwards

Amanda Edwards was born in Kingston, Jamaica and moved to Canada at the age of 3. Amanda graduated as an Ontario Scholar, awarded the Yvonne Flakowicz Memorial Award for her success in both the visual arts and athletics. Amanda received a full basketball scholarship to Howard University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

In 2011, Amanda worked as a research assistant with a focus on Parkinson’s Disease at Georgetown Medical Center, where she went on to first co-author “ Efficient Isolation of Cortical Microglia with Preserved Immunophenotype and Functionality in Murine Neonates”, in the Journal of Visualized Experiments. Amanda then returned to Howard for a third Bachelor’s in Health Sciences, and a Master’s in Physician Assistants awarded the Chair of the Department award. Amanda now works at George Washington University MFA as a physician assistant in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation within the Neurology department.

Angella Nunes

Angella Nunes is a recently retired Adult Educator and Career Development Practitioner who worked in the Ontario College system for 27 years, educating, empowering, and inspiring career development. She is also actively involved as a church and community volunteer. Angella finds fulfilment in helping others overcome the obstacles that are keeping them from getting ahead, supporting them in their struggles, and celebrating their breakthroughs.

Throughout Angella’s career, she has had the pleasure of serving on the executive of several professional associations and advisory boards but the experience of being a wife, a mother of four wonderful human beings, and a grandmother of five precious jewels, is her greatest joy. Angella lives in Brampton, Ontario with her amazing husband and together their favourite past time is doting on the grandchildren.

Evelyn Akselrod

Evelyn Akselrod is a Trinidadian-born Canadian who resides in Toronto, Ontario.  She is a leader in the social sector and is committed to the economic security and inclusion of people from diverse and equity-seeking groups, with a special interest in supporting the advancement of women and girls. 

Evelyn holds an MBA in Leadership and Human Resources, is the Founder of Altitude Management Consulting and the Women in Nonprofit Network.  She is committed to lifelong learning, strives to continuously grow as a leader and to positively impact people, organizations and communities around her.

Alicia Sullivan

Alicia Sullivan has answered the calling to be a force for equity and justice, promoting respect for everyone’s dignity. She seeks to influence organizational change by enabling a culture of inclusion where diverse people experience a sense of belonging and are able to maximize their potential and contributions. Her inspiration comes from her personal desire to make the world a better place for her children and future generations to be treated equitably.

Cassandra Edwards

Cassandra is of Jamaican heritage, born and raised in Brampton, ON. She was an Ontario Scholar, obtaining a full-athletic scholarship as a women’s basketball player garnering 4 America-East Conference Championships and 4 appearances in the NCAA tournament. Cassandra went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice, and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from the University at Albany, State University of New York, earning honorable distinctions and Summa Cum Laude. She has participated in research looking at the influence of cultural values and success in immigrant women in the STEM fields, and now practices therapy clinically.

Cassandra Edwards is a clinical psychotherapist serving various populations, and providing services to those who experience depression, anxiety, anger issues, issues with substance use, disordered eating, family and marital concerns, trauma, and other pervasive mental health conditions. Cassandra uses cultural experiences to tailor her approach for each individual client, and recognizes the courage and humility that it takes to participate in therapy.