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Monday
Nov242014

The power of community

At the 25th Anniversary Women of Excellence Awards last week, sponsored by the Canadian Progress Club Halifax Cornwallis, I was one of three honorees who received an award in the Communications and Public Affairs category. [Thanks to CBC Nova Scotia for allowing me to use this photo.]

This charitable foundation is a committed group of volunteer women who've been giving their time and talent to help those in need in the community since 1988. To date, the chapter has raised more than $1 million for Phoenix Youth, services to help at-risk youth break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

At the awards dinner, the Phoenix Youth Choir performed two of my favourite songs: The Sounds of Silence, and Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Then a young woman named Jessica, who was a client at Phoenix Youth, spoke about how having the support and encouragement of that community helped her overcome mental health challenges and drug addiction, find a job, and apply for post-secondary education. She referenced being in the choir, and told us that hearing her voice harmonizing with the others reminded her that she's not alone, and that when a community comes together we are all stronger.

None of us gets anywhere on our own. It is only with the ongoing support of my family, coworkers, teachers, students, clients, friends, mentors and people like you who are kind enough to read my blog that I've had the encouragement and means to set and achieve my own goals. Thank you. As I looked around the room and the collection of talent and energy in so many different professional fields, I felt humbled and grateful. I don't take the responsibility of receiving this lightly, and hope I can continue to be productive and give back in ways that offer value to the community.

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