To be recognized by my peers at the Universal Women's Network and across Canada as a finalist noted as an Inspirational Women is an amazing honour for me. In my life I have been privileged to be a scientist, teacher, doctor, and Canadian Explorer – but never thought of myself as be inspirational.
I understand that when you see me, like most people you don’t see a Canadian Explorer or someone who is Inspirational - and to be honest I often don’t feel like one. But that is actually the point. To be an achiever, a leader and an explorer you don’t have to look a certain way, have a certain orientation, worship in a specific place, have a particular orientation, or have a particular background - all you need is curiosity and the drive to pursue your own dreams. Being named an Inspirational Individual is not a victory for me - instead I believe it is a win for the call for diversity and inclusion in our communities, accessibility to nature, conservation, and Canadian exploration.
While I am honoured to be named a finalist for this amazing award and the recognition it entails I know that the true reflection of our achievements is to ensure that we continue to lead by example, inspire others, build bridges and use our positions to mentor future generations toward fostering a diverse group of leaders and environmental stewards in each of our communities.
As always my goals are to advocate for diversity in the outdoors, accessibility to nature and to encourage youth to reconnect to wilderness and wildlife through Citizen Science and Birding. Toward achieving this I have sold my house, and quit my career to hike 24,000km along the Trans Canada Trail and visit more than 15,000 communities across the nation to make Canada (and its wildlife) better known to Canadians – from our backyards to the Boreal!
Our undertakings are only as great as those whom they influence, those who we mentor to be game changers, and those whose ideas transform our society in positive and constructive ways - making an impact locally, nationally and globally.
I hope to use this nomination to foster more mentorship, promote out of the box approaches, and help those dedicated and dynamic individuals in communities from coast to coast to coast that are changing the world – like each one of us - one step at a time.
Thank you for recognizing my undertaking, encouraging exploration in Canada and thank you all for your support!